I'm Italian in background, Sicilian to be exact, and over the past few years I've tried to observe at least part of the diet that my ancestors lived, the so-called Mediterranean Diet. Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood as much as possible, and not too much meat. The cooking and salad oil that is the lynchpin of the diet is extra-virgin olive oil.
Purchasing a good quality olive oil at a reasonable price is not that easy these days. There are many brands on the market, and it's not unusual for fraud to be committed in the labeling and contents of the oils. That's why I was glad to hear about a course that is being offered this summer through the UBC Continuing Studies Department called Healthy Mediterranean Cuisine.
Antonella Manca-Mangoff is one of the instructors. She has been recognized as a professional olive oil taster by the Italian National Association of Olive Oil and she is the founder of the Olive Oil Council of Canada. She'll take you through all the right questions you should ask and steps you should take to select your olive oil. The other half of this dynamic duo for the course is Eric Arrouze, a passionate chef who will teach you how to prepare healthy multi-course meals with recipes from countries such France, Spain, Morocco, Turkey, Italy and Greece.
This course was so popular the first section sold out, but the good news is that there is now being a second section offered, July 26-30, 2010, 12 noon to 3 pm. Just click on this link for more info or to register.