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Walla, Walla, WA | 509-529-7537

What Makes Olive Oil Great (or Not So Great)

Ever wondered why some olive oils taste like liquid gold while others fall flat? You’re not alone! As fellow olive oil enthusiasts, we’re here to spill the beans (or should we say, olives?) on what makes your EVOO extra special. Buckle up as we dive into the fascinating world of olive oil quality – trust me, it’s more exciting than you might think!

Region Matters: The Terroir of Olive Oil

Just like wine, olive oil has its own terroir – fancy talk for how the environment impacts flavor. Different regions around the world produce unique olive oils with distinct personalities:

Italy: Think peppery kicks and grassy notes
Spain: Often fruity and nutty
Greece: Typically bold and robust
California: Can be buttery and mild

Climate and soil play huge roles here. Olives grown in hot, dry conditions often develop more intense flavors, while cooler climates can result in milder oils. So next time you’re drizzling that EVOO, take a moment to appreciate its homeland!

Production Method: The Art of the First Cold Press

Here’s where things get a bit technical (but stay with me, it’s worth it!). To earn the title “extra virgin,” olive oil must be extracted through first cold pressing. This means:

– Only the first press of the olives is used

– No heat is applied during the process (hence “cold”)

– No chemicals are involved – just good old-fashioned mechanical extraction

This gentle method preserves all those delicious flavors and healthy compounds we love in high-quality olive oil. Other production methods might give you more oil, but at the cost of quality and nutritional value. When in doubt, always go for the extra virgin olive oil!

Timing is Everything: Harvest and Bottling Dates

Olive oil isn’t like that forgotten bottle of hot sauce in your pantry – freshness matters! Top-notch producers will include harvest and bottling dates on their labels. Here’s what to look for:

Harvest date: Ideally within the last year
Bottling date: The closer to now, the better

Remember, olive oil doesn’t get better with age. It’s at its peak within 12-18 months of harvest, so don’t be shy about checking those dates!

Storage Savvy: Protecting Your Liquid Gold

You’ve invested in great olive oil – now let’s make sure it stays that way! Two major enemies of olive oil quality are light and heat:

Light exposure: UV rays break down the good stuff in olive oil, leading to rancidity. That’s why quality oils come in dark glass bottles or tins.

Heat: High temperatures speed up degradation. Store your oil away from the stove and other heat sources.

Pro tip: Keep your olive oil in a cool, dark cupboard. And please, whatever you do, don’t store it on that cute little rack above your stove!

Other Factors Affecting Quality

While we’ve covered the big hitters, there are a few more things that can impact your olive oil’s quality:

– Olive varieties: Different olives bring different flavors to the party

– Harvesting techniques: Gentle handling preserves quality

– Processing speed: The quicker olives go from tree to press, the better

– Packaging: Dark glass or tin containers protect the oil best

Being an Informed Consumer

Armed with all this olive oil knowledge, you’re ready to become a savvy shopper. Here are some final tips:

– Read those labels carefully

– Don’t be afraid to ask questions about production methods and dates

– When possible, taste before you buy (many specialty stores offer samples)

– Trust your senses – good olive oil should smell and taste fresh and fruity

Remember, a higher price doesn’t always guarantee quality. Some reasonably priced oils can be excellent, while some expensive ones might disappoint. It’s all about knowing what to look for!

Trusted Sources: The D’Olivo Difference

Now that you’re an olive oil aficionado, you might be wondering, “Where can I find oil that meets all these quality standards?” Great question! One surefire way to ensure you’re getting top-notch olive oil is to purchase from a reputable vendor who specializes in olive oils. That’s where we at D’Olivo come in!

At D’Olivo, we’re passionate about bringing you the crème de la crème of olive oils. Here’s how we ensure you’re getting nothing but the best:

Ultra Premium Standards: Our oils are sourced from Veronica Foods, a company known for its rigorous quality control. To earn the “Ultra Premium” designation, each oil must meet over 33 strict parameters. This goes above and beyond even the extra virgin olive oil standards!

Optimal Storage: We store our oils in metal fustis. These aren’t just fancy containers – they’re designed to protect the oil from its archenemies: light and air. This means the oil stays fresher for longer.

