Whether you favor the spicy bite of Italian olive oils or the buttery sweetness of the Spanish varieties, our cold pressed, 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oils are healthy components in all types of cuisines. Pair them with our premium balsamic vinegars for delicious vinaigrettes, add them to sauces and marinades, or simply drizzle them over your favorite pasta dishes.
We import our oils from small family farms from the world’s major olive growing regions, including Spain, Italy, Greece, France, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Chile, Argentina, Australia, and California. Our selection of single varietal and mixed varietal EVOOs satisfies a spectrum of flavor profiles, and our sources in both the northern and southern hemispheres provide us with the highest quality oils year round. The pressing process occurs within twenty-four hours of the olive harvest and without the use of heat or chemicals, ensuring rich, strong flavors in all of our oils. Pressing itself is a mis-nomer as by far the prevalent extraction process is via centrifuge.
Traditionally produced “Extra Virgin Olive Oil” (EVOO) is made from the first pressing of the olives; it is, essentially, the juice of the olive. Technically, “extra virgin” is a grade of olive oil, usually indicating the highest quality oil that is distinguished by its naturally low levels of free oleic acid. To qualify as “extra virgin,” an olive oil must have a free acid count of less than one percent.
First cold pressed olive oil is from the first round of extraction from fresh, intact olives. It has not been heated during processing and therefore retains its full nutritional value.
“Cold Pressed” refers to the technique used to extract the best oil from the olive. To get the highest quality oil, the presser cannot use any heat. Cold pressed olive oil is of superior quality because it retains not only all of its sensitive aromatic properties, but also the antioxidants and nutrients that are often diminished by the high-speed machinery and elevated temperatures used in modern oil extraction methods.
An oil’s color mainly indicates the level of chlorophyll in the olive when it was picked. Early harvest olive oils, for example, are made with young olives that yield a greener color. Late harvest olives generally produce oil with a buttery, golden hue.
Unlike wine, olive oil does NOT improve with age. As olive oil gets older, it gradually breaks down, the acidity level rises, and flavor weakens. Extra virgin olive oil keeps better because it starts with a low acidity level, but it should ideally be consumed within 18-24 months of harvest. Lower quality olive oil has a higher acidity level and must be used even more quickly; since we do not use these types of oil the point is moot.
Flavored Olive Oils
Before we go too far let’s “chat” about Flavored Olive Oil. Tiana and I have learned an expression for the “raccolta della spazzatura” (collection of garbage) found in far too many mass presentations. In an admittedly Olive Oil Snob wording that term is “lampante” – Lamp Oil, as that is its only suitable use. Know that you will never find a pedestrian Olive Oil at HAVASU OLIVE & GARLIC CO, we are purists.
As a side note NEVER buy an Olive Oil described as Virgin, Pure, Lite or any other scandalous way of camouflaging a sub-standard oil. NEVER EVER buy an Olive Oil in clear glass. The three major contributors to the degradation of the product and resultant rancidity are Heat, prolonged exposure to Air (Oxygen) and Light – hence the dark green bottles we use exclusively. And with the carcinogens known to be present in some plastic bottles…we only use glass!
Flavored Olive Oils primarily came into usage as a way to disguise a poor, even possibly rancid oil. That is by far NOT the case here or at the 100’s of affiliated specialty shops we work with across the States and Canada. Our Flavored Olive Oils start out as the finest and freshest Extra Virgin Olive Oils. At many locations you may even see the expression of Flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oils, at HO&G we do not use that term. As the purists (translated snobs) we are we see that to be truly termed as EVOO it must be free of any alteration/amendment. But know this as gospel…at the core our Flavored Olive Oils begin indeed as EVOO and are free of any methodology that would denigrate the purity of our product! ‘Nuff said.
Now, within Flavored Olive Oils you will find two subsets: (1) Infused Olive Oils and (2) Fused Olive Oils (Agurmato). Essentially the differentiation is this. Infused means that there has been a natural or organic ester or flavoring that has been lovingly and carefully added to the Olive Oil to create a collaborative flavor. Fused – the more costly methodology – means that an insane Fruit, Vegetable or Herb has been added with the Olives prior to crushing and those flavors and fused together.