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November 27, 2014

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November 14, 2014

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A 3-year old Explains Olive Oil Production

Our Spartan-in-training explains how olive oil was made using a manual press from about 80-90  years ago. Things have changed since then, with much of the production still done using mechanical equipment, but powered by diesel engines.

Be sure to watch until the end for the best part ;-)

 

 

 

November 03, 2014

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New Pour Tops on Stoneware Bottles

It's been about 3 weeks since the first orders were delivered and we are starting to get some good feedback. So far, we've gotten great reviews on the website, the bottle, the packaging, and the olive oil itself. One piece of feedback has been about pouring from the bottle. When the bottle is used without a pourer, there can be a tendency for the oil to drip down the sides. This usually isn't much of an issue, but on our bottle with the linen paper label, the oil mars the appearance. 

So, we've thought through this and we are going to offer a built-in pour top on our bottles going forward. This will be the default option starting today. If you already have your own pourer, you can still elect to get the nice wooden cap that has been the standard so far. Either option will be available as a gift with a wax-dipped seal.

Note: If you ordered a bottle before the pour tops became available and would like a pour top for your bottle, please let us know.

Please let us know if you have any additional feedback that would make the Spartan Oil package or overall consumer experience better. As a new company, we really appreciate and value the opinions and feedback of our first consumers.

Thank you!

 

Here's a photo of the new pour top:

 

October 28, 2014

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Spartan Oil - Photo of the Actual Olive Oil

A few of you had a great suggestion about adding a photo of the actual olive oil to the website. Interestingly, color isn't necessarily an indicator of the quality of the oil (so say the scientists), but the deep green color of Spartan Oil certainly enhances the visual appeal of a dish.

Anyway, here's the photo of the oil. Enjoy!

Spartan Fried Eggs

Recently, while on a trip for a family wedding (absolutely beautiful and amazing and any other superlative available), we went to breakfast at Cracker Barrel. I've been trying to pay a little more attention to what I eat which, of course, is the exact opposite of what you should do at a place like Cracker Barrel. Thankfully, Cracker Barrel has some pretty decent breakfast options (turkey sausage and bacon, fresh fruit, yogurt, etc.).

So, I asked the lovely server for a fried egg, turkey sausage, and a side of fresh fruit. 

"How do you want that egg--easy, over?"

"Well, let's go with over."

"Sure, honey."

When the breakfast arrived, the eggs looked remarkably clean, as if they'd been fried in a pan with no oil or seasonings. They were... okay... No match for a Spartan-style fried egg.

Spartan Breakfast

We got home and the first breakfast we made were fried eggs in Spartan Oil. So delicious with crispy edges on the whites and a light coating of olive oil all over. Delectable.

Here's how to fry an egg Spartan-style.

What you'll need

  • Frying pan (preferably non-stick)
  • Flipper/Spatula
  • Spoon
  • Small bowl
  • Egg
  • Spartan Oil! 
  • Salt
  • Pepper

How to do it

  • Place about 2-3 heaping tablespoons of olive oil in the pan. It should be enough to form a little splashing pool for your egg. You know, enough to stomp around in, but not enough to get soaked and drown.
  • Heat the pan to a medium temperature, making sure that the oil doesn't start to smoke.  
  • Before you add the egg, be aware that the oil will splatter. This is what makes the lovely bubbly texture on the egg white, but it can burn you. Use a splatter screen or something to protect your arms. Also, move your mail to a counter that isn't adjacent to the frying pan. Trust me on this.
  • Crack a single egg into a small bowl. Do this to ensure that you get a whole egg with the yolk intact. If you happen to break the yolk, use the egg for another recipe. 
  • Pour the egg from the bowl into the pan SLOWLY. Avoid splashing the oil.
  • After the egg starts to set up (about 30 seconds), give the pan a little shake to see if the egg separates from the pan. If it's still sticking, gently give it a nudge with your spatula. Once it separates from the pan, it should glide around the pan like an figure skater--gracefully and with ease. 
  • This next step is WHAT MAKES IT GOOD. Take the spoon and scoop up a little of the hot oil from the pan. Gently pour a little of the hot oil over the top of the egg. This will help firm up the top of the egg, so that when you flip it over later, you won't break the yolk. Repeat this a couple of times until the yolk starts to form a little white layer. NOW YOU'RE COOKING WITH LOVE!
  • Okay, here's the tricky part. Take out your spatula and prepare for precision flipping. Gently slide the spatula under the now mostly-white egg until you've got about half the egg on the flipper. Now is not the time to impress your family with your aerial flipping skills. Pick up the egg until the bottom edge is just out of the oil. Quickly, but smoothly, roll the egg from the flipper into the pan. This may take some practice, but eating the mistakes is the best part. 
  • Give the egg about 30 to 60 seconds to cook and then do the pan shaking/spatula nudging step again. 
  • Take the egg out of the pan with the spatula (don't slide it from the pan to a plate). Let some of the oil drip off into the pan, but leave a decent amount on the egg. It's olive oil, after all, and it's good for you. And it's delicious with a piece of crusty white bread.
  • That's it. You've done it. Marvel at your work and allow your primal instincts to rejoice in your egg-frying abilities. You were fearless and you were bold--the Ancient Spartans would be proud. Take a photo. Share it. Let others envy your breakfast. Don't forget to eat it.

 

October 12, 2014

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Chasing a dream...

Dear Friends: 

As many of you may know, I decided to make a career (and life) change this year. At the end of June, I left my position as CEO of a management consulting and foreign language services company. After nearly 15 years with the company, it was a bittersweet moment. It was so tough to move on from something I'd spent my entire working career on, but the persistent urges to start something of my own became too much to ignore. 

And so began the chase of a childhood dream. During summers spent in a small Greek village near Sparta, I'd tag along with my grandfather in a mustard yellow Datsun pick-up truck as he tended to his garden, crops, and olive trees. He'd place a gigantic water tank in the bed of the pick-up and head to the center of town where the farmer water station was located to fill the tank. I still remember how the little pick-up struggled to accelerate with the load of water on the back. When we finally made it to the field, I watched with curiosity as my grandfather took such care to water each and every newly-planted olive tree. The little twigs seemed so puny compared to the existing mature trees--some hundreds of years old. Over the years, I'd learn so much more about the trees, the process, and the importance of paying attention to the details. I tried to soak in as much as I could from my grandfather and the other villagers. It was in those fields and in the village that it was born--the dream to carry-on the family "business". 

Today, the dream is reality. I'm so excited to share with you the news of Spartan Oil. Decades in the making, Spartan Oil is the same fantastic extra virgin olive oil that our family has produced from the same trees for at least nine generations. The oil is the highest-quality olive oil available anywhere with a flavor that is bold yet smooth. It is as pure and authentic as you can find. But don't take my word for it, try it out and let me know what you think! 


We'd be so grateful if you would take a moment to place an order, but even more appreciative if you could share this with your friends and family. And encourage them to pass on the word! We're not blessed with a massive marketing budget, so we're relying on word-of-mouth! 

Here is how to find us:

Web: www.spartan-oil.com
Twitter: @SpartanOliveOil
Facebook: facebook.com/SpartanOil 

Thank you for reading and for your support. May the trees in your fields always be fruitful!

-Pericles 

Founder, Spartan Oil

 

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