Is That Olive Oil Really Extra Virgin? Lawsuit Alleges Otherwise.

I am one that believes in credibility – and if you are a trusted brand and say that your olive oil is extra virgin, well then, I tend to believe you.  Especially when we are paying top dollar, right?   How upsetting it was to learn that consumers have been duped, as discussed in a lawsuit filed by various restaurateurs and prominent chefs against some leading olive oil brands.  Allegedly, many well known brands including Bertolli, Fillipo Bario, Colavita and Pompeian have been selling olive oil branded as extra virgin but, according to the lawsuit, they were anything but.  Even Rachael Ray’s beloved brand has been named as one of the olive oil offenders.

Currently filed in California and seeking class action status, this lawsuit is in response to a UC Davis study which showed that many olive oils that sought “extra virgin” status for mark-up purposes, clearly were not.   It really has to make you think about what and where your ingredients come from and if they are, indeed, what they allege to be.

You can read more on the lawsuit HERE.  After all this hoopla, I think that I will be purchasing my extra virgin olive oil from the Italian Market in Philadelphia.  At least there I know they sell the genuine product.

And The Winner Is…

Many Congrats to the Bertolli “Into The Heart of Italy” winner – KAREN!

Karen – make sure to email me your address and you will have to tell us what slow roasted dinner you made with this fabulous “Into The Heart Of Italy” prize pack!

Go Into The Heart of Italy One Last Time

Have you been watching the Bertolli “Into The Heart of Italy” series that features Rocco DiSpirito, Marisa Tomei and Dan Cortese?  For the webisode finale, they encounter a knife wielding butcher, “to beef or not to beef” and Tuscan Cowboys.  Yes, you heard me right – COWBOYS – IN ITALY – who knew?

Bertolli and reached out to Cooking In Stilettos to give the readers the chance to win a prize pack* totaling $125 and let me tell you what a gorgeous prize pack this is.  Check out the pick of the goodies that you will be using in your own kitchen to recreate some amazing Italian meals.


The prize pack contains:

  • 5.5 Quart Enamel Cast Iron Dutch Oven
  • A Crate & Barrel cutting board
  • Crate & Barrel organic bamboo utensil pack
  • Crate & Barrel pasta bowls
  • Coupons for free Bertolli frozen meals
  • Bertolli wine pairing guide

Here’s the fun stuff – how to win:

You have to watch the Into The Heart of Italy episode posted here and let me know what your favorite scene was.  

Want additional entries? 

  1. Tweet this post (and leave me a comment knowing you did so)
  2. Post this webisode on your blog with a link to Cooking In Stilettos and (and leave an additional comment with the link to your blog post)
  3. Follow @Bertolli on twitter (and leave yet another comment).

Seriously – that’s 4 chances to win this prize pack – how cool is that.  Contest closes Saturday, June 5, 2010 and a winner will be picked at random.  Make sure to leave your email for me and the winner will have this huge prize pack delivered to them courtesy of the great people at Bertolli.

Many thanks to Bertolli, Rocco DiSpirito, Marisa Tomei and Dan Cortese for taking us Into The Heart Of Italy.


*Disclosure:  Bertolli was kind enough to provide a prize pack for Cooking In Stilettos to photograph and “test drive.” 

Bertolli Goes Into The Heart of Italy

Bertolli is one of those brands that I trust, use often and adore.  See, while I often can make my own sauce from scratch thanks to some quick learned recipes early in my culinary journey, I often keep a couple jars in the pantry to use in a pinch (like when I made my Eggs in Hell this weekend (recipe coming soon).  Bertolli reached out to a number of Food Bloggers to try about their Easy Dinners and invited Cooking In Stilettos to participate.  They were premiering a sneak peek of their Into the Heart of Italy webisodes during a Sunday night episode of Desperate Housewives so how I could I not.  Thanks to Bertolli, not only were we able to sample one of their delish dinners, but also we received recipes from Rocco Dispirito, a gorgeous wine aerator and wine pairing suggestions.

I tried the Bertolli Italian Sausage Stuffed Shells.  Making stuffed shells can be labor intensive at times, but having an option that I can do on a busy weeknight after a long day out and about,  now that sounded fabulous.  Bertolli has provided a host of options for dinner and a couple are on my radar to try.  The Roasted Pork and Cavatappi Pasta sounds amazing and the Chianti Braised Beef and Rigatoni sounds heavenly.  Jazz it up with some parmesan cheese and fresh Italian flat leaf parsley and dinner is on the table quick.


Check out the Into The Heart Of Italy webisodes starring Rocco Dispirito, Marisa Tomei and Dan Cortese as they travel throughout Italy on a culinary journey.


Many thanks to Bertolli for inviting Cooking In Stilettos to participate and, of course, thanks for an amazing stress free dinner!

**FTC Disclosure:  Bertolli provided the recipes; wine aerator and gift card for purchase of a Bertolli Dinner.