Understanding Olive Oil
The Olive Tree
First cultivated 6000 years ago in the heart of the mediterranean… and brought to California in the 17th century by Fra Junipero Serra, during the second voyage of Christopher Columbus.
The 3 Essential Parameters of Olive Oil
A measurement of the oil’s free fatty acids. While extra virgin is defined by a 0.8% acidity, an oil of quality should not exceed 0.4%
The antioxidants that give an oil all its health benefits
Hastens the aging and degradation of the oil
The Factors Affecting Quality
While an organic production is fundamental, other factors include:
Age of the plant
With time, the root system explores a greater area of land, richer in minerals, creating a more complex nutrient composition, and ultimately a unique flavor.
Moment of harvest
Ideally just as the skins begin to change color, the veraison, when there is the highest content of polyphenols, the lowest acidity, and lowest peroxides.
Method of harvest
Manual, as it causes less damage and bruising to the fruit.
Storage of fruit
In order to slow the degradation that happens as soon as the fruit is picked, olives should be stored in shallow bins, and pressed the same day as harvest.
The Ideal Method for Extracting the Oil
The goal is a maximum conservation of anti-oxidants, which is achieve by using special machinery that can carefully control such things as the fruits’ exposure to oxygen, and temperature, which must not exceed 82 degrees.
What to Look for On the Label
Method of cultivation
Origin of the olives
Method of harvest
Location of production and bottling
Method of bottling
The Olive Leaf
The olive leaf taken from ancient trees, at the precise time of year, are particularly rich in oleuropein, a glucoside that generates molecules scientifically proven to help
Improve blood circulation
Regulate arterial pressure
Metabolize lipids and carbohydrates
Reduce blood sugar and blood fat, lower cholesterol
Strengthen the immune system
Amongst the most powerful antioxidants in nature
How to Taste the Olive Oil?
Since the color can vary and can indicate different things such as time of harvest and variety, just look that the oil it does not have streaks of brown or yellow.
After warming the glass with the palm of your hand, the smell should be raw and purely of fruit.
Taking a tiny spoonful, press between tongue and palate, inhale twice to create a circle of air, and begin to taste for such things as bitterness on the side of your tongue, and a spiciness at bottom of your throat.