Olive Oil FAQ
WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT BATISTINI OLIVE OIL?
We offer authentic, superior, and award winning extra virgin directly from the olives. Did you know it takes approximately 10 - 16 pounds of olives to make 1 liter of olive oil? Many hours of labors take place through pruning, harvesting and production. Olives are hand selected and pressed within less than 24 hours of harvest. Our olive cultivars play a role in a distinct fruity taste. Our olives are cold extracted. We know what it means to be called a superior extra virgin olive oil and we don't take that lightly.
Our savory extra virgin olive oils have distinguished organoleptic properties. A fresh and smooth taste comes from the scrupulous attention given to the olives in the mineral rich farmlands of Italy. The olives are grown naturally and sustainably, with careful selection during harvest. Assiduous attention is carried out to ensure our organic options meet strict certification guidelines. It continues through harvest and production. Traditional methods handed down for generations, melded with an exceptional quality of production, help us deliver from the olive tree to the table.
HOW TO IDENTIFY A GOOD EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
- COLOR: Golden Yellow/Green
- ODOR: Distinct notes of olive with notes of grass, almond, herbs, etc.
- TASTE: Fruity (exhibits fresh olive), Bitter, Spicy
A good extra virgin olive oil should at least exhibit fruitiness. The odor and taste should remind you of the fresh olive picked at the optimum state of ripeness. It can also remind you of unripe fruit; like a green tomato. It should smell and taste like a fresh produce whether it is picked perfectly ripe or unripe. The fruitiness will also help determine the culinary uses, such as, pairings. Olive varietals and the stage of ripeness contribute the taste (mild, robust or somewhere in between). You might prefer a mild tasting olive oil or something more robust or peppery.
Your taste and smell senses play a key role. "Harvest" and "Best by" dates help. Dark glass bottles are preferred over clear or plastic ones to protect the oil from light and help maintain freshness. Treasure bitterness!
WHAT IS THAT TINGLING SENSATION?
Some people get surprised at the peppery or tingling sensation experienced when they are tasting a good extra virgin olive oil for the first time. Olive oil aficionados may jump quickly to explain the brief peppery or tingling sensation often noticed at the back of your throat upon consumption is an inherent characteristic of fresh oil containing beneficial compounds like polyphenols that are known for antioxidant properties. The tingling sensation may also be contributed to Oleocanthal as described in the following link: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/237235...
WHAT IS EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL?
Extra virgin olive oil is the highest quality of olive oil, obtained solely from the fruit of the olive tree, and solely by mechanical means that do not lead to any alterations in the oil. The production method is simply pressing the olives without solvents. The olives are washed and later go through decantation or a centrifuge, which separates the oil from the water. Extra virgin olive oil should have a superior taste. The free acidity, oleic acid, must be no more than 0.8% acidity, making it low acidity at less than 1%. Batistini Farms extra virgin olive oil is usually bottled at less than half of that, usually 0.2% - 0.3% acidity.
ARE ALL EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OILS THE SAME?
No. It’s unfortunate that many shortcuts are taken to deliver an “extra virgin” label.
WHAT INGREDIENTS DO YOU USE IN YOUR EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL?
CAN FLAVOR OLIVE OILS BE EXTRA VIRGIN?
Tricky question. When fruit or other herbs are crushed together with the olives, then it is no longer just the juice of the olive. Our flavor olive oils are produced by grinding the olives with some of nature’s botanicals such as fruit. The natural aromas are fused into the olive oil. That’s it.
WHAT IS “COLD EXTRACTED”?
Cold extracted oils should be pressed under 27° C (80.6° F). The “cold extraction” and “exclusion of chemicals” is important to avoid alterations in the oil. In addition, only olives should be used in extra virgin olive oil.
HOW IS OLIVE OIL PRODUCED?
In Italy, the primary harvest months usually fall between October - December, but harvest can begin in September and end in January. The olives are taken to the mill to be cold extracted for the oil. The olives are crushed by a heavy force of several hundred pounds. This physical force causes oil and water to seep out. It drips into the collection vats. The oil settles and the water is removed by decantation or centrifuge.
WHAT IS ROBUST OLIVE OIL?
Robust olive oil is more bitter and pungent (peppery), like a fresh olive picked from the olive tree. The aroma and taste may have herbal notes. Foods with bold flavors like meats, poultry, and soups make a nice compliment for the robust.
WHAT IS THE SHELF LIFE OF OLIVE OIL AND HOW DO I STORE IT?
A good quality extra virgin olive oil should have a shelf life up to 2 - 3 years from the bottling date if properly stored. The oxidation process takes place once the bottle is opened; always properly store it in a cool dark place, away from light and heat; it should be consumed within a couple of months once it it opened but keep it stored properly for freshness.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FILTERED AND UNFILTERED?
Extra virgin olive oil can be filtered or unfiltered. Filtration is just a step to remove the sediments that make the olive oil cloudy. Some olive oil enthusiast prefer filtered olive oil, because it is more aesthetically pleasing, they believe the shelf life is also extended. Others believe the cloudy unfiltered oil has more flavor from the olive particles. Some experts will tell you there’s no difference, and it probably comes down to personal preference.
ARE OLIVES A FRUIT OR VEGETABLE?
An olive is a fruit, and it is called a drupe. They grow on trees. Olive trees have been cultivated for many centuries. When fresh olives are hand picked from the olive trees, they are very bitter.