Fresh Bottling: When you purchase oil from us, we transfer it fresh from the fusti into dark glass bottles right in the store. This process minimizes exposure to air and light, preserving all those delicate flavors and health benefits.

Sealed with Care: Each bottle is sealed in-store, ensuring that from our shop to your kitchen, the oil remains in pristine condition.

By choosing a specialized vendor like D’Olivo, you’re not just buying olive oil – you’re investing in a premium product backed by expertise and a commitment to quality. We take the guesswork out of selecting high-quality olive oil, so you can focus on the fun part – enjoying it!

Remember, when it comes to olive oil, a little expert knowledge goes a long way. By choosing a trusted source, you’re guaranteed to experience olive oil as it’s meant to be: fresh, flavorful, and bursting with all the natural goodness that makes it a staple of healthy cuisines worldwide.

The World of Olive Oil Awaits!

We’ve journeyed through the olive groves, peeked into production facilities, and learned the secrets of preserving liquid gold. Now it’s your turn to explore! Armed with this knowledge, you’re ready to discover the amazing variety of flavors and qualities in the world of olive oil.

So go ahead, grab a crusty piece of bread, and start dipping. Your taste buds will thank you for choosing the good stuff!

What People Want to Know About Olive Oil

Olive oil is a popular cooking fat these days, and with all popular topics it can be hard to get the basic – need to know facts. We’re breaking down the most popular questions that we hear from people and answering them in a simple way. It’s important that information about this oil is available for users and easy to digest (no pun intended).

Is Olive Oil Healthy?

There may still be some who are trying to argue against olive oil, but that’s getting more difficult to do as more studies become available that showcase it as one of the healthiest fats available on the market. A staple of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil is well documented to be high in antioxidants which can aid in heart health, it’s high in monosaturated fats and can help reduce inflammation, as well as serve a great weight loss aid.

We always encourage you to do your own research, but here is a great article from Olive Oil Times that breaks down the numerous health benefits.

Is All Olive Oil the Same?

While it can be tempting to think that the $5 olive oil from the grocery store is the same as the $20 bottle of extra virgin olive oil you purchase from a specialty retailer, the honest truth is that not all olive oil is created equal.

Starting with the very basics, extra virgin olive oil is going to be the best olive oil to purchase. In order to bear the “extra virgin” designation on the label, the olive oil must be from the first, cold-pressing of the olives. Cold pressing is a method of extracting the oil without using heat or chemicals, ensuring that all the nutritional benefits are maintained in the oil.

Oil that has another label like light or refined are not going to give you the same great health benefits or as rich of a flavor profile. Don’t miss out on all that this great oil has to offer and upgrade your choice – specialty retailers are a great option. Most are locally owned and operated so in addition to getting a delicious oil, you’re also supporting local business.

What Should I Look for When Purchasing Olive Oil?

Read the Label – The first thing to check is the type of oil you’re purchasing and make sure that the label reads extra-virgin. Next, olive oil can go rancid if exposed to light or heat. Make sure the bottle the oil is in is dark in color to protect from light and that it’s not being stored on a shelf in direct sunlight.

Taste the Oil – if it’s an option we suggest trying the olive oil. This is the only real way to make sure it hasn’t gone rancid and while it won’t hurt you to eat a rancid oil, it will definitely give an off flavor to any of the dishes that you’re making. Olive oil should have a fresh, green taste like cut grass and have a peppery after taste.

Yet another reason to purchase from a specialty retailer is that they’re well-versed in proper storage of olive oil and also sell through their product more quickly ensuring that you’re getting a good oil. In addition, they’re likely to have open bottles and let you sample from them to make sure you’re getting the right product for your cooking or baking needs.

How Can I Use My Olive Oil?

Olive Oil is an extremely versatile oil and can be used in everything from deep frying to drizzled on top of a salad. Given the high smoke point of high-quality olive oils, you really can use it everywhere.

Our favorite ways to use it include marinating meat or vegetables in a mixture of oils and paired balsamic vinegars to really get the flavor deep into what you’re cooking. It can also be brushed or drizzled onto anything you’re grilling outside. Pairing an olive oil with a delicious balsamic vinegar and using them in combination as a salad dressing is another great option. If you aren’t much for cooking, and prefer to bake then swap out olive oil for butter or another oil to give your dish a rich flavor profile and also make it a little healthier. For specific recipes check out our website here – https://dolivotastingbar.com/recipe/

A Guide to Understanding Olive Oil

It’s no secret that at D’Olivo we’re crazy about olive oil. This beautiful cooking oil is perfect for use in any kitchen on nearly any type of dish. It’s got a wonderful flavor and to top it all off it offers amazing health benefits.

