Culinary Rx: How to Cure the Sad Office Desk Lunch

Collage sad desk lunch

It’s called the “sad desk lunch” – the point that an estimated 62 percent of American office workers often eat their lunch in the same spot they work all day. The website Food52 has countered with suggestions for how to jazz up the office lunch. We’re joining that effort, having recruited two noted food bloggers.

Let’s face it: There are advantages to brown bagging versus restaurant dining. It’s easier on your wallet. Plus, you get greater control over what you eat.

But let’s get to our two food bloggers: Erin Alderson of Naturally Ella, and Kate Taylor of Cookie + Kate. Below you’ll find their recipes and tips for how to cure the “sad desk lunch.” (You can see our eNewsletter for additional tips and recipes.)

To begin, you can prepare the kind of meal in the photo at the top on the left – pesto carrots and chickpeas with rice – from Naturally Ella. Get the recipe here, plus tips and more recipes.

And get the recipe from Cookie + Kate  for her mason jar chickpea, farro and greens salad, in the top photo on the right – along with other recipes and tips – here .

What are your favorite go-to meal types when it comes to packing a lunch that other people might try?

Naturally Ella: My favorite meal is usually a salad/bowl type meal of whatever I might have sitting in my refrigerator: grains, greens, vegetables, nuts – finished with a simple dressing of oil and lemon juice.

Any salad and the dressing always makes the meal.

Cookie + Kate: I’m a fan of making big batches of hearty bean salads and vegetarian chili that I can enjoy at lunch for a few days. When I’m cooking basic meal components for dinner, like rice and other whole grains, beans or roasted vegetables, I make extra so I can throw together lunches with them during the week.

Are there certain types of dishes that make for great leftovers – and perhaps you can share some with our fans?

Naturally Ella: I’m all about cooking once and getting a few meals worth. Enchiladas, lasagna, lentil curry, and soups (always soups!).

Cookie + Kate: I get particularly excited about leftover Mexican meals! Enchiladas and other casserole-type dishes, like lasagna, reheat well. So do soups, stews, most pasta dishes, stir fries and, of course, pizza.

Here are some recipes that make great leftovers:

Butternut Squash Chipotle Chili with Avocado

Thai Mango Cabbage Wraps (served chilled or at room temperature)

Spicy Kale and Coconut Stir Fry

Brussels Sprouts and Crispy Baked Tofu with Honey-Sesame Glaze

Quick Vegan Chana Masala

Curried Cauliflower Soup

Do you have any tips for how to pep up an ordinary sack lunch – say a salad or something like that?

Naturally Ella: I think the key is variety: Mix it up from day to day. Eat leftovers one day, and then the next take a fresh salad. It keeps lunch interesting.

Cookie + Kate: I used to keep a little shaker of cayenne pepper in my lunch bag, but that’s probably more pep than most people are looking for! I’d suggest keeping a shaker for sea salt and a black pepper grinder in your desk. Good salt and freshly ground pepper go a long way. Maybe some hot sauce, too, if you like spicy food like me. When it comes to salads, I really like to make my own dressings, but it would be easy to make plenty of dressing for the week’s worth of lunch salads. Just store the dressing in the work refrigerator and pull it out as needed.

Do you usually dress any salad you bring with you beforehand – or do you bring it in a separate container for use at lunch?

Naturally Ella: I keep a few small containers specifically for packed salads. I love crisp greens, and dressing the salad right before lunch keeps the greens how I like them.

Cookie + Kate: Unless it’s a kale salad, I store the dressing separately. You don’t necessarily have to store the dressing in a separate little container if you use the mason jar salad method. Just drizzle the amount of dressing that you think you’ll need into a mason jar. Layer your hardier ingredients (like chopped vegetables) on top of the dressing, then add greens last. Keep the jar upright until you’re ready to eat, then toss the salad by shaking the jar.

Do you have any time-saving tips for people who like to pack a lunch but are strapped for time?

Naturally Ella: Sundays and dinners:  If you’re making dinner, throw on a pot of grains to use throughout the week. I’m constantly cooking two to three different meals at a time so that it makes lunches easy.

Cookie + Kate: I’d suggest portioning off dinner leftovers for lunch so they’re ready to go in the morning. I mentioned this earlier, but it’s nice to make a big batch of chili or bean salad and then portion it off into meal-sized servings. So I don’t get bored eating the same thing every day, I like to combine basics like rice, beans, roasted vegetables and greens in different ways. Advanced preparation and portioning are the keys to good packed lunches.

