E8: 🫒Surprising Olive Oil Benefits, Building Better Burgers

Plus: SunnyD seltzer, white jeans 101, why McDonald's Coke tastes best

Happy almost Memorial Day Weekend! Thanks for being a loyal reader (and, welcome back to those of you who may have been our original subscribers). 

Let’s get to today’s diet of healthy, snackable news: as always, The Skinny read consists of valuable (and entertaining) need-to-know items to improve your mood/mind/mojo. What we’re covering:

  • The latest on olive oil benefits, and how to tell if yours is fresh. Plus, martinis, coffee and single-dose shots and why this is the best Father’s Day gift

  • Our expertly curated guide to wearing white jeans, which are comin’ in hot for Memorial Day weekend

  • Building a better-for-you burger for your weekend grill fest 

  • After seeing no fewer than 27 tennis-y dresses and skirts this week in sunny NYC, serving up a stylish tennis feed to follow

  • Bevvy report: some ’80s kids drinks are now hard seltzers, and why McDonald’s Coke tastes the best  

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Olive oil report

Elixir of the gods

Photo courtesy of Corto. So purple-y!

The Skinny: From Athens’ olive trees—mythological descendants of the first tree planted by Athena as a gift to the city—to Tuscany's fragrant hillsides, home to wild boars and resplendent with silver olive leaves—this fruit is a living legend for its ability to heal, protect and seduce.

Including being a known aphrodisiac since ancient times, it seems there’s nothing olive oil can’t do…whether fighting inflammation, improving cardiovascular health, or possibly sharpening your brain. We recently learned from Spicewell founder Raina Kumra about how (and why) your pantry should serve as a medicine cabinet, and along those lines, we have some headline news for the lads: apparently a dose of olive oil weekly has also been proven to “vastly improve a man’s sexual prowess.” (thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties that benefit your blood vessels). 

To learn more about olive oil freshness, we had the opportunity to discuss with Corto Master Miller David Garci-Aguirre.   

We’ve actually spent time olive harvesting at a friend’s Tuscan groves, so while hardly olive oil virgins, we were surprised about some of what we learned from Garci-Aguirre. First, apparently A LOT of olive oils on-shelf may already be rancid. According to Garci-Aguirre, every oil will eventually go rancid. “You can’t stop oxidation, but you can slow it down,” he says. How? (This, we knew). Protecting it from light, heat, air.

Tips on how to know if olive oil is fresh, and if it is in fact “extra-virgin”:

  • Trust your senses. Once you experience fresh olive oil, you’ll know what it smells and tastes like. “Just like fresh juice tastes like fresh fruit, your olive oil should smell and taste fresh,” he says. “Aromas of fresh herbs, fresh fruits, and fresh grasses should instantly remind you of the plants in and around your garden.”

  • Learn as much as you can about the brands you’re purchasing (as we’re doing here). Corto’s process “goes from tree to cellar in 8 hours or less.” The first and most important step, says Garci-Aguirre, starts at the grove, where they “quickly harvest in the fall when olives turn from green to violet and polyphenols are at their highest.” This is key, since many other producers wait until the olives turn darker simply because it’s easier (and less expensive) to harvest at that time. 

Remember the counterfeit olive oil scandal from several years ago, where investigators uncovered an elaborate operation that resulted in dozens of arrests and 25,000 liters of oil—marketed as Made in Italy and as EVOO—impounded?  Garci-Aguirre says that, unfortunately, many olive oils on-shelf still might be falsely labeled as EVOO.

“Most of these ‘mislabeled’ oils may have been labeled correctly at some point, but the road to the consumer is a long one,” he notes. “And a lot of oils go rancid along the way. It is really hard to get fresh oil to consumers, and if that is not at the heart of every decision you make you simply can’t do it.” 

Corto’s love for olive oil education doesn’t stop there; they bring EVOO school to you with their virtual tasting experience—a one-hour sesh that includes a tasting kit.

As a legendary “greatest gift,” in modern times olive oil has risen in stature for two reasons: it will get used; and offering an extraordinary bottle is to bestow upon the giftee improved health, protection and libido. Summing up – this is the ideal Father’s Day gift and you can check out Corto’s TRULY Extra Virgin Olive Oil duo OR their FlavorLock box, so he’ll never run out. 

Nicole’s at-home olive oil martini

Additionally, oil you need to know

One of us has fallen in love, perhaps too deeply, with the Olive Oil Martini at the National in Telluride, Colorado. Is it healthier? Maybe, maybe not, but we don’t care and you probably don’t either. It’s a martini and, hence, delicious. Here is a great recipe to make (we tested at home with a Corto kit, and also loved that version).

Calling the shots: Is taking olive oil shots a fad or elixir? We want to point out that we wrote about this over two years ago, oracles that we are (and called out this brand, reportedly the “Champagne of olive oil”). Today, Ryan Seacrest claims to have a direct pipeline into the Fountain of Youth by saying he starts his days with a shot of Olive Oil. Is this necessary or a good idea? As the article points out, to maximize the benefit of olive oil, it’s best consumed with other foods, and in general Americans could simply just become more accustomed to routinely using olive oil for daily meals.

