Since I have been getting questions on using olive oil, I thought I would post an article I wrote in a newsletter to my clients from three years ago. I didn't publicly post it, so now making up for it!
Do you know what the food labels on your olive oil mean?
Did you know that there is a difference between "cold processed" and "cold pressed" olive oil. I didn't. Not until I started asking questions, did I learn how such different food labels relate to the nutrition, as well as, the flavor and texture of olive oil.
As a well read foodie, I knew that not all food labels are highly regulated by the FDA, so I wanted to use a source with a reputation for transparency and quality. Because I live in the Bay Area, I knew that there was a wealth of olive growers that I could interview at my fingertips. My curiosity lead me to McEvoy Ranch.
Since 4th of July is coming up soon, I wanted to share with you on what I learned about olive oil from McEvoy Ranch. I hope their answers to my questions will provide you with some interesting foodie talk at your next BBQ and a new olive oil inspired dish to share, as well!
I noticed that some olive oil companies used the word "cold processed" and some use "cold pressed." What is the difference between them? And are there any measurable differences in taste and health benefits between them?
According to Tom Mueller author of Extra Virginity, “Cold pressed is an outdated production term, now used for marketing purposes and largely devoid of meaning.”
Many “olive oils” that are on grocery store shelves are sadly rancid olive oil or not even olive oil at all. When selecting an olive oil the more information available to you the better. Harvest date (when the olives were harvested for oil extraction) Orchard location (where the olives were grown) and olive varieties (the types of olives used in the oil) are all basic pieces of information that the oil producer should be happy to share with the consumer.
Cold processed olive oil is the most common modern method for extracting oil from the olive using as little friction or heat as possible. McEvoy Ranch uses a cold process to extract the oil from the olive fruit.
It is possible for either process of oil to be certified extra virgin, however, neither process guarantees the quality of the oil.
Which certifications should customers look for olive oil?
We recommend seeking out oils with an extra virgin seal. California oils will have the COOC (California Olive Oil Council) seal and European oils will have the IOC (international olive council) seal, as well as an organic certification. McEvoy Ranch is certified organic by the California Certified Organic Farmers who uphold some of the most rigorous organic standards in the country. McEvoy Ranch is also certified extra virgin by the COOC. The COOC upholds the highest certification process for extra virgin olive oil in the world. Any certifications will be printed on the packaging of the oil.
This blog post helps explain the extra virgin certification process.
If someone would like to purchase olive oils from another country, what should they look for?
The community of California olive oil producers has grown immensely over the last 20 years and there are many producers of quality olive oil. I recommend checking out the California Olive Oil Councils website for a full list of certified extra virgin producers.
If you are looking for an international oil, the IOC seal of extra virginity is a great thing to look for. And again the more information that the olive producer is willing to share the better, such as orchard location, harvest date, varieties and extraction method are all good information to have.
Do you have a simple food recipe recommendation for olive oil lovers?
One of our favorite recipes using olive oil is by Chef Gerald Gass find the recipe here. Make the recipe versatile by substituting triticale with quinoa or orzo.
For other produce focused olive oil recipes check our blog.
Newsletter 2013 from Insight from Rios Strength. Retrieved on 6/7/2016 from http://us4.campaign-archive2.com/?u=6d692f8b24e1c0c82889e2479&id=868b219bcc