It isn’t every day you get to attend a virtual event that features both Alissa Mattei and Riccardo Zanni, but I recently was invited to participate, thanks to Flavor Your Life and Mom’s Meet and it was just as fun as I imagined!
Alissa Mattei – Alissa Mattei is an organic chemist, professional taster, recipe developer, and consultant. She has published numerous scientific articles and patents, has worked as a consultant for a multitude of companies and associations, and has organized tastings and scientific courses around the world. Additionally, she writes recipes from Tuscany and other Italian regions that incorporate olive oil. Today, she is the President of the Knoil Association, a non-profit who shares the culture of extra virgin olive oil, as well as an AIFO panel leader.
I loved watching Alissa sharing how recipes work together to make amazing dishes. I can’t wait to try some of her recipes she was so knowledgeable and informative.
Riccardo Zanni – Chef Zanni has four generations of cooking experience from his family, which has owned a restaurant since 1934. His experience includes working in a Michelin star restaurant and managing the food business at the Grand Hotel Palace of Rome (five luxury stars). He has traveled all over the world, cooking traditional Italian dishes and learning other cooking styles. Chef Zanni has taught cooking in Italy since 2005, including at the European Bachelor of The Cordon Bleu in Florence. Currently, he serves as the chef of Bonifiche Ferraresi, one of the largest agricultural producers in Italy.
Riccardo is so creative in the kitchen, his world travel makes him fun to watch while he is creating masterpieces. I was excited to try the extra virgin olive oil he used while demonstrating some of his recipes. His food looked amazing! I learned to cook olive oil on a low temperature to ensure the flavor stays in the ingredients!
Some information about the Flavor Your Life Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Extra virgin olive oil is made by pressing olive oil, without heat or chemicals; it’s known as the first cold pressed olive oil.
- ● Olive oils are tested for peroxide values. Lower values indicate fresher oil and more rapid processing.
- ● Extra virgin olive oil is virtually free of acidity—below 0.8%. If the percentage of oleic acid (fatty acid) is too high, it indicates improper production and rancidity.
- ● A panel of trained, expert tasters tests for taste defects and the presence of positive attributes of fruitiness, bitterness, and spiciness. If the oil doesn’t have the signature fruity taste and harmonious balance, it won’t receive an Extra Virgin rating.
- ● Extra virgin olive oil has a high smoking point of 400°F, so it is suitable for cooking and baking.
- ● Between use, store your oil somewhere dark and cool (around 57°F, if possible), not on the counter or near a stove, and never in the refrigerator. Keep the lid screwed on tight, and use your oil within six months of opening.
For the rice I used Le Stagioni d’ Italia.