About Olive Oil
Olive Oil: From the Farm to the Table:
Since civilization began, production of olive oil has been an essential part of life.
The process has not changed dramatically, although some of the mechanics have been updated. The basics are as follows;
- Pick the fruit
- Crush the fruit
- Separate the liquid from the solids
- Separate the oil from the rest of the liquids
There you have it!!! Very simple and straight forward.
Now in order to produce a high quality extra virgin oil, the process is the same but some attention to detail is necessary.
When to pick the fruit is one of the most important quality decisions that needs to be made. Unlike most fruit, the season for picking olives extends for months rather than weeks or days. When you chose to pick the olives will dictate the flavor of the oil more than the type of olive or where it is grown. Olives picked early in the season (Oct-Nov), when the olives are mostly green, will yield a more robust, "green' flavored oil. Since the olives are not completely ripe at this point, the amount of oil that is extracted tends to be very low. Later in the season (Jan-Mar), the olives turn a darker color and yield much more oil. The oil tends to be much richer and golden with a ripe mellow flavor. Harvesting the olives can be done in many different ways, either by hand or mechanically.
After picking the olives gentle treatment and efficient processing are musts in order to produce the highest quality olive oil. The olives need to be processed within 24 hours or the fruit starts to breakdown and ferment leaving some unpleasant flavors in the oil. The choice of how to process the olives varies from the age old stone mill and press to the more modern centrifugal separators. No matter which method is used, keeping the olives at a low temperature is crucial to success. The final separation of olive oil from the "Fruit -water" is usually accomplished with a centrifuge similar to a cream separator Or by natural oil / water separation.
Now you have a wonderful olive oil that is ready to be enjoyed or it can be filtered or blended with other oils depending on the style or final use.
OLIVE OIL NUTRITION FACTS:
IS OLIVE OIL THE PERFECT FRUIT JUICE?
We've been keeping a list of olive oil nutrition facts for over ten years at Temecula Olive Oil Company. We’re probably not the first ones to do so either. In fact, olive oil has been coveted since ancient times in part due to the multitude of health benefits it provides. Today, the juice of the olive fruit has been scientifically proven to be an essential part of a healthy diet, due to its high content of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants.
Olive oil is considered to be one of the best oils because it is the single, naturally-produced oil with the largest source of monounsaturated fats and is the only one that can be consumed from the freshly-pressed fruit just as is, like orange juice. Olive oil - an essential part of the Mediterranean diet - is credited with enhancing the heart health and life spans of the people of that region. Among olive oil nutrition facts are studies demonstrating that monounsaturated fats, such as Omega-3s, Omega-6s and Omega-9s all found at their optimal balance in olive oil, decrease LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels while increasing HDL ("good") cholesterol levels, which allows cholesterol to move freely to the liver to be eliminated rather than being deposited on artery walls and forming blood clots as it travels through the bloodstream. This helps the body maintain healthy blood pressure levels and reduces risk of heart disease - a leading cause of death in Western cultures. Additionally, an olive oil rich diet has been shown to improve brain health, help prevent or delay the onset of diabetes and lead to greater weight loss than a low fat diet.
Further notable of the olive oil nutrition facts is that it is an excellent source of antioxidants. Oxidation occurs naturally inside the human body, giving rise to "free radicals" (unstable atoms and molecules) that can lead to normal cell function deterioration or cellular death, unless there is a balance between healthy cells and free radicals. Antioxidants, like those found in olive oil, help maintain that balance, reducing the effects of aging and risk of developing cancer. In fact, studies show a direct correlation between a diet rich in olive oil and the control of colo-rectal cancer and skin cancers.
Anyone familiar with olive oil nutrition facts knows that the best olive oil comes from the first pressing of the fruit, called "extra virgin olive oil". Extra virgin olive oil is the purest form of olive oil and therefore the most nutrient-rich. Substituting 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per day for saturated fats, such as animal and dairy fats, will improve your health inside and out. Temecula Olive Oil Company makes it easy to add extra virgin olive oil to your diet when you substitute other oils in your favorite recipes with flavorful, fresh California extra virgin olive oil. Create a delightful salad dressing by blending our Citrus Reserve Olive Oil with our Vanilla and Fig Balsamic Vinegar. Marinade your favorite meat with our Roasted Garlic Reserve Olive Oil or drizzle our Fresh Basil Olive Oil over steamed vegetables and Caprese salad. You can even bake with our buttery, Olivum Reserve Late Harvest traditional olive oil, or add our Citrus Reserve Olive Oil to brownies for a delicious hint of orange.
Temecula Olive Oil Company is a family-owned company that offers fine, Southern California-grown extra virgin olive oils, cold, hand-pressed on our ranch. Discover one of the most healthy treats nature provides by checking out the product offerings on our website. You'll be glad you did!
OLIVE OIL FOR FACE MASKS AND MORE:
NATURE'S BEAUTY SECRET
Using olive oil for face masks is one of the many beauty secrets of nature that Temecula Olive Oil Company has been keeping track of for the last ten years. While olive oil is popularly known for the amazing health benefits it provides as part of a balanced diet, it can also be used to keep your appearance beautiful and youthful.
The ancient Egyptians, Romans, Greeks and Phoenicians all acknowledged the beauty properties of olive oil for face, skin, hair, nails and even fresh breath. Scientific research in the last century has revealed that olive oil is rich in vitamins A, D, K and particularly vitamin E, which are protective antioxidants that minimize damage caused by "free radicals" (unstable atoms and molecules) that cause cell oxidation and aging.
The following are some simple tips you can use to incorporate olive oil into your beauty routine.
Olive Oil For Face And Skin:
- Use olive oil for face masks to smooth the complexion and maintain skin's elasticity. Mix olive oil, honey and one egg yolk until well blended. Apply mask to face and leave for 15 minutes. Use warm water to rinse.
- Prevent stretch marks, treat dry skin, psoriasis and eczema by massaging olive oil directly into affected area straight out of the bottle
- Add olive oil to bath water for a moisturizing soak.
- Apply olive oil to hands and feet at bedtime then cover with cotton gloves and socks to soften callous, dry and cracked skin.
- Dab olive oil on lips at bedtime to heal and prevent chapping.
Olive Oil For Hair:
- Make a hot oil treatment to heal dry or damaged hair by mixing 2/3 cup of olive oil and 1 TBSP of honey in a re-sealable plastic bag. Fill a bowl with hot water and place the sealed bag in the water until it becomes warm. (Do not allow oil to become hot.) Apply oil mixture to roots and work it through to the tips of your hair. Cover with a shower cap and wrap in a warm towel. Leave on for 20 minutes. Shampoo and condition as normal.
- Condition your hair by applying olive oil directly to hair for 30 minutes to reduce frizz and static, heal split-ends, remedy dandruff, balance overproduction of oil and prevent attraction of parasites.
Olive Oil For Finger Nails:
- Warm olive oil with 1 TBSP of lemon juice in a dish. (Do not allow oil to become hot.) Soak fingertips for 5-10 minutes to strengthen nails and soften cuticles.
Olive Oil For Bad Breath:
- Sip olive oil to remedy bad breath with a pleasantly sweet odor. Olive oil also aids in digestion, so is easy on the stomach when sipped straight.
The best olive oil for face, hair or nail care is extra virgin olive oil, which is the purest form directly from the first pressing of the olives. Since it is the most nutrient-rich form of olive oil, you will reap the greatest benefits from these beauty tips when you choose to use extra virgin olive oil for face, hair or nail care.
Our high-quality bath and body products contain 45%-72% pure extra virgin olive oil from our ranch in Temecula, California. This is the highest content of olive oil available in bath and body products. From our lemon-verbena or lavender body soaps and foaming liquid hand soaps, to our coconut vanilla sugar scrub and herbal mint lip balm, you'll find our products to be superior and will keep coming back for more. Check out our Bath & Body selection while you're exploring our website.
AN HISTORICAL LOOK AT TODAY'S RUSH
FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA OLIVE OIL
Olive oil has been documented in ancient literature as a source of sustenance and healing to peoples of the Mediterranean region. Homer even reveres olive oil as “liquid gold” in The Illiad. At Temecula Olive Oil Company, we have discovered that Southern California olive oil is indeed causing a gold rush.
The olive tree has its “roots” in the Mediterranean region as early as 8000 BC and the juice of the olive fruit has been evidenced as early as 3500 BC to provide a source of food and healing. Olive oil has also been used in religious ceremonies from ancient until modern times and was so esteemed that it has even been discovered in tombs of Egyptian kings. The economic importance of olive oil from ancient times cannot be underestimated.
The hardiness of the olive tree and its centuries-long lifespan contribute to the spread of its cultivation throughout Western civilization. The tree’s deep and wide root system enable its survival in dry climates near the sea where the salt content of the underground water supply is high. Perhaps it is this knowledge that encouraged the Spanish missionaries to bring olive trees with them to The New World in the 16th Century knowing they could provide a source of economic sustenance and cultivate olives for olive oil to be used in their religious practices.
In 1769, Spanish missionaries planted the first Southern California olive groves at Mission San Diego de Alcala. The soil and climate are as ideal to support the growth of olive trees as the soil and climate in the Mediterranean. By the late 1700’s, Southern California olive oil was reported in the writings of Alexander von Humboldt to be “equal to that of Andalusia,” a coastal region in Spain where the climate is also similar to the Mediterranean.
Southern California olive oil was first produced commercially in the early 1800’s and is revered for its quality, rivaling that produced in the Mediterranean region. Today, family-owned and operated Temecula Olive Oil Company , whose ranch is located near coastal San Diego, where the first olive groves were planted in Southern California, produces premium Southern California olive oil using a cold, hand pressing process like that which was used in ancient times. Every drop of extra virgin olive oil produced by Temecula Olive Oil Company every season is consumed and those who have tasted Temecula Olive Oil Company’s quality products rush back for more. Taste for yourself the extra virgin olive oil, olive oil blends, fine balsamic vinegars and artisan foods that are crafted by hand at Temecula Olive Oil Company. Taste the rush of liquid gold.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN YOU
BUY OLIVE OIL
When you buy olive oil in the United States, it’s important that you know the quality of the product you’re purchasing. At Temecula Olive Oil Company , we produce only fresh, extra virgin olive oil on our Southern California ranch using time-tested techniques.
Since the time of ancient civilization, olive oil has been used for a myriad of cooking, health and beauty purposes. Also since ancient times, in order to meet the high demand of those who buy olive oil, this coveted fruit juice was frequently adulterated so that supply could be increased. Quality was sacrificed for quantity. Today is no different.
As you might imagine, many olives must be pressed to produce a small yield of olive oil and the production requires time. The fruit must be hand-picked at the exact right time to deliver the perfect flavor. The olives are then crushed into a paste within twenty-four hours of being picked and hand-pressed to separate the liquids from the solids. Finally, the liquids must be naturally clarified to separate the oil from the other liquid by-products. This first pressing of olive oil is called extra virgin olive oil, which is the purest, most nutrient-rich form available, therefore providingthe best health benefits.
When you buy olive oil, you should know that real extra virgin olive oil is produced using the time-tested method just described. It is never heated or infused with other oils. In 23 countries, the International Olive Oil Council (IOOC) governs the quality and classification of olive oils and only true extra virgin olive oils – defined as containing no more than .8 grams of oleic acid per 100 grams of olive oil – are allowed to be marked as extra virgin olive oil. However, in the United States – not an IOOC member country – the USDA only began to recognize olive oil classifications in late October of 2010. Moreover, olive oil producers are not required to obtain USDA approval before labeling an olive oil as “extra virgin,” so just because the label claims to be extra virgin olive oil does not mean that the olive oil inside the container meets USDA or IOOC standards.
In fact, many imported olive oils that are labeled as extra virgin olive oil are diluted with safflower, canola, soy, hazelnut and other oils to extend the supply and reduce the cost, allowing for mass production. Since 99% of olive oil sold in the United States is imported and the USDA does not require its standards to be met before a producer labels olive oil as extra virgin, you may not be getting the quality product you believe you are when you buy olive oil, but instead an inferior, diluted version. Nancy Curry, co-owner of Temecula Olive Oil Company with Catherine Pepe, comments that when customers who visit TOOC’s tasting rooms ask why the olive oils are so expensive, “They’re asking the wrong question. What they should be asking is, ‘Why is the other stuff so cheap?’”
Something else to be aware of if you buy olive oil, is that the enemies of olive oil are heat, air, light and age. It is important for the temperature during pressing to be below 35 degrees Celsius, so that the fruit juice is not degraded. Although heating the fruit will produce a higher yield of olive oil, true extra virgin olive oil can only be produced when the olives are cold pressed to prevent decomposition, the way olives are pressed at Temecula Olive Oil Company. Additionally, olive oils bottled in dark bottles with long, narrow necks, like those TOOC uses, minimize exposure to light and air. Many mass-produced olive oils are packaged in clear bottles with short necks, which allow greater exposure to light and air, causing premature degradation.
Furthermore, all of Temecula Olive Oil Company’s olive oil bottles are hand-dated and every bit of olive oil produced every season is sold, whereas mass-produced oils are frequently sent to distribution centers to sit for six months or more before being shipped to retailers. Most grocery store bought oils are actually rancid before the consumer ever has a chance to buy olive oil.
Of course, the true test of quality to those who buy olive oil is taste. Extra virgin olive oils are judged by the IOOC not by color or scent, but by taste. They are sipped from dark blue glasses that are tapered at the top, so color cannot be determined. They must have noticeable levels of fruitiness, bitterness and pepperiness and not any level of sixteen officially-defined taste flaws. TOOC’s artisan food creator, Thom Curry, is a Certified Master Taster by the IOOC, which is another reason you can trust that the quality of TOOC’s olive oils is always 100% fresh California extra virgin.
Take a look around our website to discover the delightfully fresh selection of premium extra virgin olive oils, balsamic vinegars and artisan foods that will bring joy to your taste buds, or stop by one of TOOC’s tasting rooms to sample all of the season’s extra virgin olive oil offerings. Warning: You’ll have a difficult time chosing just one!
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