Monthly Archives: January 2012

  • Tom Mueller Visits Lucero Tasting Room

    January 30, 2012

    Tom Mueller Visits Lucero Tasting Room:

    For those who had the privilege of meeting author Tom Mueller this past month at Lucero’s tasting room, a new understanding of olive oil was reached. The many facets of the olive oil industry were discussed, including the heights and richness of olive oil all the while reaching the depths of an unregulated situation and the dark side of organized criminals.

    Tom Mueller - Extra Virginity

    Tom, author of Extra Virginity: the Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil, presented to a small crowd at Lucero Olive Oil’s tasting room on a Wednesday evening, joined them on a tour of the mill with me and signed 72 copies of his book.

    Watch Tom's presentation on our Lucero You Tube Channel, or read on for a summary.

    It is baffling that great and miserable oils can be sold under the same label of extra virgin. Tom's book dives into the depths of the olive oil industry, evaluating what makes good oil so divine and the corrupted business of adultered olive oil.

    He has found that throughout the world, including countries such as Spain, Italy and the United States, many companies put very little olive oil in bottles labeled as extra virgin olive oil. He used terms such as deodorized, refined and mistreated to describe what some olive oils go through before being bottled and put on shelves.

    Simply and powerfully, this book could potentially “change the game” of olive oil.

    Unfortunately, it’s a game that needs to be changed. Tom, as well as many others like myself and Lucero Olive Oil, would love for the book to raise awareness and celebrate what he calls the “good guys” of the industry, such as Lucero Olive Oil.

    “It’s hard to change 1,000 years of prejudice,” Tom said while explaining why 300 million olive oil consumers will probably be the leader in the industry change. It’s about awareness on the part of the consumer of what the good stuff is, and a willingness to pay for it.

    He hopes that the United States, as well as other countries, can establish a quality standard for extra virgin olive oil to avoid olive oil becoming an anonymous commodity rather than a high end product.

    “Good oil is easy to make, excellent oil is hard to make.”

    Lucero Olive Oil’s products are labeled with the California Olive Oil Council’s seal, certifying our oils as extra virgin. The COOC’s chemical standard test and tasting panel is one of the only ways to certify California olive oil as extra virgin.

    One of the things that we really find interesting about Tom, and really valuable, is the passion that he shares in the olive oil industry.

    We encourage Lucero fans, and all those who want to learn more about the often overlooked and unsung heros in olive oil, to watch Tom's presentation, or read Extra Virginity! It's a great read, thoroughly entertaining and truly an engrossing story. There is a limited number of signed copies available from Lucero, so call us to reserve yours.

  • Lucero Style Pork Chops

    January 28, 2012


    • ½ pound fennel bulbs, trimmed and cut into ½-inch wedges
    • ½ pound carrots (about 5 medium) trimmed and halved lengthwise
    • ½ pound red potatoes, rinsed and quartered
    • ½ pound parsnips, trimmed and halved lengthwise
    • 1 medium red onion, cut into 1-inch wedges, root end left intact
    • 12 garlic cloves, peeled
    • 5 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
    • 5 tablespoons Lucero Manzanillo olive oil
    • Coarse salt and ground pepper
    • 6 bone-in pork loin chops
    • ½ fresh lemon (or 2 tablespoons lemon juice)



    1. Preheat oven to 450°. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss fennel, carrots, potatoes, parsnips, onion and garlic with 3 tablespoons oregano, 3 tablespoons Lucdero olive oil (more if needed!); squeeze lemon juice over the top; season with salt and pepper. Roast until vegetables are tender and browned in spots, about 35-40 minutes.
    2. In the meantime take a large skillet and heat 2 tablespoons Lucero olive oil over medium-high. Season pork chops with salt and pepper and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons oregano. In batches, cook until cooked through about 4 minutes per side.

  • Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Mozzarella

    January 21, 2012


    • Coarse salt
    • 3/4 pound rigatoni, or other short tubular pasta
    • 2 pounds plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
    • 1 tablespoon Lucero Fig balsamic vinegar
    • 3 tablespoons Lucero Manzanillo Extra Virgin olive oil
    • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
    • 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
    • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, diced


    1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente, according to package instructions; drain.
    2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine tomatoes, Lucero Fig balsamic vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; set aside.
    3. In a small skillet, heat Lucero Manzanillo Extra Virgin Olive oil over low heat. Add garlic; cook, stirring often, until tender and just beginning to take on color, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in red-pepper flakes.
    4. Stir garlic mixture into reserved tomato mixture. Add parsley, oregano, mozzarella, and pasta; toss.
    5. Add more Lucero Manzanillo Extra Virgin Olive Oil to taste J


    January 15, 2012

    DATE: Sunday, January 15, 2012




    Corning CA - The olive oil industry’s new “game changer” author and investigative reporter Tom Mueller will be visiting Lucero Olive Oil’s tasting room in Corning on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 for a brief presentation and book signing of his new book, “Extra Virginity: the Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil.”

    Mueller is well known for his 2007 New Yorker article, “Slippery Business: the trade in adulterated olive oil.”

    Mueller’s book, “Extra Virginity: the Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil” was released in late 2011 making a remarkably huge splash in the food industry.

    According to Mueller’s blog,, the book exposes a story of fraud, deception and crime in the world of olive oil and defends the oils that deserve to be called “extra-virgin.”

    “We are honored to host Tom at the Lucero tasting room. We share the same passion as Tom and believe his new book has the potential to be the ultimate game changer in not only the California olive oil industry, but worldwide as well,” said Dewey Lucero, co-owner of Lucero Olive Oil.

    Mueller fell in love with the romantic side of olive oil, and since it has become his passion. He advocates knowing where your olive oil comes from and wanted to visit the Lucero Family to get to know them and learn more about their olive groves, mill and taste their oils, as well as learn more about the "Olive City, Corning California."

    The event will begin at 5 pm in the Lucero Tasting Room in Corning, with a brief introduction by Lucero and a presentation from Mueller followed by a spectator question and answer session. A mill tour will then be available, as well as media interviews with Mueller. Following will be a book signing where fifty copies of Extra Virginity will be available to be signed by Mueller.

    A limited quantity of signed books will be available for preorder by phone beginning Monday, January 16th. Call 877-330-2190 to reserve a signed book.

    In addition to meeting the author and receiving a tour of the olive oil mill, guests will enjoy an evening of hors d'oeuvres and olive oil tasting. The store will also be open to guests to purchase Lucero olive oils, vinegars, tapenades, mustards and other fine products.


    For more information, contact
    Lucero Olive Oil, LLC
    [email protected]

    or visit
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