about olive oils
We choose to only specialise in extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegar - but we also know plenty about other types of oil used with food.
Please find a full and comprehensive list of oils (including our favourite, olive oil !) below:
Olive oil has been part of our diet for thosands of years. The health benefits of good quality extra virgin olive oil which have not had their all important nutrients damaged are well known.
Unfortunately, most commercial oil is produced in a way that damages its nutritional content. Basically, almost all olive oils are processed and diluted in ways that lead to the loss of the nutrients essential to health.
Pre the supermarkets it was relatively easy to obtain high quality oil that was rich in antioxidants, but not any more. Today, high quality oil is in a tiny minority and is produced only by small family farms or small co-operatives where oil is still produced in the traditional ways.
Olives are picked by hand so as to not damage the skin or the pulp and transported to the mill in well ventilated containers.They are pressed within 24 hours of harvesting.Before pressing, leaves and twigs are removed, then the olives are washed, dried and crushed.The oil is separated from the olive paste without the use of heat, hot water or solvents and is left unfiltered, since filtering also removes many nutrients.
Producing oil this, the traditional way is time intensive and expensive.The increasing demand for cheap olive oil has moved production away from the old ways and toward automation and mass production. Modern factories extract more oil, more cheaply, but their processing methods substantially reduce the nutritional quality of the oil.
To reduce costs, olives are machine harvested along with leaves and twigs. Olives that have dropped to the ground and started to oxidise are often mixed with the less damaged ones.They are shipped to the mills in volume efficient, but poorly ventilated containers and then heaped and left in large piles, going mouldy, waiting their turn for pressing. The olives are eventually pressed with the oil extracted in a continuous centrifuge while hot water is used to separate out the oil.
Antioxidant polyphenols being water-soluble are largely washed away in this process, thereby lowering the shelf life and the nutritional quality of the oil. Factory-produced olive oil in reality has a shelf life of only months before going rancid, whereas traditionally produced oils are good for two to three years.
Olive Oil has a fantastic history. To read more about it's history click here
Refined olive oil
This oil is obtained from the refining of oils which fail to qualify for the grade of virgin oil, either because of defective flavour or excessive acidity. The residual pulp from the first pressing is pressed again (second pressing), this time using heat, to yield a fattier and more acid oil which is often blended with first-pressing oil to make the majority of olive oil available cheaper in supermarkets.
Virgin olive oil
This is the oil which results from the first cold pressing of the olives. It is natural and pure and has no other oils added to it.
Extra virgin olive oil
This is primarily the best best type of olive oil and is the only type which we sell. The taste of the oil is dependent on the type and quality of olives used, weather and other processes.
Geography can also affect the taste and appearance of your olive oil - with specific varieties of olive being indigenous to specific parts of the world.
Our olive oils come specifically chosen from areas and olives to maximise taste. The extra virgins we have are from:
Infused olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil infused with herbs, spices, fruit or vegetables. Ideal for stirring into or drizzling onto pasta dishes, soups, pizzas, marinades or dressings.
A variety of infusions are available to buy from the gift of oil;