Health and Nutrition

Olive Oil FAQ’s

What is Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

The "extra" in the Extra Virgin Olive oil ( EVOO) relates to the first cold pressing of the ripe green olives. The "Extra" in Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is the highest premium grade for olive oils. It is the best that you can buy. EVOO means it has less than 0.8% oleic acid.

What does "First Press" and "Cold Press" mean?

These terms are interchangeable. They are terms used in the past when initial pressure was applied by hard presses producing only a small amount of olive oil from the olive paste. To extract even more oil, hot water was applied to the olive paste to improve the flow of the oil. Producers today use these terms to affirm that EVOO is an unrefined, natural product that has undergone very little processing, making it a top of the line oil.

Are your EVOO's first cold pressed? 

Yes. All of our Olive Oils are first cold pressed. Cold pressed is a chemical free process using only pressure, producing a higher quality olive oil that is lower in acidity. Also, our oils are all filtered, which leads to clearer oil with no residue at the bottom of the bottle.

How should I store my olive oil?

Olive oil should be stored in a cool (70-75) dark place. Light and heat are 2 of the 3 primary enemies of Olive Oil. Bottled in dark containers is also important to shield Olive Oil from harmful UV Rays and light. It should not be stored in the refrigerator.

How long does Olive Oil stay fresh?

Freshness is the key to taste in Olive Oil and after a one year shelf life you will begin to lose that fresh taste. However, how your olive oil is stored can have a great impact on the shelf life of your olive oil.

Why is Olive Oil superior to other oils?

Taste and health benefits are the difference between Olive Oil and store bought vegetable oils. Vegetable oils are tasteless and add fat to your recipe. EVOO's add fresh flavor unique to itself and is a healthy replacement for butter or margarine that will also add taste to your recipe.

EVOO is fresh pressed from the fruit of the olive tree leaving the color, taste, vitamins and nutrients intact. EVOO is popular for dipping breads, marinades and salad dressings. Because of the antioxidant components, olive oil keeps itself fresh longer than vegetable oil. 

Can I replace butter and margarine with Olive Oil?

Yes! Use it on vegetables, rice, potatoes, in baking.....Just about anything! Remember The Pitted Olive now carries Butter-flavored EVOO in place of butter or margarine.

Are there different "grades" of oil?

Yes, there are 4 different grades. 

1) EVOO is the highest quality rating w/ acidity level of less than 1%

2) Virgin Olive Oil -acidity level of less than 2%

3) Semi-fine Olive Oil- Aroma and taste defects and acidity level is less than 3%

4) Olive Oil- An oil which is a blend of chemically refined and unrefined virgin oils. Example: Extra Light is a blend at consumer markets.

What are the nutritional components of olive oil?

1 Tablespoon of olive oil contains 120 calories, 14 grams of fat and no cholesterol. 77%of the fat in olive oil is monounsaturated, and 9% is polyunsaturated fat. 14% is vegetable derived saturated fat. Extra Virgin olive oil also contain the antioxidants beta-carotene and vitamin E, as well as phenolic compounds tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol. Olive oils do not contain salt and are naturally cholesterol free. Studies show that when substituted for saturated fats, monounsaturated fats lower blood cholesterol, especially the "harmful" low density lipoproteins (LDL) while protecting the "good" high density lipoproteins (HDL).

Can I cook with Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)?

Yes. EVOO can be used up to 400 degrees which is the smoking point. EVOO is also excellent for sauteing ( 300 degrees), for sauces and frying ( 340 degrees). EVOO is excellent for marinades, vinaigrettes and of course always a great finishing oil to drizzle over your dish. Cooking with a healthy olive oil that tastes good to you, will make your dish more nutritious than cooking with butter.

What are the health benefits of EVOO? 

It is recommended to take at least a Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil a day for health benefits. EVOO studies have shown health benefits range from reducing blood pressure, preventing heart attacks, lower cancer risks, anti aging properties to name a few. This is attributed to the high percentage of natural antioxidants, polyphenols, Oleic acids and monounsaturated fats.

Traditional Balsamic Vinegars - FAQ:

What are Balsamic Vinegars?

There are two types of balsamic vinegars. Traditional and Commercial. The birthplace of balsamic vinegar is in Modena , Italy, where the production of Traditional Balsamic vinegars are regulated. The white and sugary Trebbiano grapes grow in the northern region of Italy near Modena, which forms the base of the only true balsamic vinegars. The grapes ripen on the vine for as long as possible to develop their sugar. The juice or "must" is pressed out of the grapes and boiled down. Then the vinegar production and aging process begins first, in oak kegs. Over the years it graduates to smaller and smaller kegs made of chestnut, cherry wood, ash, mulberry and juniper. These woods add character and flavor to the vinegars. The Vinegar must be aged for at least 12 years in order to be called a Traditional Balsamic Vinegar. Every year the moisture is removed from the vinegar, thus the older vinegars are thicker and richer syrup.

Are there health benefits to Balsamic vinegars?

Balsamic vinegars have an antibacterial and antiviral property which makes it effective for treating infection. Folk healers used balsamic to cure body pain and as an energizer. Balsamic vinegar contains power antioxidant called polyphenols which fight cell damage, and boost energy. Balsamic vinegars aids in digestion and sugar balance for the body. It has also used to help control diabetes. Balsamic vinegar can reduce cholesterol, reduces the frequency of headaches, speeds up your metabolism, and can help suppress appetite which can aid in controlling weight.

How should I store my Balsamic vinegar? 

The same as Extra Virgin Olive Oil. In a cool, dark cupboard or pantry. Keep bottle closed and away from from heat and light.