Bon appétit,

Your Friends at California Olive Ranch

 

 

Posted in Frequently asked Questions, Health, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seven Awesome Veggie Side Dishes For Your Labor Day Celebration

Labor Day Collage

Burgers, brats, hot dogs, tofu … . Many of you already know what you’ll be dining on as a main dish on Labor Day. But when it comes to side dishes … well, that may still be a work in progress. To give you inspiration, we’ve assembled seven sides that capitalize on the current abundance of seasonal veggies and fruit.

Also, if you’re really pressed for time, just do what we often do: slice a garden-fresh tomato and top it with extra virgin olive oil, chopped basil, and flaky sea salt. It’s a treat!

Summer Corn and Double Tomato Salad

There’s nothing like the classic pairing of tangy tomatoes and sweet corn. The “double” tomatoes come in the form of cherry and sun-dried tomatoes. A dressing made from olive oil – such as our medium-robust Arbosana   - balsamic vinegar, shallots, garlic, and fresh herbs give added flavor. (Click here to see recipe.)

Charred Corn with Grilled Tomato Oil

Corn is a staple at our own Labor Day feast. And this recipe takes grilled corn up a notch. Rather than pairing the corn with butter, it’s paired with tomato-infused oil made from grilled tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil, as well as fresh herbs, garlic and honey. You could use our peppery Miller’s Blend, which would stand up well to the bold flavors in this dish. (Click here to see recipe.)

Sweet Potato Fries with Maple Barbecue Sauce

Here’s a great alternative to French fries — particularly the fast-food variety. Yams are sliced thickly, like steak-cut fries, and then tossed with olive oil, coriander, cumin, garlic powder and salt. The fries are roasted in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 30 minutes, until the edges are brown and the yams are cooked through. You could roast them with our Everyday Fresh or Mild & Buttery oils. The fries are served with a simple sauce combining barbecue sauce and maple syrup. (Click here to see to the recipe.)

Grilled Fingerling Potato Salad

Crisp, paper-thin radishes are tossed with Boston lettuce and a tangy, lemony vinaigrette. “Then the salad is dotted with deliciously smoky, grilled fingerling potatoes – a mouthwatering salad that’s perfect warm-weather fare!,” says Viviane Bauquet Farre of the e-magazine food & style, who created this dish. Our fruity Arbequina would go well with the vinaigrette.  (Click here to see the recipe.)

Skewered Lemon-Rosemary Cherry Tomatoes

For this colorful dish, cherry and grape tomatoes as well as sweet onions are marinated with olive oil, rosemary and lemon juice and then grilled on skewers. You could try our Arbequina or Everyday Fresh oils for the marinade. Give this dish an additional twist if you grow your own rosemary: Use the sturdier stalks as skewers. Otherwise, regular skewers work fine. (Click here to see recipe.)

California Avocado Potato Salad

Ripe, creamy avocados add a luscious flavor to this potato salad from our friends at the California Avocado Commission. In addition to avocados and cooked red new potatoes, the salad includes celery, sweet onion, and cilantro. Try our Everyday Fresh or our medium-robust Arbosana to make the olive oil, mayonnaise, and lemon juice dressing. (Click here to see recipe.)

Arugula Salad with Watermelon and Feta

Summer may be winding to a close, but it’s not too late to enjoy one of the season’s signature fruits: watermelon. And with a good extra virgin olive oil and other ingredients like good vinegar and feta cheese, you can create a sweet and savory watermelon salad. For some added pepper to contrast with the watermelon, use our Miller’s Blend or Rich & Robust oils for this dish. (Click here to see recipe.)

Bon appétit,

Your Friends at California Olive Ranch

 

Posted in Recipes | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Healthy Eating Tips For Dining Out At Restaurants

Restaurant Menu iStockFor working adults, dining out while on business can be a crapshoot. You and your dining partners may be lucky and land at a restaurant offering plenty of healthy, flavorful menu options – not to mention reasonable serving sizes. Or you may end up – following someone’s suggestion – at a spot dishing out unhealthy options and gargantuan portions.

Restaurants aren’t always the healthiest place to eat. Although many restaurants offer healthy alternatives to fan favorites, many may tempt you with fillers like bread and butter, sugary beverages, or all-you-can-eat specials – all things you want to avoid, for starters.

