Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long are the oils and vinegars good for?
We would like you to use our oils within 6 months of opening for the best in flavor and nutrition. They will not be 'bad" or rancid for at least 2 years and longer, after harvesting, however, as we follow the growing season around the world, and bring in the freshest oil we can, come back and buy it fresh. In olive oil, the flavor and nutrition is biggest and best when it is fresh.
The vinegars are aged and will keep on aging. The dark balsamic vinegars will continue over time to become thicker. The white balsamic vinegars will become sharper and crisper in taste. Vinegar is actually a preservative so it does not go 'bad' It will however continue to age and ferment and the taste will alter--but it will take time, over years. You may find a bottle in your cupboard 5 or 10 years later, and will be safe to consume, but it may be too sharp for what you are looking for in a balsamic vinegar- especially the white variety.
There is a mold that can form on the surface of balsamic vinegars if it is kept open to the air for a long period of time (again years). So to protect it, always keep it tightly corked when it is not being used.
2. My cork became stuck in the bottle and broke, can I use the vinegar?
Be sure to wipe the neck of the bottle cleanly before corking so the sweetness of the balsamic doesn't lead the the cork being stuck the next time you use it. If the top broke off the cork, simply use a wine opener to remover the stuck portion. Wrapping the bottle in a warm, moist towel first will soften the sticky vinegar, making it easier to remove.
If you pushed the cork into the bottle, or it broke and fell in while trying to remove it, it will not hurt the vinegar to have a cork in it. Vinegar and cork are both antimicrobial, so simplyre cork the vinegar and ignore the floating cork. If it broke into small pieces that would come out into a salad, filter the vinegar through a strainer into a clean bottle or jar and reseal.
3. How should I store my oils and vinegars?
Store both of them in a dark, cool cupboard, with a tight cork to prevent oxidation. Not in the refrigerator, or next to the stove. If you want to serve them on your table, use a cruet or drizzle spout in the bottle, and store in your cupboard in between uses.
4. How long will my vinaigrette last
Mix a vinaigrette to last up to a week, as long as it is straight olive oil and vinegar with salt and pepper. If you are adding fresh herbs, garlic, shallots, egg yolks or cream, make it fresh to keep it safe. There are no preservatives or emulsifiers like you would find in commercial salad dressings or marinades.
But that's the beauty of fresh vinaigrettes, they are quick and easy to prepare, taste fantastic, and you don't have to make more than you need.