Italian cuisine will always have a special place within my heart (and my stomach). One of the first jobs I had was being a hostess at a restaurant in Toronto named Verona. This was where I had my first bowl of risotto and learned why brandy was in a cream sauce and how ricotta was added to desserts. That summer at Verona taught me a lot about the service industry and developed my interest in food. Two years later, I was able to visit Italy and made a stop in Verona. With the sceneries from Romeo & Juliet and endless pasta and pastries in sight, it felt surreal to be in the city that inspired the restaurant that started my culinary interests.
Recently at I was able to attend the Flavour Your Life event featuring Redoro, an Olive Oil maker from Verona. Thanks to Linda’s invite, I got to learn about how the city that has impacted me so much is leaving a mark within the olive oil industry.
As we sat down at Buca, one of the best Italian eateries in Toronto, we got to learn how this family ran olive oil company has been in business for over 5 generations. The presentation was led by Roberto Accurso from Redoro who spoke with passion and passed on many interesting trivia on olive oil and the industry.
Redoro had their first mill in 1895, and their business is still located at the most northern part of the country possible for an olive vineyard. This allows their trees to grow in a much cooler and temperament environment as opposed to the south.
They have over 1000 growers and some vendors have worked with them for over a hundred year (and they got the ledgers to prove it).
There are only three types of olive oil that Redoro produces:
- 100% Italiano, a light oil that’s ideal for salads.
- Organic, which is grown in a smaller region near lakes with no pesticides and is hand harvested.
- Veneto Dop, which only uses one type of olive from Veneto region and is controlled and sealed by the government. This oil should never be wasted by cooking and should be enjoyed as a finishing oil.
Their oils are all stored in opaque glass bottles as light and heat will alter if not damage the oil. When tasting the oils, the process is similar to wine. You need to smell, swirl and then sip oil before consuming it with accompaniments like apples and bread.
As Roberto rounded off the presentation, trays of hors d'oeuvre highlighting olive oils surrounded us. I had no choice to sample them all (many times over).
Asparagus, quail egg, mushroom with shaved parmesan crostini.
Olive oil poached sea bream.
Simplicity at its finest, Linda and I still dream about this pizza.
Garlic knots, small but mighty tasty.
Cheers to the foodie friends that we got to share this dinner with.
Olive oil gelato to finish off the night.
Italian sparking soda and prosecco that helped us washed down our meal.
Our table from left to right: Liz, myself, Mary, Waleed, and Linda.
If you are intrigued by the history of Redoro and want to try their oils for yourself, they will be on Costo Canada's shelves come this fall!