Olive Oil Facts & FAQs
OLIVE OIL Facts
What is Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)?
Extra virgin olive oil is the highest quality olive oil. Virgin olive oil refers to oil that is unrefined and cold-pressed (meaning there are no chemicals or heat used in the extraction process). The “extra” in EVOO indicates the fact that the virgin olive oil has gone through additional certification to ensure its purity. Olive oil that is certified as extra virgin contains more of the vitamins and antioxidants naturally found in olives. It also retains a more robust flavor than regular olive oils.
How should olive oil be stored?
Extra virgin olive oil has three enemies: temperature, oxygen, and light. Any of the three can degrade its quality. With that in mind, extra virgin olive oil should be stored between 56 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit in an airtight, opaque container. (It’s worth noting that La Panza’s specially designed Pantry Pouches protect against all three factors. But more on that later.)
How do I know if my olive oil is fresh?
Once the olives are harvested and pressed, it's important to package the olive oil within 8 hours. Fresh olive oil should smell fresh like grass or something fruity. Avoid something that smells musty or rancid, or even odorless. In addition to smell, when you’re tasting olive oils, you should recognize hints of grass, fruit, and/or almond.
Why is olive oil so popular?
For centuries, olive oil has been used for everything from skincare to lamp fuel. The current popularity explosion, however, is mainly due to olive oil’s use in the kitchen. Olives are widely considered a “superfood,” not only for their delicious flavor but for their nutritional value as well. Olive oil, which is extracted by grinding and pressing the olives in a specially designed mill, can be used for cooking meats and vegetables. It can also be combined with various spices and ingredients to create delicious dressings and sauces. In addition to its culinary versatility, olive oil also boasts an impressive array of health benefits.
What are the health benefits of olive oil?
Not all fats are created equal. While saturated fats and trans fats are unhealthy, monosaturated fats are an essential part of a healthy diet. Olive oil is a wonderful source of monosaturated fat. Thanks to the high levels of oleic acid, it also boasts impressive anti-inflammatory properties. And if that’s not enough, olive oil is packed with antioxidants and polyphenols.
Healthy fats, anti-inflammatory qualities, antioxidants, and polyphenols: that’s a powerful combination. And according to numerous studies, that combination means olive oil — specifically extra virgin olive oil — can help reduce the risk of adverse health conditions like heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, and Alzheimer's disease. If you ask us, that’s pretty impressive.
What makes La Panza EVOO so special?
We believe the freshest olive oil is the best tasting olive oil. That’s why our entire production process is designed to get the oil from the olive to the packaging as quickly as possible. All of our olives are grown and harvested on La Panza Ranch in San Juan Creek Valley, California, a 15,000-acre haven nestled between the La Panza Mountains and the Carrisa Plains. To ensure optimal freshness, the olives are milled on-site, which allows us to process and package our extra virgin olive oil within eight hours of harvesting.
Why does La Panza use a Pantry Pouch instead of traditional bottles?
We’ve already talked about the fact that air, moisture, light, and temperature cause the most damage to olive oil. Our innovative Pantry Pouch ensures the freshest olive oil by providing safe, sustainable storage that offers protection from the air, moisture, light, and temperature that can degrade the oil. The pouch’s built-in spout lets you pour the olive oil you need without removing a lid and exposing the oil to oxygen. It also features a metallic liner that keeps the oil even cooler than standard packaging. Last, but certainly not least, our Pantry Pouch has an 80% reduced carbon footprint over glass bottles and 90% less waste than glass. It’s good for our oil and good for the environment as well.