What Chefs Know About Texas Olive Oil – And You Should Too
By Morris Raymond
There is a long, standing tradition that views artists in any arena as being somewhat eccentric & hypercritical of everything they do in the name of their art, and chefs are no exception. Chefs craft their technique & style over the course of years, and part of what they do is zero in on what will take their cooking to the next level, with a current favorite ingredient including Texas olive oil.
The Lone Star State has been making a name for itself as a producer of some of the finest olive oil in the U.S., and chefs have been singing its praises for some time. Considering Texas has been a player in the food industry for well over a century, it’s no real shock that they would make their way into the kitchen beyond traditional beef & produce. However, olive oil isn’t something you’d expect from Texas.
Texas has a wide variation of ecoregions including Piney Woods, South Texas Brush Country, High Plains, and Gulf Coast Prairies & Marshes. In other words, climate varies when you move around the state, and understanding how one climate works with cultivating olives means the difference between having something to harvest & simply having sticks in the ground.
This, though, may be the reason that chefs have been adopting Texas olive oil as a kitchen standard. The product is born out of adversity. The oil has a richness & complexity that is homegrown & nuanced all at the same time. This depth of flavor is, in many ways, a holy grail for chefs looking to separate themselves from their counterparts.
Professional kitchens also understand that when you’re working with a beautiful product, it’s important to understand that quality always matters. Sure, any chef could buy a bulk jug of oil from a club store, and in the end, their clientele may not know the difference. But as with any true artist, he or she would know that low-grade oil is unacceptable.
Many chefs also understand that the consumer base that comes through their restaurants is more health-conscious than ever, demanding healthier options & ingredients. Olive oil has many noted health benefits, with studies noting its positive impact on heart health & even recent news about helping prevent cognitive decline, which is a possible game-changer for ailments such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Finally, working with a top-notch product can make chefs think of unique pairings that will light up the culinary world. After all, any artist loves to push boundaries with his or her ingredients. Even the traditional & somewhat mundane can become mind-bogglingly great with a slight tweak. For example, maybe you’re a chef elsewhere in the U.S. who wants to do something different with Texas brisket. Adding a bit of Texas olive oil to your rub may be just the ticket.
Texas olive oil is making its name in professional kitchens all over the country, and with producers taking great care to make an excellent product & actively involved in keeping the industry well-regulated, it’s a product that should make its way into your home kitchen.
Click here for Texas olive oil from one of the state’s premier producers.
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