Glossary of Olive Oil Terminology
Many people refer to Olive Oil simply as that and fair enough, we are not pretentious in any way about this. However, there is some important terminology that helps you navigate the decision making process, so here is a summary of what you need to look out for.
EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL comes exclusively from the olive and is extracted using solely mechanical or physical means in thermal conditions (under 27°C) that do not alter the oil in any way. Among other things, it contains no more than 0.8% free acidity and is judged to have a superior taste and no defects whatsoever. It is pure juice.
VIRGIN OLIVE OIL is of slightly lower quality with free acidity up to 1.5% and is judged to have a good taste but may contain slight sensory defects.
REFINED OLIVE OIL is achieved by treating defective or low quality Virgin Olive Oil with the use of charcoal and other chemical and physical filters. Oil labeled as pure olive oil or simply olive oil is primarily refined oil with a small percentage of EVOO added to improve the taste.
COLD PRESSED and FIRST COLD PRESS this indicates that the oil was extracted from the olive at temperatures below 27ºC (80.6ºF).
MONOCULTIVAR most olive oil is made from a blend of different olive varieties or cultivars. Monocultivar means that the oils is made purely from a single type of olive. This is likely to allow for a more distinctive or recognisable flavour.
OLIO NUOVO or NEW SEASON OLIVE OIL freshly pressed olive oil, which comes in the early Autumn (if green olives are used) has a greater intensity of organoleptic and phenolic properties: the oil is more flavoursome and is packed with higher concentrations of antioxidants in the form of polyphenols
OLIVE OIL SHELF LIFE extra virgin olive oil has a shelf life of around 18 months. Unlike fine wine, even the very best olive oils do not improve with age. You should always check the harvest date and if possible the bottling date to give you an indication of its freshness and consumption window.
FRANTOIO this is the Italian word for an olive mill (and Frantoi is the plural of this). We work with families who own their own groves and their own press, ensuring absolute control and the highest quality focus at every step of the way.