But there are steps you can take. And, with a little planning, you can ensure you make smart choices when dining out.

Below are healthy dining tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, WebMD and the USDA:

  • Think about the other meals you’ll be having that day and “budget” your calories accordingly
  • Ask for dishes to be prepared the way you want them – i.e., have them use olive oil instead of butter – and, remember, the worst thing the staff can say is: “No.”
  • Order steamed, grilled, or broiled dishes instead of fried
  • Steer clear of all-you-can-eat buffets
  • Resign from the “clean your plate club” – when you’ve eaten enough, leave the rest or get it boxed so you can bring it home for tomorrow’s lunch; alternatively, ask your server to box up half of the meal before it’s served to you
  • Ask for salad dressing to be served “on the side” so you can add only as much as you want; or top with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper for an easy, healthy alternative
  • Pick entrees that feature seafood, chicken or lean meat, and avoid fatty meats
  • Ask what kinds of oils foods are prepared with or cooked in; among the most desirable oils are monounsaturated oils, like extra virgin olive oil
  • Plan ahead and look for eateries with a big range of menu items; also, scan online menus so you can make smart choices beforehand

Finally, remember this advice from Chef Parke Ulrich of San Francisco’s highly acclaimed Waterbar: “It is about moderation.”

Bon appétit,

Your Friends at California Olive Ranch

 

Posted in Frequently asked Questions, Health | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Charred Corn & Avocado Salad That’s Like “Summer In A Bowl”

Photo by James Ransom for Food52.com

At the height of summer, we’re all about capitalizing on the abundance of fresh vegetables and fruits – in this case, corn and cherry tomatoes. In fact, this charred corn and avocado salad is, as one online food wag notes, “summer in a bowl.” Lime juice, poblano pepper, and cayenne deliver added zing. (Click here to see recipe.)

Aside from the flavors, another nice thing about this dish is that you can broil the vegetables – often an easier method than the grill. “Using the broiler versus the grill enables you to easily char the corn off the cob and the avocado, poblano and red onion in small pieces, resulting in more surface area to pick up that delicious charred flavor,” says “EmilyC,” who created this dish for Food52. (The recipe comes courtesy of the food website.)

You can also grill the veggies, if you prefer. In that case, it’s recommended you char the corn on the cob and the red onion, poblano, and avocado in large pieces, cutting them to the correct size afterward.

The salad is dressed with a vinaigrette combining lime juice, honey, cayenne, and extra virgin olive oil. For added spice, you could prepare the vinaigrette with our peppery Miller’s Blend or Rich & Robust  oils. (Click here to see recipe.)

This salad would be great as a side for grilled meat and seafood. Make extra and bring to the office for lunch – or make it exclusively for work so that you can dine on a gourmet sack lunch.

Bon appétit,

Your Friends at California Olive Ranch

 

Posted in Recipes | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Waterbar Chef Parke Ulrich’s Tips on Healthy Dining at a Restaurant or Work

Lunch can present a minefield for working adults. It may mean dining at restaurants that serve gargantuan portions. Or it may mean bringing an unsatisfying, unhealthy prepackaged lunch to the office. Parke Ulrich knows a thing or two about food and healthy eating. He’s executive chef at San Francisco’s highly acclaimed Waterbar. Ulrich’s commitment to sustainably sourced seafood and fresh, local, organically-grown produce guide the restaurants daily-changing menu. And when it comes to healthy eating, Ulrich is all about “moderation.” We asked him about healthy eating at the office … or a restaurant. 

What advice would you give people who go out for lunch and who want to eat a healthy meal?

I eat lighter, especially if it’s hot outside: ceviche, salads, etc.

How do you eat healthfully when you’re at a restaurant, your own included?

I share a lot with the people I am with.  We may do all appetizers and no entrées. It is about moderation.

What’s your favorite healthy lunch that you might make for yourself – ideally one that people could make for themselves and bring to the office?

Chopped vegetable salad.  Use raw finely chopped veggies – whatever you have – and dress them with vinaigrette. (See salad recipe below.)  The vinaigrette will soften (cook) the veggies over time. Quinoa is also great to add.

What are your go-to superfoods that can be included in everyday eating?

Couscous, quinoa, chia seeds – all are very quick to prepare!

What foods do you typically avoid for health reasons.

I do not avoid.  It is about moderation and enjoying life!  If I go for something fatty or rich then I am also balancing with fresh, and light.

