Most Common Olive Oil FAQ’s (and other general questions)
These are some of the most frequently asked questions (Olive Oil FAQ’s) we receive regarding our products:
Absolutely, we offer gift cards. They can be purchased in our store or on our website and used for in-store purchases.
No, we do not have a refill policy.
Yes, we are certified Non-GMO by the non-GMO Project.
Yes, our products are gluten free and packaged in gluten free facilities.
Currently only our sesame oil and walnut oil contain nuts. We carry coconut balsamic and even though coconuts are not nuts some folks who are allergic to nuts may be allergic to coconuts.
Olive oil should be stored in the same dark bottle we provide when it is purchased and it should be stored away from heat and light. Storing in a cool dark place is highly recommended. This helps extend the life of the oil and helps maintain freshness. Do not allow moisture to enter your bottle of olive oil. This can happen when placing olive oil in the refrigerator.
Store in same dark bottle we provided when purchased and keep away from light and heat. Balsamic vinegars are self-preserving and do not require refrigeration.
This is a common misconception and one of the most frequently asked questions. In fact, high quality EVOO is the most nutritional oil to cook with and new studies have shown that using an EVOO high in phenols (antioxidants) for cooking and baking applications leads to a significant reduction in oxidation and the inhibition of harmful byproducts over other vegetable oils or olive oils lower in phenolic (antioxidant) content! The majority of the oils we offer are high in phenolic content, high in oleic acid (the healthful MUFA) and low in FFA (free fatty acid). There is a direct correlation between FFA and smoke point! The lower the FFA, the more the oil can be heated before it reaches its smoke point.
The single most important piece of information for the consumer to determine is the harvest date of an olive oil. Olive oil should be treated like fresh fruit juice, as it is highly perishable. It is always healthier and more flavorful when consumed close to its crush date. It is common practice for grocery store oils to have a “best by date”. This is an arbitrary date, determined by the producer/bottler and it really does not provide the consumer with the information they need. On a side note, it is not advisable to buy oil in clear glass or plastic, as olive oil is highly susceptible to UV degradation!
Extra-virgin olive oil comes from virgin oil production only, contains no more than 0.8% acidity, and is judged to have a superior taste. Extra Virgin olive oil accounts for less than 10% of oil in many producing countries. It is not processed it is simply squeezed from the fruit of the olive. It has no defects.
Cold pressing is a common way to make olive oil without the use of heat or chemicals. It involves crushing olives into a paste, then applying force with a mechanical press to separate the oil from the pulp. This is how our EVOO's are made and therefore are fall into the Cold Pressed category. Our average production temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result of processing at a cooler temperature, our yield goes down but our quality goes through the roof! The resulting oil is rich in vitamins, nutrients and flavor.
It should be noted that the term cold pressed is an outdated and overused term in the industry. It often leads to more confusion on the side of the consumer. “Cold Pressing” is referring to the temperature at which the olive paste is malaxed, in order to extract oil. Like almost every other aspect of the industry, these claims are unregulated and loosely applied to almost every oil on the grocery store shelf. In order for an olive oil to be considered, “Cold Pressed”, it must be processed below 86 degrees Fahrenheit (ours are processed at 70 degrees). Many producers choose to process their oils at higher temperatures, in order to extract more oil from the olive paste. However, as the temperature of the paste is increased during the milling process, the quality and integrity of the oil is jeopardized. In addition to heat, the amount of time the olive paste spends in the malaxer, has a significant impact on the finished product. Over processing, yields more oil but also hurts the quality of the finished product.
Almost all of our olive oils are Kosher U Certified. Unfortunately, none of our aged balsamic vinegar is Kosher. However, we are constantly striving to improve the quality and customer satisfaction with all of our products.
There is a great debate going on over refrigerating and freezing extra virgin olive oil. We recommend storing your oil in a cool dark place. Although, freezing an extra virgin has been known to extend its shelf life, constantly changing the temperature (for immediate consumption) can mess with the chemistry and create condensation on the inside or the bottle.
All extra virgin olive oil should have at least a slight burning sensation on the end. In reality it is a “healthy burn”. One of the main health benefits associated with fresh extra virgin olive oil are polyphenols. The higher the phenol content, the more pepper and the more bitterness the oil will have. For most people, bitterness and pepper is an acquired taste. However, we see people gradually move up the intensity ladder and eventually begin to enjoy robust oils.
The truth is you can make wonderful oil everywhere and you can make terrible oil everywhere and California is no exception! That is not to say that micro-climate conditions, soil quality & other agronomic factors do not have an impact on oil quality. However, country of origin should be towards the bottom, in terms of importance. Let your taste buds, the harvest date and your knowledge of oil chemistry guide you!
We produce both fused and infused olive oils. When an oil is fused, this means the olives were crushed with the fruit or vegetable, simultaneously. Fused oils tend to have wonderfully true, rich flavors! Our blood orange, lemon and Chili pepper oils are fused! Another term for fused oil is Agrumato. Conversely, when an oil is infused, the all-natural, organic flavors, are added to the oil after the olives have been crushed. We use the infusion method when we have flavors that may be impossible or too difficult to crush with the olives, for one reason or another.
The best balsamic vinegar is prepared in the hills of Modena, in Italy, where unique and flavorful balsamic vinegar is formed. Balsamic vinegar retains most of the nutrients present in the parent grapes and comprises nutrients like iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, phosphorus and magnesium in adequate amounts. Thus, incorporating balsamic in the daily diet will benefit one immensely.
2 1/4 teaspoons
1 1/2 tablespoons
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon