Our Extra Virgin Olive Oil Manifesto
The hardest part of our job is to convey the authenticity of the products we select. It also happens to be the one the aspects that takes up most of our time and resources.
A few years back (at the beginning of our journey, when the company had a different name), a huge scandal sprouted surrounding the Italian olive oil, its provenance and autenticity. As a retailer of Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil, we were very saddened by the actions of big corporations, compromising their standards and lowering the credibility of the entire industry and its players.
The way we see Extra Virgin Olive Oil is not only as a condiment. Of course, that is the main use, but this precious golden liquid has also undeniable health properties. To enmesh customers with false claims, it is also to potentially compromise their health. And that's unacceptable.
We stand with suppliers and cooperatives that are willing to open their doors to us and our customers, to let us snoop around, to answer our endless list of questions. We stand with producers proving their quality, having their products tested by official authorities and we like that they share this information with us, and you of course, should you require it.
If you are not sure about the olive oil you are buying, ask the producer what's the acidity level. The closer to 0, the better the product. As simple as that. Extra virgin olive oil must have acidity <0,8.
If more than 0,8 the olive oil is not Extra Virgin anymore, but only Virgin olive oil. This can be achieved naturally (the quality is not good enough), or chemically.
Don't be fooled by the colour. Any extra virgin olive oil sommelier will not consider it to determine the overall quality.
Ask if it is cold pressed or not. Ask if they use chemicals to extract the oil or not. Ask at what temperature the pulp is stirred after the crushing and before the final stage. For Extra Virgin olive oil, this temperature should never go above 27°C. Search. Discover. Be curious. Ask questions, as many as you can.
Don't compromise on the quality, don't be afraid to pay a little extra. There is something profoundly wrong in a bottle of olive oil costing only £3/L. We've seen how much work is involved, and also done a little math: with retailer margins, cost of transports, production, etc. something's gotta give.
Smell your Extra Virgin olive oil, try to understand which flavour comes to mind. Green vegetables, tomato, artichoke, almond?
Try to understand where it's from. Which country. Was it a blend of olives from different regions? Was it bottled in one place and produced in an other?
Buy just one very good quality bottle and compare it to what you've been using till now. Compare the flavour, the acidity, the viscosity, and how it reacts with your food. You will be amazed by how much difference a great Extra Virgin olive oil can make.
This is just the beginning in our quest to excellence and we want you to be an active part: to enjoy a great product, but also to feel safe and confident in your choice.
Should you have any question, please feel free to contact us at anytime.