Do you have a simple salad recipe that uses olive oil and that people could make for their lunch they bring to the office? (See below.)

Chopped Vegetable Salad

2 oz. each, finely chopped raw broccoli, carrot, summer squash

2 oz. marinated artichokes, chopped finely

2 oz. cherry tomatoes

3 oz. lemon vinaigrette (see below)

Mix all together in bowl or zip lock bag and store for transportation.  Adjust seasoning if needed.  Keep chilled

Lemon Vinaigrette

Juice and zest of two lemons

2 oz. champagne vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Salt

1/2 cup California Olive Ranch Arbequina extra virgin olive oil

Place ingredients, except the oil, in a blender or small glass.  Using a  blender or stick blender, mix and slowly add the oil to emulsify to a creamy texture.  You may need to adjust with more lemon or more oil, depending on your taste and how much juice you get from lemons.  I like it assertive and tangy – not overly oily, as that will take away from the flavor of the vegetables.

Bon appétit,

Your Friends at California Olive Ranch

 

Posted in Frequently asked Questions, Health | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Introducing Two New Olive Oils: Mild & Buttery and Rich & Robust

We’ve introduced two new flavor profiles to our family of extra virgin olive oils: Mild & Buttery and Rich & Robust. We crafted them as an extension of our popular Everyday Fresh oils, giving our customers more choices. They’re both great for a variety of uses. California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oils

The new oils are being rolled out to select grocery stores around the nation. They’re also available online. (If your store isn’t yet carrying the oil and you’re interested, please ask the manager of customer service you’d like to get the oil.)

Mild & Buttery: This oil – the most delicate we mill – delivers a buttery, floral flavor. To achieve this, we’ve selected Arbequina olives that have been gathered late in the harvest season. Typically, late-harvest olives tend to make oils with “buttery” notes. By contrast, olives that are picked early on tend to produce oils with “herbaceous” flavors, like those featured in our robust Miller’s Blend oil.

Our Mild & Buttery oil is good for drizzling on fish or sautéed vegetables. It’s also great for baking, giving your cakes and other baked goods a subtle olive oil taste – versus a more pronounced taste than, say, our Arbosana or Miller’s Blend oils would produce. It’s a versatile oil – perfect for trying with many different dishes. (Click here to read blog about pairing foods with delicate extra virgin olive oils.)

Rich & Robust: This is one of the most intense oils we mill. The oil is robust yet smooth and finishes with a pleasantly peppery kick. The intensity of this oil reflects the use of our full-bodied and peppery Koroneiki olive. If you were to rate the intensity of our oils through an informal method – the “cough system,”  or the number of times you might cough when you swallow the oil and experience that peppery tickle in your throat – our Koroneiki oil would be a two or three “cougher” on a scale of three. In terms of flavor, our Rich & Robust oil delivers green banana, floral, and herbaceous notes.

Our Rich & Robust oil is good choice for drizzling over steak. It also pairs well with spicy and full-flavored foods. In particular, use it to enhance your lamb dishes and arugula salads. It also would be perfect with garlic mashed potatoes, on soups and on bruschetta. Feel free to let your imagination run wild! (Click here to read blog about pairing foods with robust extra virgin olive oils.)

Bon appétit,

Your Friends at California Olive Ranch

 

Posted in Frequently asked Questions | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Ranch Update: Our Olives Are Accumulating Oil … Looking Ahead To Harvest

Photo by Charlie Garcia

Photo by Charlie Garcia

We’ve finally gotten some rain – not enough to break California’s historic drought, but enough to give us hope that relief will arrive this winter in the form of more precipitation. Fortunately, olive trees tolerate drought pretty well. In the orchards, the olives are getting bigger and our crews are looking ahead to the fall harvest. Rancher Brian Mori gives us an update. Brian works with our family farmers, or contract growers, on crop practices, harvest, and quality.

Do you have a handle yet on how big an olive crop we’ll have come fall?

It looks like we’re going to have a pretty decent crop again this year. The amount of olives will be down slightly from last year’s record harvest. But the quality should be just as good as last year’s crop.

Has the drought persisted – or are there any signs of it letting up?

We’ve had some strange weather over the summer. We had southern tropical storms come through and drop localized rain in areas. It didn’t break the drought. But we’re hoping those storms will at least hydrate the trees for now. We’re also hopeful we’re going to have a good rainfall this winter. These kind of storms are an early indication of an “El Niño” year involving above-average precipitation.

