Olive Oil FAQs
WHAT IS AN EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL? EVOO
Extra virgin olive oil is always the product of the ‘first cold press’ in the milling process. It is essentially the ‘juice’ of the olive fruit. In order to be classified as ‘extra virgin’ the acidity level of the olive oil must not exceed .8% which is determined through chemical testing. The acidity level is the primary indicator of the quality of the fruit at the time of milling.
HOW LONG DOES AN EVOO LAST?
Olive oil is sensitive to time, light, high temperature, and oxygen. An unopened bottle of Durant Olive Mill EVOO stored in a cool, dark place (such as a kitchen cupboard away from your stove, or the refrigerator) can remain defect-free for 18 months to 2 years. Once a bottle of our oil is opened, store it away from light and heat, and use it within 6 months. This time frame can vary if you are unsure of how the oil has been stored prior to purchasing. Remember that time, temperature, light, and oxygen all affect the health and vitality of an EVOO.
HOW SHOULD I USE AN EVOO?
Try it on everything! Soups, stews, meat, bread, salads, fish, cheese, raw roasted or steamed veggies – you’ll be amazed at the way a drizzle of high-quality EVOO and a pinch of sea salt can elevate just about anything you eat. Don’t be afraid to use it generously!
IS IT OK TO USE AN EVOO FOR COOKING?
Absolutely – communities throughout the Mediterranean have historically depended on extra virgin olive oil for cooking. It has a smoke point of about 390 degrees F. By comparison, canola oil has a smoke point of 450 degrees F, and clarified butter at 425 degrees F. While you may experience a minimal decrease in flavor and health properties, extra virgin olive oil is still worth using. The health-giving properties in EVOO should largely remain intact in the regular kitchen cooking, whereas refined cooking oils (most seed, nut, and vegetable oils) are stripped of phytonutrients before the oil even hits the pan due to chemical processing.
WHAT CHARACTERISTICS SHOULD A GOOD QUALITY, FRESH EVOO HAVE?
A fresh, high-quality extra virgin olive oil should be flavorful! It should have a fruity, bitter, and peppery component that varies depending on the olive varietal. Try different olive cultivars and determine which ones resonate with your own palate.
WHAT MAKES DURANT OLIVE MILL EVOO SPECIAL?
The Durant Olive Mill is the first commercial olive mill in the state of Oregon, establishing olives as a new agricultural crop for the region. From tree to table, we do everything we can to ensure that our extra virgin olive oil is as fresh, sound, and flavorful as it can be. We mill the olives on-site in a timely manner, store the oils under a nitrogen cap in stainless steel tanks, and bottle weekly based on demand, limiting the oil’s exposure to oxygen, light, and high temperature. Want to see us in action? We typically start milling in mid to late October and encourage visitors to witness the process firsthand.
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH PROPERTIES OF AN EVOO?
Many studies suggest extra virgin olive oil contributes to lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, improves blood pressure, and reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer, resulting in better overall health. When combined with the nutritional benefits of a well-balanced diet, the health benefits only increase.