What is Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
Extra is the highest grade for olive oil, the best you can buy. Virgin oil may be called extra if it has less than 1% free oleic acid, and if it exhibits superior taste, color and aroma. Thus, the extra in extra virgin olive oil means premium, or simply, the best.

What is the oil cloudy?
Our oils are cloudy because we do not filter our oils.   Filtering strips oils of flavor and texture.  Our citrus oils especially tend to be cloudy, especially in the beginning of the year.  This is perfectly normal and the oils will eventually settle out.  You can transfer the oil to a clean bottle if you like, once it has settled, but the sediment is not harmful.   

If it is winter and the oils was shipped to you, your oil may be cold, as the natural waxes have suspended.   You oil should return to normal in a day or two.  Again, this is a normal process and does not harm the oil.

How does one store olive oil?
Olive oil should be stored in a cool, dark place. Properly stored, olive oil can keep for at least two years, in an unopened container. Olive oil should not be stored in the refrigerator. If chilled, olive oil will become cloudy and eventually solidify or crystallize. Should this happen, the oil is perfectly fine; just leave the oil at room temperature for a time to restore it to its natural state. Buying olive oil in dark green glass further protects it. The four enemies of olive oil are: air, time, heat, and light. It is best to buy only what you will use in 2 months, once opened. The oil will not go bad in this time, but its fresh flavor and scent will fade.

How long does olive oil stay good?
Evoo is optimum for 18 months after harvest, which ends in January of each year. A bottle of olive oil should be used within 2 months of opening, as, once open, it begins to oxidize, losing freshness. Our olive oils are harvest dated, to insure freshness. Olive Oil is a fresh product and does not benefit from aging.  Depending upon how the oil is made and how it is storage, it can stay in good shape for years.  (For example, I personally am still using our Reserve Oil from 2012, and it's still delicious! Our 2012 oil had a .3 acidity when produced and still qualifies as evoo, 2.5 years later! TB)

How long beyond the best by date is your olive oil safe to use?
If it has not been opened, it depends on how well it has been stored. If it has been stored well, ie the classic dark cool place, then it can stay good for a few years, really. We've opened 4 year old Lemon oil and it was still fresh and delicious; citrus oils tend to last longer. For regular oil, it could be equally as long. The best test is to open it and smell it, does it still smell fresh and grassy? Does it still taste fresh? Then it's ok. If it smells like nuts, that is rancidity. Throw it away. Because our olive oil has such a low acidity when produced, then it tends to stay usable longer. Usable is the operative word. It won't hurt you, it's just not optimum.  

If it has been opened, it still depends on how well it has been stored, ie, the dark cool place, but considerably less time. The food snob/brat in us wouldn't recommend using a bottle of oil that has been open for more than 2 months; the pragmatic yankee in us might extend that deadline a bit.  See above note from TB.

What are the health benefits of evoo?
The 7 essential nutrients for good health are: proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, roughage and water. Evoo is a fat necessary for human health. The nervous system, hair, skin, and organs all require soluable fats, much in the same way your car requires not only fuel, but oil.

Should one cook with evoo?
As long as you are not deep-frying, certainly. Our evoo is an all purpose olive oil, suitable for sauts, sauces, grilling, vinaigrettes, as finishing oil, or enjoyed simply with fresh baguette.

What are the nutritional components of olive oil?
A tablespoon of olive oil contains 120 calories, 14 grams of fat, and no cholesterol. Seventy seven percent (77%) of the fat in olive oil is monounsaturated, and nine percent (9%) is polyunsaturated fat; fourteen percent (14%) is vegetable-derived saturated fat. Virgin olive oils also contain the antioxidants beta-carotene and Vitamin E, as well as the phenolic compounds tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol. Olive oil contains no salt and is naturally cholesterol-free. While there is no scientific concensus, studies suggest that when substituted for saturated fats, monounsaturated fat lowers blood cholesterol, especially the harmful low density lipoproteins (LDL) while protecting the good high density lipoproteins (HDL).

Why is olive oil superior to other oils?
Taste is the most obvious difference between olive oil and the commercially popular vegetable oils such as corn, soybean and canola oils. These oils are tasteless fats. You would not want to eat a piece of bread dipped in vegetable oil; for the same basic reason, many chefs refrain from adding tasteless fat to the foods they prepare. Olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, adds a flavor and textural dimension lacking in other oils, making it a suitable substitute for butter and margarine in almost any recipe. In fact, more and more restaurants are serving extra virgin olive oil, both plain or flavored with salt and pepper, as an alternative to butter for bread. Moreover, vegetable oils are industrial, processed foods. Vegetable oils are generally extracted by means of 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 essentially fresh squeezed from the fruit of the olive tree, without alteration of the color, taste, and nutrients or vitamins. Because of its antioxidant components, olive oil keeps longer than all other vegetable oils.

How does olive oil compare with butter or margarine?
Butter and margarine are essentially fats like cooking oils. A tablespoon of ordinary butter contains twelve grams of fat, of which 8 grams (66%) are saturated fat. In addition, a serving of butter contains 33 mgs of cholesterol, while olive oil has none! Saturated fat and cholesterol have been linked to increased levels of low density lipoproteins (LDLs)the bad cholesterol. Thus, compared to butter, a serving of olive oil contains much less saturated fat (only 2 grams) and no cholesterol. The comparison with margarine is more difficult because the fat breakdown in margarines varies by manufacturer and ingredient. Margarine typically contains approximately 10 grams of fat per tablespoon. However, to solidify the vegetable oils used to make margarine, the oils have to be hydrogenized. In the hydrogenization process, trans fatty acids are created. Trans fatty acids have a double whammy effect of increasing LDLs and lowering the high density lipoproteins (HDLs)the good cholesterol

Can olive oil be used to replace butter and margarine in recipes?
Yes! Olive Oil can be used in place of butter or margarine in many recipes, such as on vegetables, rice, potatoes, in baking, on toast, just about anything!