Experience Your EVOOlution

closeup of an olive branch with leaves and olives, an out-of-focus countryside scene is the background

By Jon Bogart

Wasn’t it just yesterday that we brought in the New Year, 2020, with resolutions to make positive changes for our bodies and mind? Little did we know that we were in store for changes beyond our wildest expectations. And now, more than a year later, we are finally working our way out of the Covid 19-pandemic.

We are aware that there is much to do to restructure, revitalize and restore our lives for optimum health. The benefits of a healthier lifestyle have become very apparent – we crave the ability to socialize and exercise, and we realize the importance of maintaining a strong immune system. Given that “we are what we eat,” it follows that food products that are fresh and natural, enriched with antioxidants and vitamins are the best choices for mind and body strength and longevity.

closeup of olive oil pouring from a bottle into a small glass bowl with olives and stainless steel kitchen utensils nearby

The Mediterranean Diet

These facts are universal, and various cultural lifestyles and cuisines create numerous options to add flavor to those things that we savor. Today’s most popular diet is inspired by the eating habits of Greece, Italy and Spain in the 1960s – the Mediterranean diet. Its basic aspects include a proportionately high consumption of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits and vegetables, along with moderate amounts of fish, dairy products and wine.

The American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association recommend the Mediterranean diet as a healthy lifestyle choice to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, respectively. Meanwhile, top chefs are sharing recipes using EVOO, an acronym for Extra Virgin Olive Oil popularized by celebrity chef Rachel Ray.

In studies conducted by a group of chemists from the University of Milan, it was concluded that 1,000 substances are present in extra virgin olive oil. These substances are rich in antioxidants that help absorb Vitamins A, D, E and K. EVOO is considered the purest form of olive oil. It is a high grade of unrefined oil that has a distinct fruity flavor. It is cold-pressed and must pass a rigorous series of tests to be certified as Extra Virgin.

California’s Own Olive Oil

There are several California brands of EVOO, including one whose family owned and operated story adds enrichment to the character of its premium organic olive oil and additional food products. It’s the Bariani family, whose particular care of the entire extraction process, from the tending of the orchard to the bottling of the oil ensures quality over quantity.

The Bariani family had lived in the Lombardy region of Northern Italy, where they established a reputation of excellence as entrepreneurs and artisans with high family ideals. They emigrated to the Sacramento, California region in 1989 and purchased a ranch with mature olive trees. Relying on his metal-working background, the father, Angelo, built his own press and crusher to produce olive oil only for family and friends. With the encouragement of those friends, the Bariani family started its own olive oil company.

A dark glass bottle with a white label reading Bariani California Extra Virgin Olive Oil, set against a white background
(Courtesy of Bariani)

The Bariani family is committed to producing an authentic Extra Virgin Olive Oil from their Mission and Manzanillo olives. Uniquely, they press and bottle all of their oil at the farm.

So, as we enter a new normal – as stores and restaurants reopen and travel destinations are explored – healthy living can get an extra lift with the best of the best olive oil, EVOO. There are many brands of EVOO sourced in California. Bariani, with its familial Italian roots, sustainably produces an authentic premium oil which is comparable to the finest of European olive oils.

Bariani products are available at finer specialty food stores such as Bristol Farms and can be ordered for at-your-door delivery through the company’s website.

Live well. Eat well. Think healthy. Oh so good for you… EVOO.

Also by Jon Bogart… “Sip, Savor and Stay Safe

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