Not all extra virgin olive oils are made equally- have you ever wondered why? Keep reading to find out what makes Olivelle’s collection of extra virgin olive oils stand out. 

What is Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

In order to be classified as extra virgin olive oil the oil must be the first pressing of the olives with no heat used in the extraction process, and the “free acidity” (a measure of oxidation) must fall below 0.8%. Olives that have overripened on the tree or olives that have sat after being picked before pressing will be exposed to more oxidation. If you see an extra virgin olive oil labeled "First Pressed" or "Cold Pressed"- don't be fooled by those fancy catch phrases, because all extra virgin olive oil is first pressed, cold pressed. We label our olive oils "Single-Estate" because the olives are grown, harvested, and pressed all on one estate. 

What Factors Affect the Flavor of Olive Oil?

Olive oil is pressed from the olive crop and there are so many factors that can affect the flavor and quality of olive oil! These factors include but are not limited to:

  • precipitation
  • soil quality
  • olive variety (there are over 500 varieties in the world!)
  • surrounding vegetation
  • olive ripeness
  • oxidation 

These factors can affect the flavor of oil from crop to crop. 

How Are Our Olives Grown?

We work with small family estates that prioritize making quality not quantity olive oil. Our olive oils are grown in olive groves that have been around for decades, where the trees are planted a minimum of 8 meters apart in mineral rich soil to avoid depleting the soil. The olives are picked earlier in the season when the flavor of the olives are optimal, and the olives are pressed within hours of picking to prevent oxidation (the free acidity of our oils is 0.3% or lower). This is what gives our olives their beautifully balanced flavor. Olives start off with a strong bitter and green flavor and as they ripen through the season they become more fruity and mild, eventually overripening which produces an unsatisfactory flavor. The longer the olives ripen the more olive oil is produced off the fruit, this is the main reason why quality olive oil is more expensive than commodity olive oil. What you find in the grocery store is made from the over ripened and defective flavor olives. 

Why Do We Carry So Many Options of Traditional Olive Oil?

Olive oil pressed early in the season takes on that strong, bitter, green, and even spicy flavor- this is often favored by Italians. These strongly flavored olive oils are perfect to pair with creamy foods like polenta or potatoes. If you love a strong flavored olive oil try our Il Cavallino or  We find many Americans enjoy the more fruity and balanced olive oils, which are great to pair with spicy greens or aromatic veggies, if you love a fruity olive oil give our Marrakech Moroccan oil a try! We offer multiple varieties of traditional olive oil that all have a unique flavor- because we want you to LOVE what you get.