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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does "Extra Virgin" mean?

    Traditionally produced "Extra Virgin Olive Oil" (EVOO) is made from the first pressing of the olives; it is, essentially, the juice of the olive. Technically, "extra virgin" is a grade of olive oil, usually indicating the highest quality oil that is distinguished by its naturally low levels of free oleic acid. To qualify as "extra virgin," an olive oil must have a free acid count of less than one percent.
  • What does "first cold pressed" mean?

    First cold pressed olive oil is from the first round of extraction from fresh, intact olives. It has not been heated during processing and therefore retains its full nutritional value.
  • Is "cold pressed" olive oil better?

    Yes, "cold pressed" refers to the technique used to extract the best oil from the olive. To get the highest quality oil, the presser cannot use any heat. Cold pressed olive oil is of superior quality because it retains not only all of its sensitive aromatic properties, but also the antioxidants and nutrients that are often diminished by the high-speed machinery and elevated temperatures used in modern oil extraction methods.
  • Does the color of olive oil indicate quality?

    Not at all. An oil’s color mainly indicates the level of chlorophyll in the olive when it was picked. Early harvest olive oils, for example, are made with young olives that yield a greener color. Late harvest olives generally produce oil with a buttery, golden hue.
  • Does olive oil improve with age?

    Unlike wine, olive oil does NOT improve with age. As olive oil gets older, it gradually breaks down, the acidity level rises, and flavor weakens. Extra virgin olive oil keeps better because it starts with a low acidity level, but it should ideally be consumed within 18-24 months of harvest. Lower quality olive oil has a higher acidity level and must be used even more quickly.
  • How should I cook with olive oil?

    EVOO can be used up to its smoking point of 400° F, and some varietals can be cooked at even higher temperatures. EVOO is also good for sautéing (300° F) or for sauces and frying (340° F). EVOO is excellent in marinades and vinaigrettes, and makes a wonderful finishing oil to drizzle over your dishes. It is a flavorful and nutritious alternative to cooking with butter or margarine.
  • Can olive oil be used for frying?

    Absolutely. Olive oil can withstand frying temperatures up to 400° F without breaking down.
  • Can I replace butter or margarine with olive oil?

    Yes! Next time a recipe calls for butter, replace it with a high quality olive oil—not only will your food taste better, but it's also a healthier way to eat. We even offer a Certified Organic Natural Butter Extra Virgin Olive Oil that gives you the flavor of butter with the health benefits of olive oil. Use this simple chart to convert butter quantities to olive oil quantities:  1 teaspoon Butter = ¾ teaspoons of EVOO 2 teaspoons Butter = 1 ½ teaspoons of EVOO 1 tablespoon Butter = 2 1/4 teaspoons of EVOO2 tablespoons Butter = 1 ½ tablespoons of EVOO ¼ cup Butter = 3 tablespoons of EVOO½ cup Butter = ¼ cup + 2 tbsp of EVOO 1 cup Butter = 3/4 cup of EVOO  
  • How should I store olive oil?

    Because of EVOO’s high monounsaturated fat content, it can be stored longer than most other oils, as long as it’s done properly. When choosing your storage location, remember that heat, air, time, and light are the enemies of olive oil. Store extra virgin olive oil in a dark, cool cupboard away from the stove and other heat-producing appliances. Refrigerated olive oils will solidify and turn cloudy. Return them to room temperature to restore their fluidity and color. The best storage containers for olive oil are made of tinted glass to help keep out light, porcelain and stainless steel are also acceptable. Containers should have a tight cap or lid to keep out unwanted air. Olive oil should never be stored in reactive metals, and we recommend staying away from plastic containers, as well.
  • How long will olive oil last?

    Olive oil will last up to two years if kept tightly capped in a cool cupboard and away from direct light.
  • Should olive oil be kept in the refrigerator?

    It isn't recommended. When refrigerated, most extra virgin olive oils become cloudy and thick. While this doesn't harm the oil per se, as with wine, extended refrigeration can result in diminished aromas and muted flavors, even after the oil warms back to room temperature.
  • Why do your Extra Virgin Olive Oils come in dark bottles?

    It’s a question of quality—dark glass protects the oil from the deteriorating effects of light. This is also why many health products come in brown bottles, wine is bottled in dark green glass, and clear, glass milk bottles have been replaced with opaque cartons. Even a few weeks of light exposure will accelerate the aging of olive oil. To slow this process, it’s a good idea to store your oil in a dark, cool cabinet instead of on a countertop, which is likely brighter and warmer.