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One Righteous Dude

Posted on 2010.06.08 at 00:00
Current Location: 75409
Current Music: Elfman - Alice in Wonderland
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Backlit with Sun; the Single-Malt of Cooking
I used to hate whole wheat pasta. It was difficult to cook, hard to tell when it was done, and required a ludicrous amount of masticatory effort. I missed the light, melty strands of "real" white-flour, processed noodles...until I went back to them one day - I was shocked at how bland and flaccid they now seemed compared to the full-bodied roughage of the whole wheat. Good and good for you. Problem is, most people won't give it a chance. In this disposable world if it doesn't make an immediate impact its dismissed forever. Taste is a delicate thing, and you don't want to miss out on new found opportunities by being hasty.

I was that way about my oil, too. Corn oil for that light crispiness with down home cooking, peanut oil for the turkey, vegetable oil for the cakes. I saved olive oil for stir-fry. It was thick, and dark. I didn't trust olive oil. Something about its viscosity unnerved me and it took me a long time to adopt it as a valid foodstuffs.

But when I did, just like the whole wheat pasta, I found that I enjoyed its heavy-handed approach to things. Olive oil announces, "I AM HERE, AND THIS IS FLAVOR" to each bite of food - and yes, experts agree olive oil is actually *good* for you. Doctors don't suggest you take daily sips of canola oil from your pantry, but they encourage you to do so from your bottle of olive oil. How cool is that? Problem was, I was ignorant in its selection.

Little Girl at the Farmer's Market
One bottle of olive oil was just like another to me. Some had pretty bottles, others were on sale. Sometimes I'd buy in bulk. Honestly? I couldn't tell the difference in any of them - didn't know there was such a thing as a difference. Until I discovered the Texas Olive Ranch. This past weekend, I met the owner, Jim Henry, and he's one righteous dude. Remember that mesquite-smoked oil at the office pizza party? My eyes have since been opened and I now use it in everything. And not just for things you'd normally use oil for. Let me explain:

This stuff is so freaking good, I now use it as a butter replacement, a cheese replacement, a mayonnaise replacement, and a flavor enhancer - that is to say, if I'm eating something - no matter what it is, I often put a shot of mesquite-smoked olive oil in just to add flavor. So far, I haven't much I *won't* put it in. I even put the orange olive oil in my pancake batter in place of the vegetable oil. IF YOU'RE GOING TO USE OIL, WHY NOT ADD FLAVOR? Its like...bottled spice. It absolutely, positively, must flow.

Here's a citizen response to my previous cross-post on the Anna Texas Forum:
"...give me a straw and a bottle of the mesquite and I will talk to you later. much later. I now consider 'drinkability' to be a realistic olive oil characteristic to be measured."
As do I, sir. As do I. Moral of my story?

If you don't want to drink the oil you're cooking with, you're using the wrong oil!

The Man in the Hat: Mr. Jim Henry
Owner of Texas Olive Ranch
Righteous Dude


dawaioser at 2010-06-08 13:22 (UTC) (Link)
I have an *official* craving for the stuff now. LOL - once I get my budget set I'll have to order some online. :)
ehowton at 2010-06-08 13:43 (UTC) (Link)
I'm guessing as much as you get out and about, you'll no doubt find some in your travels without having to resort to online ordering. But its nice to know that option is there!
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2010-06-08 16:56 (UTC) (Link)
We had an Earth Fare just open here in town. Some food savy friends drug me (begrudgingly I might add) over the weekend where I had my first experience with almond butter.

I'm sending this post on to them. Next time I'm at Earth Fare, I'll make a point to look for Texas Olive Ranch products.
ehowton at 2010-06-08 17:16 (UTC) (Link)
According to their website, they don't distribute outside of Texas.
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2010-06-08 17:20 (UTC) (Link)
Sounds like you could start running a black market operation until they start shipping outside of Texas.
ehowton at 2010-06-08 18:11 (UTC) (Link)
I'm sorry, by distribute I meant to stores already carrying it - not that they wouldn't. As far as 'black market' operations, phase one is getting the word out, which is exactly what I'm doing :D
thesweetestnote at 2010-06-08 17:45 (UTC) (Link)
Y'know there's some that don't consider El Paso a part of Texas. I think there was even a movement sometime ago to remove the county from Texas and hand it over to New Mexico. Real tiny grassroots effort that went nowhere.

I'm a cesspool of useless (probably incorrect) knowledge. LOL ;)
ehowton at 2010-06-09 01:23 (UTC) (Link)
And as long as you continue speaking with authority, no one will really question you.
thesweetestnote at 2010-06-09 20:08 (UTC) (Link)
Now that seems historically correct!
thesweetestnote at 2010-06-08 17:28 (UTC) (Link)
I LOVE olive oil! I make almost everything with it. Just made an omelet with mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, garlic and of course my beloved olive oil. Now I need to try Texas Olive Ranch.

Thinking what I'll do with it for lunch. We should start a club or something.
ehowton at 2010-06-08 18:16 (UTC) (Link)
Imagine making that same omelette with Texas Olive Ranch's GARLIC olive oil!!!
thesweetestnote at 2010-06-09 23:41 (UTC) (Link)
You sold me. You had me at GARLIC olive oil!
irulan_amy at 2010-06-08 20:37 (UTC) (Link)
And a damn fine moral it is.

It sounds like I should give whole wheat pasta another chance.
ehowton at 2010-06-09 00:44 (UTC) (Link)
ok ok ok this: Texas Olive Ranch olive oil + whole wheat pasta. Ta-freaking-da. I'm thinking a mixture of their sweet basil and garlic. Sprinkled with cracked black pepper, a little crushed red pepper, and...grated Parmesan.

Elizabeth Krumbach
princessleia2 at 2010-06-08 22:55 (UTC) (Link)
It turns out that olives and grapes like similar climates (no surprise here, hi Italy!). But this also means that Napa (and Sonoma), in addition to having world-famous wine, frequently have tasting which includes tastings of their own olive oils. Wow yum, life-changing food-wise.

I still don't like whole wheat pasta though ;)
ehowton at 2010-06-09 01:08 (UTC) (Link)
I love gastro-intestinal discoveries! And yes, you're in a GREAT PLACE TO BE food-wise.
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