Here’s an example of one of the things I really love about blogging. A couple of days ago I wrote about olives and olive oil and not only did I get great olive-related comments, but I also got excellent recipes, reminders of dishes I haven’t had in a long time, AND, the following comment (reproduced in its entirety) from a bona fida olive oil producer – Nancy, co-owner of the Temecula Olive Oil Company
(Why does this name remind me of the Abbott and Costello Susquehanna Hat Company sketch?)
Anyway, Nancy’s comment was so interesting and informative that I thought it worth reproducing here for all the olive oil lovers.
nice post but i would like to set the record straight on olive oil labeling. The IOOC or International Olive Oil Council is the governing body that certifies olive oils in the European countries but not the united states. Since the united States does not recognize the IOOC certification ANY item shipped to the US whether from Italy, Greece, Spain etc can and DOES label its olive oils as Extra Virgin without meeting the standards. The term is strictly used as a marketing term for the gullible American consumers. Additionally, the labeling laws only require that the producers put on the label the origin of bottling so many oils that say Italy or Spain on the front are only bottled there. the olives dont actually come from that country. As an example if you look at a bottle of extra virgin olive oil from two popular store brands “Carapelli and Bertoli” you will see both say Italy on the front label and on the back in VERY small print you will find that they are actually a blend of oils from several different countries such as Spain, Egypt, Tunisia bottled in Italy. Additionally there is wide spread corruption with producers blending in Mineral, Safflower and nut oils to extend the volume and increase profits. Anyone interested in the corruption of this industry should spend a little time researching. Also go to the New Yorker magazine site and search “Olive Oil the slippery business” or visit http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/08/13/070813fa_fact_mueller
You mentioned to stay away from California products when in actuality if you know your grower you are safer to buy from us then an importer when you have no idea what you are receiving. We are a CA olive oil grower and use only sustainable practices in our groves. We are hand crafted from tree to table and are the only people in the country with our custom made mill and press. We have taken the old world method of the stone mill and fiber mats and made them 100% stainless steel. My husband sits on the taste panel for the California Olive Oil Council and does all of the olive oil trainings for the Chef students for the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) from Hyde Park New York.
We operate three tasting rooms where we offer olive oil education and cooking classes and all of our oils exceed the standards of the IOOC.
The real thing to remember when buying Olive Oil is to know your grower, make sure that you are allowed to taste it for freshness and make sure that it is harvest dated. It is fruit juice and does not get better with age. You should always know when it was harvested or the grower may have something to hide. either the product is old or refined. thank you for allowing me to add some clarification. May Olive Your Dreams Come True! Nancy Curry Co-Owner, Temecula Olive Oil Company
Thanks, Nancy. I don’t think I’ve seen Temecula Oil in Canada, but please correct me if I’m wrong because it’s the very next olive oil I want to try.