FAQs about Cold Pressed Olive Oils
What is Extra-Virgin Olive Oil?
The production of olive oil consists of first crushing the olive and then pressing to produce the oil. The character of cold-pressed olive oil is based on acidity. "Extra" virgin olive oil has less than 0.8% oleic acid - "Virgin" olive oil may contain as much as 2% oleic acid. Extra-virgin olive oil has the most refined flavor and it contains the most antioxidants. The cold pressed extra virgin olive oils available from FIORE are typically high in polyphenols which is a result of our state of the art transport system. This system enables our oils to hold their freshness which in turn delivers a very high polyphenol count, another enormous health benefit.
What are the health benefits of EVOO?
The health benefits of a daily diet including extra-virgin (cold pressed) olive oil are enormous. All extra virgin olive oils available through FIORE are unfiltered, first press, cold pressed oils. High quality EVOO is rich in monounsaturated fat - a "good" fat loaded with polyphenols which provide antioxidant benefits to the body. A significant amount of research has been conducted on the long term benefits of antioxidants in the daily diet and many studies have shown links to reducing the risk of Cancer, Cardiovascular disease, and other ailments.
How should I store my extra-virgin olive oil?
Exposure to oxygen and UV light are the two main enemies of EVOO. The best storage condition is in a dark bottle in a cool, dry place. The 375mL bottles at FIORE are UV inhibiting green glass. The smaller bottles (200mL) are currently in clear glass - and we provide instructions to every customer to keep these bottles in a cupboard, away from direct light. In addition, using the cork supplied with the bottle (or a stopper with a top/lid) keeps the oil fresh and free from air contamination. Never keep your oils open to the air longer than necessary.
What is balsamic vinegar and how is it produced?
True balsamic vinegar is made from a reduction of syrup from sweet wine grapes, called mosto cotto in Italian, which is subsequently aged for a minimum of 12 years in a battery of seven barrels of successively smaller sizes. The casks are made of different woods like chestnut, acacia, cherry, oak, mulberry, ash and juniper. As opposed to wine, balsamic vinegars are aged in the attics in Modena, Italy where they benefit from the extreme heat of summer and the extreme cold in winter. True balsamic vinegar is rich, glossy, deep brown in color and has a complex flavor that balances the natural sweet and sour elements of the cooked grape juice with hints of wood from the casks.
What is the shelf life of extra-virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars?
Most high quality EVOO and balsamic vinegar will keep their integrity for 12-15 months, if maintained properly. See "How should I store my extra virgin olive oil".