Monday, September 12, 2011

An Olive Oil Education: "A Taste of the Good Life" at The Greek Village Inn

When my husband and I made our original life altering drive into California, we entered the state from the North traveling on Route 97 and then connecting to I-5.  Our conversation on that first monumental drive went something like this:

Me: oh my God it’s snowing, how can it be snowing, we have to go home!

Husband: I think it’s just the elevation, yeah, it has to be the elevation.

Me:  but we’re in California!

2hrs later

Me: what are those trees?

Husband: I don’t know maybe Oranges?

Me: they don’t look like oranges, look at all the little ones in white tubes, what are they?

Husband:  maybe nuts, I think they can grow almonds here.

Me:  really wow, almonds, that’s cool.

And thus the idiotic conversation of two New Yorkers entering a state that can actually grow things, lots of things, things that even New York big chain supermarkets don’t always carry.  Those trees, for those of you that don’t know, were olive trees, which I now know are abundant in California and specifically in this part of the state.

So the irony of now, a year later, being invited to an olive oil tasting and dinner put on by STAR Fines Foods olive oil, is not at all lost on me.  Along with the Olive Oil that gave them their start, the company also imports and sells pepperoncini, anchovies, Onions, Capers, vinegars and much more.  This summer they debuted their first grown-in-California olive oil, and  as part of STAR’s “A Taste of the Good Life” tour, I was lucky enough to be invited to a dinner and olive oil tasting at the Greek Village Inn here in Sacramento featuring a six-course tasting menu created by Greek Village Inn Chef Matthew Martinez.

To say I was thrilled is a complete understatement.  Not only did I get to try out a restaurant that I had never been to, I also got to meet members of Sacramento’s incredible food blog community and spend a few hours eating and talking about food, blogs and everything in between.  STAR and The Greek Village Inn put together a wonderful  evening and I think highlighted the beautiful relationship between olive oil and great food quite well.  The fact that I am Italian and sometimes feel as if I was born with the taste of Olive Oil in my mouth just heightened my enjoyment of this event even more.  Some of the other bloggers that I had the pleasure of sitting near and sharing wonderful conversation with were: Charlotte from The Grand Adventures of a Food and Wine Diva, Dawn from Kitchen Travels, Doug from Javaholic, and Stephanie from 52 Kitchen Adventures, plus many more.  Special thanks to Catherine over at Munchie Musings for getting it all together.

And now for the Food!

Along with the full menu we also had a wine pairing from, Sean Minor Wines, supplying some very unique wines.  I never thought to get any good wine shots, but you can see by the stems of the wine glasses surrounding the food just how many we got to try.

I know, I know and yes you should be jealous.  Now I don't know if you can recreate this evening exactly but you are more than welcome to try.  If you are lucky enough to live in the Sacramento area head on over to The Greek Village Inn and give it a try.

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