Oils and Vinegars to Sample and Savor
Frequently Asked Questions
Should you cook with Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

Yes! Extra Virgin Olive Oil's smoke point is about 410F or 210C, which gives plenty of room to saute, roast, marinate and even bake! 

The lower the free fatty acid content of the oil, the more stable the oil, and thus the higher the smoke point so it is better to use Extra Virgin Olive Oil rather than lower grades of olive oil. 

All of our EVOO follows the California Olive Oil Council's strict standards of an acidity level of less than 0.5%.

Note: Breathing in smoke from any type of oil is a health hazard so keep an eye on the temperature and remember good ventilation!

What is Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

As with many agricultural products, there are different grades of olive oil. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the highest grade for olive oil, with less than 0.8% acidity and a superior taste. Extra Virgin Olive Oils have high polyphenol antioxidant counts and Oleic Acid levels, while having low free fatty acid and peroxide values.

In Europe, strict criteria must be met before an olive oil is labeled "extra virgin.” The oil must pass two tests: a chemical analysis (acidity level, peroxide level and UV absorbency) and sensory evaluation (taste test).

There is limited regulation in the United States, allowing olive oils to be labeled “extra virgin” without actually being so. Currently, purchasing an imported "extra virgin" olive oil in the grocery store does not guarantee quality in the United States.

What is Balsamic Vinegar?

True aged balsamic vinegar, called Traditional Balsamic Vinegar, comes from Modena, Italy. Made from Trebbiano grapes, the grapes ripen on the vine for as long as possible to develop sugar. The juice, or “must,” is pressed out of the grapes and boiled down.

Then the vinegar production and aging process begins, initially in oak kegs. Over the years, it graduates to smaller and smaller kegs, made of chestnut, cherry wood, ash, mulberry, and juniper that change the taste and character of the vinegar, until it is of desired age. The end result is a sweet and thick vinegar!

How do you store olive oil and balsamic vinegar?

Because heat and light damage oils and vinegars, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar should be stored in a dark, cool place, like a pantry or cabinet away from anything heated.

There is debate if olive oil should be refrigerated. For most olive oils, it is ok to keep them in the fridge; it is not for Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Condensation can build up and affect the taste of refrigerated Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

How long does Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar stay good?

Like many other consumable products, olive oil and balsamic vinegar have shelf life. If properly stored, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar should last about a year.

After this time, the taste and health benefits, such as Vitamin E, beta-carotene, and other phenol levels, decrease dramatically. In addition, Extra Virgin Olive Oil has begun to go rancid and should be discarded.

To enjoy the most fresh tasting products, be sure to store them properly and use them; don’t save them just for special occasions!