Beyond its delicious flavor and versatile uses, the quality of olive oil holds significant importance. Whether drizzling it over a fresh salad or using it to sauté vegetables, the distinction between high-quality olive oil and its lesser counterparts is a crucial consideration that impacts both taste and health benefits.
The quality of olive oil is defined by its grade, and the king of all grades is "extra virgin." This classification signifies that the oil has been mechanically extracted without the use of excessive heat or chemicals. Extra virgin olive oil retains the highest levels of antioxidants and beneficial compounds, making it not only the healthiest option but also the most flavorful option.
One of the most evident distinctions between high-quality and lower-quality olive oils lies in their taste and aroma profiles. Extra virgin olive oil boasts a complex bouquet of flavors, ranging from fruity and grassy to peppery and robust. Olive oil varies in taste by which olives are used to create the oil. Our Vitality Extra-Virgin Olive Oil is created using nevadillo oils which result in aromas of green grass and tomato with delicate tinges of fig and apple. Our Joy Extra-Virgin Olive Oil is created using picual olives which result in aromas of tomato and olive leaves, with delicate touches of almond and artichoke.
Lower quality oils may exhibit bland or rancid flavors due to improper processing, oxidation, or poor sourcing of olives. Low quality oils are often mixed with old olive oil and sometimes even mixed with other types of oil such as vegetable oil.
Selecting high-quality olive oil doesn’t mean just looking for an “extra-virgin” label. While it is important to reach for an extra-virgin oil, it is also important to be sure you are buying the olive oil from a reputable brand that prioritizes transparency about production methods. Our extra-virgin olive oils are created in southern Spain on sustainable family farms. We receive the oil after each harvest (our olives are early-harvest in early October for the best taste and health benefits) and our bottles are labeled with the harvest date so our consumers can be sure they are receiving the freshest oil.
Proper storage also plays a role in maintaining olive oil's quality. It is best to choose an olive oil that is in a completely opaque bottle (not plastic) as light will degrade the olive oil. Our olive oils come in glass bottles that are coated with UV protectant to ensure the highest quality oil over the duration of its use.
The quality of olive oil is not a trivial matter. It impacts every aspect of your culinary experience, from taste and aroma to health benefits. By choosing extra virgin olive oil and paying attention to sourcing and storage, you're not only elevating your dishes but also prioritizing your wellbeing. Give our incredible extra-virgin olive oils a try!