Get an Oil Change at Flavors From Afar

Not that kind of change (though I do need one of those, too). Did you know that the olive oil in your cabinet might not really be extra virgin, or made in Italy, or any of the other things it claims to be on the label? Read all about it here. When you’re finished, gather up those old bottles of EVOO (couldn’t help it) and bring them to Flavors from Afar. Just say “WD-40″ at the counter, and they’ll trade your bottle for one of theirs for a 10% discount. They’ve got the good stuff, too. Check out all the different kinds here. We think you’ll notice a difference right away. Jump here for more.

Flavors From Afar announces its new “Oil Change” program, wherein customers may bring in their old or “bargain bin” olive oil, and swap it out for a new bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil for a 10% discount. Common defects of mass-produced olive oil include promoting lower-quality oil as “extra virgin”, adding nut oil to lower the cost, and labeling oil as “Imported from Italy”, when the olive oil was packed in Italy, but not produced there. For more on the olive oil issue click here. For a list of Extra Virgin Olive Oil available at Flavors From Afar, click here.

To receive the Oil Change 10% discount, customers may simply enter the store and ask for “WD – 40”, or provide code N1 at the register.

Flavors From Afar is a local interactive gourmet boutique. Featuring fabulous flavors and sumptuous settings, we invite customers to try new tastes, surround themselves with splendid ceramics and tableware, and experiment with the latest in cooking tools. Open 10-6 Monday – Saturday, 12-4 Sundays thru December 21. 214.696.2327 www.flavorsfromafar.com

15 comments on “Get an Oil Change at Flavors From Afar

  1. I tell you what. Instead of just reprinting the same innuendo-laden picture from Flavors From Afar, and instead of inferring, like them, that the Paesano’s is an inferior, phony EVOO, akin to Kroger’s store brand, and instead of being a free sales shill for them, why don’t you do some RESEARCH before you post this ridiculous stuff?

    If Flavors From Afar had done some research, they would not have posted their GUESS on their blog: “The bottle of Paesano’s has about 1/4″ of grunge at the bottom. My guess? This may be pomace oil, made from the goop left over from the 1st pressing of olive oil…”

    They would have KNOWN that Paesano is produced once a year, in October, is a first pressing EVOO, and is UNFILTERED and UNDECANTED — the olives are crushed and bottled without any further processing.

    But it, use it, report back. It’s really good stuff! Pomace oil my sweet a**!

    But, of course, if they or you did that, then neither one of you would have any reason to post the stuff you do, now would you. IJS, thanks Tristan!

  2. Bill, methinks your issue is with Flavors from Afar. We post press releases because some people want to know about sales, events, and other restaurant news.

  3. This post points out the precise problem with the olive oil controversy. Unless Billusa99 has actually visited Sicily and met the producers of Paesano, he cannot be sure that this olive oil is first pressed, unrefined olive oil, simply because it so states on the label. Because there are no labeling regulations in the US, as there are in Europe, “Extra Virgin” is simply a marketing term. The LA County Fair labels lead one to think this is an exceptional oil, but it’s not possible to tell whether the oil in this particular bottle was an award winner or not. There is no dating on the bottle. One of the root causes of this olive oil problem is the fact that the scientific test to identify olive oil impurities or defects costs $700-$800, according to my source at the Connecticut Dept. of Consumer Protection. So failing that, we have two options: follow our taste/smell, and/or know your producers.

    We’d love to invite any Side Dish’ers over to Flavors From Afar, where we’ve been offering smells of Paesano (no takers on tasting so far). We’ll definitely be using it in our olive oil tastings going forward as an example of the problems you run into when you don’t know the producers of your olive oil.

  4. @ Nancy Krabill: There no labeling regulations in the US? What about 21 CFR 102.37 (“Mixtures of edible fat or oil and olive oil”)? That would be relevant to your insinuation that Paesano contains linseed oil.

    There are also many regulations and laws in place (federal and state) to prohibit false statements on labels. If some of your innuendos about Paesano olive oil were accurate, the manufacturer and resellers of the product could get in hot water.

    You’re not offering any facts–just an assertion that the olive oils you sell for a living smell better (IYHO) than those sold by your competitor. Right or wrong, you’re not an impartial, disinterested judge of that.

    If I were you, I would consider $700-800 for testing a bargain. If you’re confident in your keen sense of smell, you ought to pony up the money for testing. If the tests backed your wild innuendos, it would be very newsworthy, impacting Paesano, their importer, and retailers nationwide (and online) who sell the product.

    Your sensitive nose and initiative would be at the heart of the story, which would be better publicity than you’ll ever get by flooding local blogs with press releases. It would bolster your credibility and undermine that of local retailers selling less expensive olive oils. That $700-800 investment would pay for itself many times over.

  5. Right you are about the labeling restrictions regarding oil content. As this story http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=98401360 points out, there has been Federal action in that area. The labeling I referred to was the classification as “Extra Virgin”, and there are no federal or Texas state standards there. Regardless of our view, pro or con, of one particular olive oil, the point remains that without standards, the public is led to purchasing something that does not have the health or taste benefits of true olive oil, pressed once, unrefined. The real deal.

  6. I have to agree with Billusa99 that the post did not deem newsworthy, as well as Huhn that F F A should put their money where their mouth is, and I will add that Sidedish is becoming more of a blog for free press whether good or bad. After reading about N9NE and now, F F A , I have no desire to go to either establishment.

