“Single Varietal Extra Virgin Olive Oil” is quite a mouthful, but it’s actually a very simple concept: it’s the purest olive oil we carry, pressed from one type (aka, varietal) of olive from one olive grove (with no additional flavors added to it). It captures the nuanced flavor of the different kinds of olives and can range in intensity from mild to bold. Since every varietal of olive has its own unique flavors, the oil that comes from those olives also has its own distinct flavor profile.
We talk about the aroma, flavor and mouth feel of single varietal olive oils much like we talk about wine – by referring to flavors, smells and textures that remind us of the prominent qualities of the oil. For example, a specific single varietal olive oil may be “peppery,” but that doesn’t mean it tastes like pepper! It triggers a taste that reminds us of pepper, and maybe a sensation on our tongues or in our throats that’s similar to that of pepper. An oil that’s described as “grassy” won’t necessarily taste like grass, but it will have flavors that make us think of adjectives like green, vegetal and fresh, which we translate as “grassy.” Likewise, some of our single varietal oils are “creamy,” which simply means that they have a thicker texture that coats our tongues and mouths much like creamy foods do. It’s so much fun to sample our Single Varietal Extra Virgin Olive Oils in the stores and see if you can detect the flavors listed on the fusti signs! Other common flavors that we reference are “artichoke,” “green tomato,” “herbaceous,” “tropical fruit,” “apple,” and more. You may even be able to identify your own flavors with a little practice!
Our Single Varietal Extra Virgin Olive Oils are the freshest available because we follow the global harvest. The Northern Hemisphere harvests as early as September and as late as January, depending on that particular year’s climate by region. We’re just beginning to see the latest Northern Hemisphere harvest appear in our stores now, with oils from Italy, California, Spain, and Portugal. At the same time, we’re finishing up the last of our Southern Hemisphere oils, which were harvested between April and May of last year in countries like Chile and Australia. They’re almost gone though, so stock up now if you have a favorite!
March is a great time to stop into one of our stores to taste amazing Single Varietal Extra Virgin Olive Oils from all over the world. We’re putting new ones out all month and selling the last of our award-winning batch of Southern Hemisphere oils. Be sure to look for the Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oils on our shelves as well, which is a special certification for only the highest quality extra virgin olive oils that pass rigorous testing. If you love our flavored olive oils, let us also introduce you to the world of fresh, healthy, premium extra virgin olive oil.