Fake olive oil scandal. Fried chicken recipe.
The study that still haunts us. Italian fried chicken >>
The fake olive oil crisis
Almost 15 years ago (!!) UC Davis released the article titled Most imported olive oils don’t match ‘extra virgin’ claims, study finds. EXAU didn’t exist yet, but Giuseppe and I remember when that bomb dropped. The olive oil industry and consumers just about lost their minds. And rightly so.
The study made it seem as though all imported oil was fake and companies were out to cheat U.S. consumers. The following statement was disassembled and turned into a tagline.
“The research team found that 69 percent of the imported oils sampled, compared with just 10 percent of the California-produced oils sampled, failed to meet internationally accepted standards for extra virgin olive oil.” - UC Davis
But the study didn’t clearly stipulate that these oils went through a sensory test… which is subjective. Then it came to light the study was paid for by organizations whose interests lay in domestically produced olive oil. Can someone please google the definition of lobbying?
“70% of imported olive oil in the U.S. is fake!”
“If you put your olive oil in the fridge and it solidifies that means it’s real.”
“Olive oil has to be x, y, z or it’s not real.”
It feels like 2010 was really the year the olive oil myths took flight. But the worst has to be the rift created between domestic and foreign producers. And the shady marketing tactics that ensued.
To this day there are still olive oil brands, using the tried and true marketing technique of fear-mongering in order to get people to buy their products. And it’s complete and utter B.S.
Last week we spoke with the buyers of one of our favorite grocery stores in California. All of us have been tasting different types of olive oils for years from different countries. But the difference in flavor and profile due to terroir and cultivar(s) is still a delightful shock. Olive oil is a food that expands as much as you let it.
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Happy Women’s History Month!
Last month I shared my experience of finding my identity in my early 20s. I wouldn’t have been able to do that without the incredible women in my life.
As the cofounder and ‘marketing face’ of EXAU I often feel pressure to show big displays of public support during months like this. But the truth is, right now I just want to call the women that have supported me over the years and tell them I love and appreciate them.
Don’t get me wrong, uplifting women and women-owned/led brands on social media and other platforms is important and meaningful (and a list will be included in the next newsletter).
But for me personally, the magic moments, the times when a woman has deeply moved me, have always happened in quiet private spaces. Over an intimate meal, during a Facetime, or a walk. Those are the moments I cherish and hold closest to my heart.
Happy women’s history month, and thank you to the women who have deeply touched the lives of others without even knowing. We appreciate you.
Zia’s Italian Fried Chicken
Back in December, we told you about some of the best fried chicken we ever ate. On Christmas Day I stood next to the counter in Zia Im’s kitchen peering down at three plates of…