What is Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
The “Extra” in EVOO represents the absolute highest grade for olive oil–the best you can buy. Virgin oil is classified “extra” when it has less than .8% free oleic acid.

How do you store olive oil?
Olive oil should be stored in a cool, dark place. Well controlled pantry conditions are recommended. Light and heat are two of the primary enemies of olive oil. Packaging in dark glass is also important to shield olive oil from UV rays and light. It does not need to be stored in the refrigerator.

How long does olive oil stay good?
The other enemy of olive oil is “time”. Freshness provides key taste attributes, and 12 months after harvest you will begin to lose that fresh taste. Additionally, the Vitamin E content will begin to naturally decrease after that 1st year of use. Like many other consumable products, olive oil does have a shelf life.

Should one cook with EVOO?
Certainly.  EVOO is suitable for sautés, sauces, marinades, vinaigrettes, in addition to being a fine finishing oil, or simply enjoyed with a baguette. Be careful however, to never leave any sautê pan on a stovetop alone.  Olive oil at high heat has the capacity to burn.  Keep the temperature below 350 degrees and you should be fine.

Why is olive oil superior to other oils?
Taste is the most obvious difference between olive oil and the store bought vegetable oils.  Vegetable oils are basically tasteless, and merely add fats without adding taste. Extra virgin olive oil adds a specific fresh flavor all its own, making it a great replacement for butter and margarine in almost any situation. Extra virgin olive oil, plain or flavored, is becoming very popular as a dipping or topping for bread, as an addition to recipes in place of butter, as a component of marinades and salad dressings.  Vegetable oils are usually extracted using petroleum-based chemical solvents, and then must be highly refined to remove impurities. Along with the impurities, refining removes taste, color and nutrients. Extra virgin olive oils are not processed or refined. Extra virgin olive oil is fresh pressed from the fruit of the olive tree, leaving the color, taste, vitamins & nutrients intact.  Because of its antioxidant components, olive oil keeps itself from oxidizing, so it keeps itself fresh longer than vegetable oils.

Can I to replace butter and margarine with olive oil?
Yes, please! Use it on vegetables, rice, potatoes, in baking, on toast, just about anything! It is a great way to stay healthy too.

What is Balsamic Vinegar?
There are 2 types of balsamic vinegar, Traditional and Commercial. A quasi-governmental body in Modena, Italy (balsamic vinegar’s birthplace) regulates the production of TRADITIONAL BALSAMIC VINEGAR. The white and sugary Trebbiano grapes, grown in the Northern Region of Italy near Modena, form the base of the world’s 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, initially in oaken kegs. Over the years it graduates to smaller and smaller kegs made of chestnut, cherrywood, ash, mulberry, and juniper until it is ready for sale. These woods progressively add character to the vinegar.

How should Balsamic Vinegar be stored?
Just as we’ve described with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Balsamic’s enemies are light and heat, so cool and dark storage spaces are the best.

Will the light, or white balsamic vinegars, change color?
All light balsamic vinegar is subject to oxidation.  Over time, this natural process leads to a darkening of the vinegar from gold to a deep amber color. This process does not affect the flavor of the balsamic vinegar in any way. If appearance is critical, we recommend that these light vinegars be consumed within three months of purchase and then refrigerated to slow the deepening of color.

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