Do caffeine and olive oil mix? Some may have been curious if this is a carefully guarded Italian or Sicilian secret kept from us for years but the answer is a hard no, according to this BBC story on the trend. While some say it can reduce caffeine jitters, and create a feeling of fullness and overall satisfaction from the fat content, others reported a negative “laxative” type side effect, with one user saying they "just felt sick to my stomach lowkey." We tried it and while it’s no martini, we really enjoyed it. You can try making yours at home.   

The average American consumes about 1 liter of olive oil per year, while the Mediterranean countries consume closer to 8.

David Garci-Aguirre, master miller at Corto 

Crème de la Skinny  

Tennis, anyone?

Serving up today’s best of the best with an Instagram feed to follow: Racquet Magazine. Self-described at the intersection of tennis and culture, we in full court favor of its feed of fashion, news, art/illustration, attractive tennis players, headbands, and bucket-list courts to marvel at across the globe. We’re working on a more detailed report on tennis, “tenniscore,” and après-tennis bevvies, but it won’t post until we get around to seeing “Challengers.” Advantage, us.

Pantry Raid  

Better burgers: slender, yet power-packed`

The Skinny: To be clear, we are not out to sabotage Memorial Day traditions where one of our favorite foods, burgers, are the main event. But you could think about new ways to enjoy delicious burgers that have fewer calories, carbs, fat, or sodium. Ideas to

Consider, and three secret ingredients: 

  •  We love the looks of this burger bowl that includes a homemade “special sauce.”

  • Blended burgers—that replace up to a third of the meat by folding something else in—are heating up grill trends with good reason: They add nutrients and cut down on some of meat’s less-nutritional aspects. Here’s a mushroom version, from the Food Network, that promises to deliver both a sturdy and flavorful patty. 

  • Consumer Reports stacked up compelling hacks to build the healthiest burger possible—including what secret ingredient to fold into your lean meat burgers to keep them from drying out. We also love the idea of cutting buns crosswise in three pieces instead of two, saving one slice for toast the next morning.

  • Add to cart*: We love our friends at Spicewell, and their Superfood New Salt & New Pepper is by far the sneakiest way to load up a burger with vitamins & minerals (10% DV!) and 30% less sodium. The New Pepper also has turmeric and other spices, which will level up your burger flavor quotient. 

Summer Style

The secrets to wearing white jeans

Styling courtesy of Perch

The Skinny: Waving the white flag on white jeans, we called in the experts for this oft-controversial fashion topic. Fortunately we are able to speed text Laurie O’Connell, curator and visionary behind the Vail, Colorado-based Perch stores (who has opened them in Vail, Aspen, Denver, Boulder and Nantucket along the way) and her lead stylist, Tamar, to guide you.  

Your 2024 white jeans playbook: 

  • White does not necessarily mean “bright white-white,” and O’Connell declares that “cream is the new white.” Why? Because that then makes them year-round winners, which also makes them more versatile, (and easy on the budget) because of their longer -than-three-month-shelf-life (we got this coated version from Calzedonia, which can be dressed up or down) 

  • Hot take: white skinny jeans are a NO NO, says the Perch team.

  • Straight leg jeans are a huge YES

  • Hot tip: Always go up a size in white jeans! That’s because, according to our experts, white denim shows/exposes 3x more body detail on legs than other denim. And when white denim stretches, it’s unflattering - while we love transparency in reporting, we agree that some things are best left a mystery.

Perch’s favorite, top 3 white jeans for 2024

  1. Mother  Half Pipe ankle jean 

  2. Moussy Amherst Wide Straight Jean

  3. Le Jean Sabine Straight Raw Hem Jeans (the allowed amount of skinny; one of our editors just ordered)

Separately, check out Kut from the Kloth Catherine Boyfriend (budget friendly!)

For more general styling tips, and tons of great inspo/fit pics, this is an excellent video overview. Choose one-two looks that will work for you, pick the white/cream/off-white jeans, and build your fit around them.   

If you like what you read about white jeans, check out Perch Curate to have their style delivered straight to your door.


This week’s newsfeed

  • While back in NYC physically, we’re headed back to Greece virtually thanks to our friend Jackie, who wrote about a euphoric visit to this Peloponnese wellness destination. 

  • In addition to its ability to cure even the most crippling hangovers, McDonald’s Coke has always tasted the best…and now we know why. Also, we have the Grandma McFlurry which,  according to this review, has bits of candy “like the treats Grandma has in her purse.” Discuss. 

  • Following up on the decline of cardio, and the rise of strength training: Hydrow has purchased a stake in Speede, an at-home strength training machine calling itself the “most effective workout ever,” claiming users will “get stronger through science.” 

  • S/O to some of our favorite newsletters for alerting us to these important items: Among other kids’ drinks (Minute Maid, etc.) that now have a hard seltzer variety, Sunny Delight has had a vodka seltzer since 2023 (cheers, Snaxshot). And it’s now reported to be facing a potential lawsuit. Also, a reminder that SunnyD (“marketed as fruit juice, but containing mostly water and corn syrup” reportedly turned a girl from Wales orange ’80s (ty, The Hustle).

  • Love our Morning Brew for waking us up with the day’s news and fun facts, which included learning about a hole-in-the-wall Mexico City joint that became the first taco stand to earn a Michelin star.  

  • Peruvian green sauce can and should be added to your sandwich for an immediate joy level uptick (and before you ask, yep, for sandwiches in general we have been known to sub mayo with cottage cheese).

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