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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
We are often asked about our olive oil, and the following are some of the most frequently asked questions.
1. What is Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
It is the oil extracted from fresh olive fruit using a mechanical process that does not include the introduction of excessive heat or any form of additives, solvents or chemicals. If olives are free from disease and are processed without delay in a clean mill they will usually produce an olive oil that has aroma and flavour without taste defect. Mild bitterness in olive oil is not a taste defect.
2. What is the difference between extra virgin and pure or light olive oil?
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the naturally extracted juice from fresh olives. Pure or light oils have been refined and may have had chemical agents added. This process removes aromas, flavours and the natural antioxidents found in Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Light oils have very similar energy values to any other olive oil: they do not have fewer calories. Light oils usually have hardly any aroma, flavour or colour.
3. What is pomace oil?
It is the cheapest grade of olive oil and is extracted from the waste material that comes from producing Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
4. Should I buy first cold pressed oil?
Most olive oil today is not actually made by pressing, so this question is almost redundant. Olive oil is now made by spinning the oil away from heavier components using centrifugal force. The other components, such as water and the residue of olive flesh, is disposed of as waste. The term "first cold press" now refers to part of the modern process where the oil is released from the fruit, and that the temperature in that part of the process does not exceed 27 degrees Centigrade. Higher temperature increase the yield but significantly reduce the quality of the oil. Water is used to keep control of the temperature.
5. Are extra virgin olive oils good for my health?
Most Extra Virgin Olive Oils contain higher levels of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants which are attributes that are highly sought after by health conscious people.
6. Robust / Mild / Fruity - what does it mean?
These descriptions are usually refering to the style of olive oil in the bottle. Robust oils have a strong bitterness and/or pungency (the pepperiness of an olive oil). Mild oils are generally lower in the expression of these characteristics. Fruity oils can represent a range of flavours and sometimes are more predominatly identified by their aroma.
7. Does the colour of olive oil indicate quality?
No, not quality but it can tell you other things. It is usually related to the amount of chlorophyll the oil contains. The color of olive oil can vary from a light gold to a rich green. Green olives produce a green oil because of the high chlorophyll content. Ripe olives yield a yellow oil because of the carotenoid (yellow red) pigments. The exact combination and proportions of pigments determine the final color of the oil. Fresh olive oil contains between 1 and 10 parts per million chlorophyll. This is miniscule compared to a portion of spinach, hence spinach is a much stronger green colour.
8. What should I look for when I choose olive oil?
Purchase an olive oil that is suitable for your particular culinary taste or application. Remember that olive oil varieties are as different as wine grape varieties and that each variety usually produces a distinctive flavour and sometimes colour. Do not purchase oils that are more than two seasons old as they may not have a good shelf life. The attributes you want to find in premium oils are fruitiness, bitterness and pungency (pepperiness). If you dont like the smell and taste of an olive oil, then it is probably old or of poor quality.
9. What is the difference between early and late harvest oils?
Early harvest oils are picked early in the season (probably April) and usually have a grassy or herbal aroma and flavour. Often their colours are darker and their style is quite robust . Late harvest oils (probably picked May or June) are usually milder in aroma and flavour and develop a richer fruit flavour.
10. How do I store olive oil?
Good olive oils are always stored in cool dark places. Clackline Valley Olives deliver olive oil directly from their temperature controlled storeroom in specially designed paper bags to keep the temperature as consistent as posible and to keep sunlight from damaging the oil. You can refrigerate olive oil and this may help prolong shelf life - be prepared to see some solidification if you do, and the oils will return to normal when you place them at normal room temperature.
11. How long will olive oil last?
Premium Extra Visgin Olive Oil does not usually have a use by date. Naturally they are best consumed when they are fresh (within a year of the harvest) when flavours and polyphenols are at their peak. However, if you keep your oil cool and dark it should last for several years if you want it to. It does not improve with age, but stored correctly it does not deteriorate quickly. Rancidity will affect all olive oils as they get older and will affect oils quicker when they are badly stored. Some oils taken from the pyramids in Egypt were several thousand years old and still quite edible. Conversely, many cheap supermarket oils are so poor in quality or have been so badly treated that they are already rancid by time you take them from the shelf.
12. What variety makes the best olive oil?
The olive tree is from the family Olea Europaea. There are many varieties grown around the world and the fruit come in all shapes and sizes. Probably the most common variety grown for oil is Frantoio (known also by names such as Mission, Corregiola, Paragon and others), although all olive varieties can be used for making oil. The determining factors will always be the consumer taste and application.
Clackline Valley Olives
Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Clackline Valley Olives
PO Box 1155
Northam WA 6401
+61 (0)8 9574 0410