Castella Imports

Olive Oil 101

Olive Oil is susceptible to oxygen, light, and heat, which can degrade it. Olive oil should be stored in a cool, dry, dark place, away from the heat and light. A dark cupboard away from the oven is best. Avoid storing oil in direct sunlight.

It is also important to limit the oil's exposure to open air. Over time, oxygen can degrade the quality of the oil. Use oil soon after opening, before the "best by" date, and always keep it stored with a cap or lid.
Country of Orgin:
Castella's olive oils come from  Greece, Italy, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia or Turkey

Olive Oils are graded based on criteria such as odor, flavor, color, oleic acid and more. Grades of olive oil include Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Virgin Olive Oil, "Light" or "Mild" Olive Oil, Olive-Pomace Oil and Olive Oil Blends.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil.“Extra” is the highest grade for olive oil - the best you can buy. The virgin oil produced from mechanical pressing may be called “extra” if it has no more than 0.8 grams per 100 grams of oleic acid. The oil must also exhibit superior taste, color and aroma, (a median of defects equal to zero and a median of fruitiness greater than zero). Thus, the “extra” in extra virgin olive oil means“premium,” or simply, “the best.” This is the healthiest, top of the range of olive oils and should be the oil thatgraces your salads.

Virgin Olive Oil.The name denotes that this oil has not undergone any refinement. Virgin Olive Oil has reasonable good flavor and odor, (median of defects between zero and 2.5 and median fruitiness greater than zero). Its free fatty acid content (oleic acid) is no more than 2.0 grams per 100 grams.

Olive Oil. Ordinary “olive oil” is actually a blended oil product. Olive oil producers start with low quality virgin olive oils. For these oils to be fit for consumption, they must be refined using mechanical, thermal and/or chemical processes. The resulting “refined olive oil” is largely colorless and tasteless. Before the resulting product is sold as “olive oil,” the producer blends into the refined olive oil a percentage of quality virgin olive oil to provide color and taste. Suitable for cooking.

“Light” or “Mild” Olive Oil. Light olive oil is a variation on ordinary olive oil. Producers of this product use a highly refined olive oil, and add less quality virgin oil than that typically used to blend olive oil. The only thing “light” about light olive oil is the taste and color; it has the same caloric and fat content as other oils.

Olive-Pomace Oil. Olive-pomace oil is the residue oil that is extracted by chemical solvents from previously pressed olive mash. This oil must be highly-refined to remove chemical impurities. Like ordinary olive oil, refined olive-pomace oil is enriched with virgin olive oil prior to sale.  It is also insipid (0% acidity) with no flavor and no quality standards stated or implied. Pomace is used as a low cost alternative to ‘refined’ oil in order to lower the product cost of the packers who mix it with virgin and refined oils.

Olive Oil Blends. Olive oil blends (e.g., canola oil enriched with some virgin olive oil) are sometimes used as a more economical substitute for olive oil (but not as a substitute for extra virgin olive oil).  In an olive oil blend, the producer uses a base of a less expensive vegetable oil (e.g. canola oil or soybean oil) to which it adds a percentage (e.g. 25%) of virgin olive oil. These products have proven particularly attractive to restaurant and institutional purchasers where the small savings per tablespoon results in big savings due to the large volume they purchase.

What is the difference between extra virgin olive oil and the refined oil mixes?
They are two entirely different products. Refined mixes are inexpensive to produce. Extra virgin olive oil is an entirely natural product and is more expensive to produce. Extra virgin olive oil is much better tasting than the refined mixes and provides all of the health benefits that are associated with olive oil.