How are the trees handling the dry weather? 

Photo by Charlie Garcia

Photo by Charlie Garcia

We’ve been able to manage the drought. It’s not been ideal. But olives are more drought tolerant than other tree crops. And we’ve been irrigating the trees with whatever water we can. We’re also still hopeful we’ll have enough water reserves to come through this winter. In California, we really depend on the snowpack in the mountains to refill our reservoirs and our ground water supplies.

What are the trees doing now that we’re moving into late summer and early fall?

The trees are just starting to build up oil – it’s what we call the oil accumulation phase. The fruit starts maturing, growing in size, and accumulating oil.

What’s keeping you and the other ranchers busy at this time?

Harvest is going to be coming around the corner sooner than you think.  So we’re starting to transition into harvest preparation. That involves training our crews on harvest equipment and harvesters. It also means we’re cleaning up and making sure everything is mowed on the ranch – mainly the grass and other growth in between the rows of trees. We’ll also be training the crews on safety measures. And we’ll make sure we have all of our supplies to ensure the harvest runs as smoothly as possible.

Bon appétit,

Your Friends at California Olive Ranch

 

Posted in Frequently asked Questions | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Six Great (and Unexpected) Ways to Enjoy Olive Oil With Breakfast

Olive Oil for Breakfast

Extra virgin olive oil for breakfast? That’s one meal that doesn’t typically jump to mind when it comes to olive oil. But there are many ways flavorful olive oil can be enjoyed as part of your morning regimen – especially as a substitute for butter.

“I put olive oil in everything,” Nekisia Davis, whose company Early Bird Foods makes a popular granola using olive oil, tells The New York Times. “I make French toast in olive oil. I put it on toast with jelly. Besides, the fat in olive oil is really good for you; it negates itself.”

Below are 6 more ways to enjoy olive oil with breakfast.

  1. Use it to fry – or scramble – eggs. Washington Post food writer Joe Yonan became a convert to olive oil-fried eggs in Spain, noting the technique gives the whites a nice, crispy edge. “They puff up and get lacy and browned in seconds, leaving the yolk still runny (if you pull them out quickly enough, that is) but creating even more of those caramelized edges,” he writes. And, if you want to really kick your breakfast eggs up a notch, get our recipe for olive oil-fried eggs topped with a Spanish-inspired Romesco sauce.
  2. Drizzle peppery olive oil, like our Miller’s Blend or Rich & Robust oils, on toast. Consider it bruschetta for breakfast – that wonderful Tuscan dish designed to show off the new olive oil during harvest. To prepare bruschetta, toasted bread is rubbed with garlic – though you can pass that up for breakfast, if you prefer – and then drenched with good olive oil. You also can add a sprinkle of sea salt, if you’d like – or dream up your own combination, like chopped tomatoes or, as Davis does, jelly.
  3. Drizzle good olive oil on an omelet cooked in olive oil. It adds a wonderful layer of flavor and melds nicely with the mushrooms or cheese wrapped inside.
  4. Mix olive oil into pancakes or waffles as a substitute for butter. Cookbook author Fran Gage suggests substituting three-quarters of the amount of butter called for in a waffle or pancake recipe with olive oil. So a recipe calling for a stick of butter, or 8 tablespoons, would use 6 tablespoons of olive oil. You can also find recipes on our website for olive oil pancakes – courtesy chef Jose Andres – as well as lavender-infused olive oil waffles.
  5. Use good, fruity olive oil, like Arbequina, as a topping for oatmeal along with brown sugar, honey, or freshly grated Parmesan cheese. These are flavor combinations that people have passed along to us over the years. No doubt, countless others are waiting to be tried.
  6. Make olive oil granola. Food writer Melissa Clark became an olive oil granola convert after sampling some. “Although I’m not a granola expert, when I have made the stuff, it’s always been slicked with a neutral oil such as safflower, which adds richness and helps crisp the oats but does nothing for the flavor,” she writes. “Using good extra virgin oil, along with a hefty dose of salt, was a brilliant twist.” We’ve become converts to Clark’s recipe for olive oil granola. We use our Everyday Fresh oil and substitute dried cranberries for the dried apricots called for in the recipe.

Let us know how you like to use olive oil with your breakfast.