  7. Krabill is backpedalling now.

    Here’s a modest proposition. If the Krabills (and D) accept, I will put $800 in escrow with D and Flavors from Afar will do the same. D will order a bottle of the Paesano oil from an Internet source outside of Dallas and submit it for testing at a mutually agreeable facility.

    If testing reveals that the Paesano olive oil contains any detectable linseed oil or – let’s be generous – any nut oil, Flavors from Afar gets its money back and I foot the bill for the testing. Likewise, if testing does not reveal the presence of linseed oil or any nut oil in the Paesano olive oil, I get my money back and Flavors from Afar picks up the tab for testing.

    Serious offer.

  8. HC; Very interesting challenge. My first reaction is bring it on. Let me check into it. Feel free to e-mail me directly by clicking on my name below.
    NN

  9. Required reading for all bloggers and readers: the actual blog post here http://www.flavorsfromafar.com/blogfromafar/. OK, welcome back!

    The subject of the post is the lack of standards in the United States for what is called “extra virgin” olive oil. In Europe, in order for olive oil to be termed Extra Virgin, it must have an oleic acidity level of .8% or less. Many consumers here buy olive oil based on an “Extra Virgin” label believing it’s an indicator of quality. That is not the case. The issue of mislabeling and irregularities in olive oil is widespread, as a simple Google search on “olive oil scandal” or other such terms reveal. In face of the lack of standards, a sensory evaluation is one way of determining quality; in fact it’s part of the test in Europe, along with the acidity test.

    At Flavors From Afar, we feature olive oils from Texas to Tuscany, we host olive oil tastings, meet producers, visit olive groves, and have participated in the harvest and pressing of olives. We monitor the marketplace to see what’s out there, and the two oils mentioned in the blog post are two examples of olive oil available in Dallas that we believe miss the mark. We stand behind the comments made in our blog post. We encourage interested parties to come and try a taste (or smell!) for themselves.

    To focus, as has been done in this string, on one particular olive oil, and to focus on whether or not an oil contains nut oil (a claim not made in the blog post) is to miss the point. For those of you who are honestly interested in the issue of lack of standards for olive oil, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact us at 214.696.2327 or contact Jim Henry of the Texas Olive Oil Council http://www.texasoliveoilcouncil.org/ .

  10. A quick summary:

    NK: “cannot be sure that this olive oil is first pressed, unrefined olive oil, simply because it so states on the label. Because there are no labeling regulations in the US…”
    Huhn: points out labeling law (21 CFR 102.37) and many regulations and laws in place (federal and state) to prohibit false statements on labels
    NK: “Right you are about the labeling restrictions regarding oil content”
    FFA blog post: “Nut oils and less expensive oils are often mixed with olive oil to increase profit margins. A nice whiff of the Paesano kicks up some olfactory nonsense that reminds me of linseed oil. No kidding!”
    NK here: “To focus, as has been done in this string, on one particular olive oil, and to focus on whether or not an oil contains nut oil (a claim not made in the blog post)” — really? You strongly imply that Paesano has mixed in linseed oil; indeed, if I was Paesano’s lawyer, I’d tell them they had a claim against you for product disparagement.
    So, make a statement, backtrack from it. Get confronted with a legit offer to put your $ and rep where your blog is and ignore it. Thanks, though, as I now have another store to avoid.

  11. My offer stands. I’ve also extended it privately to the Krabills and Nancy Nichols. Nichols is game, but the Krabills want to change the subject and move on.

    Their unwillingness to put their smears to the test speaks for itself.

  12. Hey folks – One more time. Short and sweet. We’re passionate about good olive oil. We sell it at our store. We’re passionate about honest standards for labeling it as “extra virgin”. They don’t exist in the US. We’ve provided links to articles documenting the problem, and encouraged you to search for more.

    We stand by our sensory evaluation. Read our words here http://www.flavorsfromafar.com/blogfromafar . We invite all comers to try.

    We’re not in the business of investigation or enforcement of the law. That’s the FDA’s job.

    We’re working with the Texas Olive Oil Council on the issue of deceptive “extra virgin” labeling. It’s a big issue, and one that we care about. Interested? Give us a call.

  13. Ms. Krabill… RE your statement of : “To focus, as has been done in this string, on one particular olive oil, and to focus on whether or not an oil contains nut oil (a claim not made in the blog post) is to miss the point.”

    One can ONLY focus on the example is that you used in YOUR blog post. Secondly, I did NOT get the info I gave you from the label. I got it from the producer, a cooperative in Sicily. Thirdly, it’s glaringly obvious that you have chosen not to address, whatsoever, the facts of the EVOO being unfiltered and undecanted, and have still left your silly guess on your blog, inc. the “guess” that it’s pomace oil.

    Lastly, I will note the aforementioned fact that it is YOUR company selling $40+ olive oils and it is YOUR blog post that put Paesano in the picture, for a post you claim is now not being discussed “correctly.” Pot, meet kettle.

    Well, I “guess” you are just going to have to get used to the fact that, if you flog silly innuendoto SideDish, and it gets regurgitated verbatim, then YOU are going to be called on the carpet for sloppy guessing.

    I will also note that you are the ones flogging wine collars that make plonk taste like premium wine. Might I suggest that you expand that scientific fact-based business by doing same to EVOOs that you deem cr@p. I’m “guessing” it will further your reputation and expertise in the foodie community.