During my visit to Paso Robles, I didn't just taste wine, I also went for a tour and tasting at Pasolivo Olive Oil Ranch. Located in the heart of Paso Robles' western hills, the scenic 45 acre ranch has 6,000 trees planted, mostly Tuscan varieties.
I was interested to learn more about olive oil production. I've read numerous articles in recent years about mislabeled and counterfeit oils that are imported and sold in America. I had not realized that neither the FDA nor the USDA enforces labeling rules for extra virgin olive oil. Since learning this, I have been purchasing California olive oil that has the California Olive Oil Council or COOC seal on it. Pasolivo Olive Oil Ranch carries that seal and is in the process of becoming certified organic.
After the tour of the orchards, the mill and the production line, I went into the shop for a full tasting of their oils, vinegars and seasoning. The olive oils were all big and bold, some were more peppery, some fruitier and some a bit more bitter. It was interesting to taste the naturally occurring differences in the assorted oils, these variations are based on the type of olives used, the time of the harvest and, like with wine, how the weather was that year.
I purchased the Mini California gift set for myself which is a combo of three oils and three vinegars. All are fresh, fragrant and delicious.
I have used the tangerine oil for grilled pork chops and the lime oil for both grilled shrimp and as a dressing for a tomato and avocado salad. I've used the fig vinegar in a fig jam dip with grilled cheese sandwiches and the raspberry vinegar in a spinach and berry salad. These are all easy dishes that I routinely make, I just substituted the new ingredient and in each of these instances, the flavor was definitely punched up.
I'm keeping their website in mind for holiday shopping for my foodie friends, I am really pleased with all the products that I have tried.