While we could talk for hours about all the great things you can do to make olive oil your new go-to oil we decided to hit the basics and touch on the top things to know to help our readers gain a better understanding of olive oil.

What is Olive Oil

Olive oil is an oil that comes from olive. There are a number of ways this oil can be harvested and each method gives an indication of the specific type of olive oil that will be produced.

Types of Olive Oil

Extra Virgin Olive Oil – this is by far the purest, and highest quality of olive oil available on the market. Extra virgin olive oils are oils that are produced from the first cold pressing of the olives. This method ensures that the health benefits from the olives remains and that the oil itself isn’t damaged by exposure to high temperatures. This method of extraction also helps keep the acidity level of the oil very low.

Virgin Olive Oil – this type of oil is also extracted using a cold-press method. However, it’s not always from the first cold pressing. While it too is not damaged by exposure to heat during extraction, the acidity levels are higher making it a lower quality oil than those that fall into the extra virgin category.

Refined Olive Oils – these types of oils are not as pure as either extra virgin or virgin, despite what the label might indicated. In fact, many of these refined olive oils are bland in flavor and as a result are usually blended with other types of oils.

Health Benefits

Olive oil has continued to rise in popularity internationally over the last several years. This is due in large part to its rich flavors, versatility in cooking and baking, as well as the nutritional and health benefits that it offers. Some of these health benefits include:

1. Rich in Healthy Fats
2. It Can Help Lower Blood Pressure
3. Packed with Beneficial Antioxidants
4. Helps Maintain Bone Health
5. Helps Prevent Obesity

How to Use Olive Oil

Olive Oil is extremely versatile and can be used as a replacement for many different kinds of cooking fats from butter to vegetable oil. While there are many who claim that olive oil isn’t a good alternative due to its low smoke point, this is simply a myth about olive oil. In fact, high quality extra virgin olive oils are very safe to cook with, even at high temperatures.

Grilling – if you’re a grill-master then olive oil can be a great companion for your cooking adventures. Use it as a marinade for meat, brush it onto the vegetables you’re cooking, or simply top of your dishes at the end with a delicious olive oil.

Baking – it’s true that olive oil can make a great substitute for butter or vegetable oil when creating any baked good. We’ve got an excellent guide on how best to use olive oil in baking here – https://dolivotastingbar.com/baking-with-olive-oil/

Salad Dressing – our olive oils make the best salad dressings, especially when paired with our balsamic vinegars. There are dozens of combinations you can make that will provide fantastic flavor combinations.

Finishing Oils – finish off any dish, hot or cold, with an olive oil drizzle. Choose from a fused or infused flavored oil or try one of our traditional ultra-premium extra virgin oils for this.

Choosing an Olive Oil

Due to its popularity, olive oil has become susceptible to fraud. This is why it’s important that when you go to choose an olive oil you make sure that you’re getting a high quality one.

Read the Label

Because olive oil is an edible product you want to be sure that you’re getting the freshest olive oil out there. Check the label for harvest date or an expiration date. If you find this information, make sure you don’t buy an oil that’s more than a year old. Also, look for that extra virgin designation.

Taste

The surest way to tell if you’ve got a good olive oil is to taste it. The oil should taste clean, fresh and green like olives. If there are peppery notes that linger in your throat that is a good sign – it’s the polyphenols in the oil that give those notes to the oil.

Buy from a Trusted Retailer

Designated olive oil retailers like D’Olivo are the best place to buy quality olive oils. First, we source from the highly reputable supplier, Veronica Foods, who maintains the strictest quality standards which is what gives our oils the Ultra-Premium designation. Second, our employees are well-trained in the proper storage and packaging of our oils ensuring that customers don’t go home with an expired or tainted product. Finally, you can visit stores like ours to actually sample the olive oils you’re purchasing. You can pair oils with our delicious balsamic vinegars and make sure you’re taking home the products that will provide the most benefit to you in the kitchen.