What is the shelf life of extra virgin olive oil?
Extra virgin olive oil, or EVOO, should be consumed within 18 months of pressing. It can take as long as 6 months for EVOO to be processed, shipped, and reach consumers; therefore, most EVOOs have a shelf life of about a year after purchase if stored correctly. The products are not necessarily bad or dangerous to consume after a year, but they will start to lose their notable health benefits and fresh taste. Discard if rancid tastes develop. Other oils should be consumed within a year of purchase.
What is the shelf life of balsamic vinegar?
Our balsamics have already been aged for at least 12 years. If stored correctly it has the possibility of having an almost limitless shelf life. However, infused balsamics will undergo some changes in character over time. White balsamisc will darken and the flavors will mellow. Ginger flavors will get stronger. All the balsamics will get thicker over time and may get threads or particulates collecting on the bottom–this is completely natural in a such a product. To avoid these aging qualities in your vinegar, use it within two years of purchase.
How should I store the products?
Storing your F. Oliver’s product properly is very important. All of the oils and vinegars should be stored out of direct light and away from direct heat. The windowsill and the stovetop are out! A cupboard that is not directly over a stovetop or oven is an excellent choice. If it is more convenient for you, products may be stored in the refrigerator. EVOO may solidify at temperatures below 42 degrees, but will return to its liquid form if left at room temperature for an hour or so. It is also important to recap products tightly to prevent oxidation and spoilage.
How should I taste EVOO?
Tasting EVOO is much like tasting wine. Follow these steps to distinguish as many characteristics as possible from each EVOO you taste:
- Warm the cup of EVOO in your hand. Oil at body temperature will release many more fragrances and flavors. It will also more accurately mimic the experience you will have when consuming the oil with warm food.
- Use your senses other than taste to experience the oil. Look at its color, viscosity, and clarity. Carefully smell the oil, naming if you can, other foods or products it reminds you of. If you are tasting in our store you can ask to see our tasting wheel which offers many common descriptors.
- Take a small sip of the oil and roll it around in your mouth, coating your tongue. Describe the taste and physical sensations. Swallow the oil. Describe the sensation of the oil on your throat.
- Take a larger sip and experience the aroma of the oil retronasally by carefully sucking a small amount of air in through the oil while the oil is in your mouth. This technique is called strippagio. Our employees can demonstrate this technique for you. Describe how these aromas or tastes may have differed in character or strength from the other aromas or tastes you experienced earlier in the tasting.
Where are your products made?
Our balsamics are made in Modena, Italy, the traditional birthplace of balsamic vinegar. It is imported into the U.S. by Veronica Foods Company who also does the flavor infusing.
The extra virgin olive oils are produced all over the world, including the countries of Italy, Spain, the US, Chile, and Australia. Our importer, the Veronica Foods Company imports them into the U.S., and completes the infusing processes for the flavored oils.
Our Finger Lakes seed oils, F. Oliver’s flake salt, F. Oliver’s mustards, F. Oliver’s skin care products, our pastas, and our ceramics are made by small, locally owned businesses using local resources.
Will F. Oliver’s refill or reuse my empty bottle?
F. Oliver’s is committed to reducing waste and decreasing our carbon footprint. We use a high quality glass bottle that can withstand multiple washings and uses and encourage customers to bring back washed and dried bottles to be refilled by offering a $0.75 discount on each refill of 375 mL and 200 mL bottle. Bottles may be washed by hand or in a dishwasher and should be completely dry when refilled. Customers may choose to refill a bottle with the same product, or they are free to try a new one. In order to ensure the highest quality, bottles that had previously held vinegar should only be refilled with vinegar and oil with oil. Each refill will be given a fresh zork and a new label if necessary.
If you don’t live close enough to one of our locations to make it feasible to bring bottles back to refill, please remember to recycle them. All of our packaging is potentially recyclable, please check with your local municipality to see what they accept.
Why should I use extra virgin olive oil?
A great deal of research has shown that extra virgin olive oil is an important part of a healthy diet. As demonized as fat has become in our modern nutritional zeitgeist, it is actually a very important macronutrient helping the body build new cells, repair neurons, cushion organs, process vitamins, keep skin healthy, and produce hormones. Without the intake of high-quality fats, our bodies would run out of the fuel needed for these essential functions. EVOO is one of these high-quality fats, providing a good source of monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, and polyphenols and other phytochemicals.
EVOO is an excellent source of monounsaturated fat, making up about 75% of its volume. Monounsaturated fat has been shown to reduce cholesterol blood counts and may even lower your risk of stroke or heart attack. Mediterranean style diets–ones heavily based on vegetables, fruits, fish, and olive oil–have been shown to create a number of good health outcomes for patients.
Trash any culinary fats based on trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils and replace them with EVOO; your heart will thank you. Replacing other liquid vegetable oils with EVOO is a great way to add a punch of plant-derived micronutrients to your diet: nutrients that are not usually available in any other context. Adding a splash of tasty EVOO is a great way to brighten up a dish while increasing its satiety factor and making any fat-soluble vitamins more accessible.