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WHAT DO WE THINK ABOUT OLIVE OIL COMING FROM ITALY?
Recently, the New York Times published a devastating article highlighting fraudulent practices in Italy regarding olive oil exportation. It is not news to us. We have been hearing about this for years.
It demonstrates the dichotomy that exists in Italy regarding the production of olive oil and standards of food production in Italy. On the one hand, this is the country that is in the forefront of preservation of quality by starting the slow food movement. There are thousands of producers and farmers in Italy dedicated to preserving traditional methods of farming and production. The locavore movement is alive and well along with organic and biodynamic cultivation of olives. Walk on any of these estates and the passion is real. There is an increased interest in single varietal olive oil as well as special blends that have made the tasting of excellent olive oils more interesting than ever. On the other hand there are the bottom feeders in Italy, selling unscrupulously to importers who care only about price. Apparently, these exporters are responsible for 69% of “Italian” olive oil purchased in this country.
What this whole discussion illuminates is the need to know your vendor. Buying off the supermarket shelves is not a good option but, again, this is not news. Broders’ business is expertise in Italian food and Italian products only. That is the only business we are in. We make it a mission to visit olive oil groves and mills, to know our exporters and importers well and to stock only high quality olive oil. Check out the label and look for traceability such as lot numbers and harvest dates and olive varietals listed. Talk to you vendor. When bottling our own oil, we are very careful. As a result of losing a recent supplier, it took 6 months to source and replace our house extra virgin olive oil. We went through our busy Christmas season last year without Broders’ bottled oil for sale because we hadn’t found a supplier in whom we could trust. We now have house oil back in supply with extra virgin olive oil that is sourced 100% from Italian olives.
The bottom line is that, if the price is too good to believe, it is probably an oil not to be believed. Only buy from a reputable vendor. For Broders’ select oils to purchase on-line, click here.
A south Minneapolis family-owned restaurant has been serving up homemade Italian dishes for more than 30 years. Now, it has seen business booming more than usual – thanks to a popular TV show’s recent stop.
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Broders' Cucina Italiana
2308 West 50th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55410-2202
Broders' Pasta Bar
5000 Penn Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55419-1035
Hours: We open every evening at 4:30pm
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2221 West 50th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55419