Bon appétit,

Your Friends at California Olive Ranch

 

Posted in Frequently asked Questions, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Key To Great Steak: Let It “Marinate” In Herb-Infused Olive Oil

When grilling steak, we like to take the grilled meat and let it “marinate” a few minutes in a good, peppery extra virgin olive oil along with garlic and fresh herbs. It seasons and perfumes the meat beautifully. That’s why we find food blogger Karista Bennett’s Tuscan grilled rib-eye so appealing: She uses such a method. (Click here to see the recipe.)

Here’s how. First, brush each steak with a little olive oil and sprinkle on some salt and pepper. While the steaks are grilling, gently warm a small sauce pan containing a half cup of good olive oil as well as thin slices of garlic and chopped fresh rosemary.

“Do not boil; just gently warm for about 5 minutes,” advises Bennett, who pens the blog Karista’s Kitchen. The heated oil draws out the flavor of the garlic and rosemary. (We’d opt for our peppery Miller’s Blend or Rich & Robust oils for this recipe.)

Place the warm oil into a large baking dish.  When the steaks are done, transfer them to the oil, coating each side. Let the steaks rest in the herb-infused oil for about 5 minutes.

Top each steak with garlic and rosemary as well as some oil, which has been flavored further by the juice from the steaks. And then tuck into a beautifully prepared piece of meat. (Click here to see the recipe.)

Bon appétit,

Your Friends at California Olive Ranch

 

Posted in Recipes | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

From Extra Virgin To Lampante: Knowing The Different Grades Of Olive Oil

You’re standing in the grocery store, staring at shelf upon shelf of olive oil: Extra Virgin … Pure… Light. It’s little wonder that so many people are confused about the different grades of olive oil. A survey last year – by the Olive Center at the University of California’s Davis campus – found that 55 percent of respondents thought they understood the meaning of olive oil grades. Yet no more than 25 percent responded correctly to statements about the grades. Kirsten Good one

The Olive Center added: “Lack of consumer knowledge of the differences among olive oil grades indicates a need for clearer information on the quality difference among grades.” That’s for sure.

Unfortunately, for many people, buying olive oil is like buying yogurt, cold medicine, or toothpaste. You’re confronted with a dizzying array of choices, labels and claims. Once again, it’s worth reviewing the different grades of olive oil, and what makes them different.

Extra virgin olive oil: The top grade, delivering the best taste and the full health benefits of olive oil. It has zero defects. Think of it as freshly pressed fruit juice, given that olives are a fruit. The olives are crushed at a mill and the oil is extracted through mechanical means – versus refined oil, which is extracted through the use of heat or chemicals. In our case, we crush our olives and run the resulting paste through a centrifuge to separate the oil from the water and any leftover solids from the olive, known as pomace.

To be truly extra virgin, the oil must pass a battery of chemical requirements (such as free fatty acid percent and peroxide values) set by the Madrid-based International Olive Council (IOC), the California Olive Oil Council (COOC), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and other bodies. We adhere to the COOC and USDA standards as well as our own internal standards, which are a combination of the most stringent quality parameters on the books. In addition to the chemical tests, true extra virgin olive oil must pass a panel of professional tasters who detect positive attributes like olive fruitiness; the tasters must not find any taste flaws. In short, the oil must taste like olives and be of the freshest quality.

Virgin Olive Oil: The intermediate grade of olive oil, below extra virgin and above lowly lampante (see below). Virgin olive oil has “reasonably good flavor and odor” as well as some defects that a certified taste panel can detect; the general population, however, may well not notice the flaw.

Pure Olive Oil/Olive Oil: Oil that’s been refined to remove any defects. Without the refining, the oil would be unfit for human consumption and be considered lampante oil (see below). Pure olive oil – also known as olive oil – is typically blended with some extra virgin olive oil to add flavor. In that same Olive Center survey, nearly half of respondents said olive oil labeled “pure” was best – when, in reality, it’s lower on the grade scale than extra virgin.

Light Olive Oil: Not a diet product. It’s basically the same as “pure” olive oil. It’s really light in flavor or color – not calories or fat. In short, the term “light” has absolutely nothing to do with the quality or health benefits of the oil. “Light” and “extra-light” oils, like other cooking oils – such as canola, corn, and vegetable – contain 14 grams of fat per tablespoon.

Lampante Oil: Oil that’s unfit for human consumption. To be sold as food, lampante oil must be refined to remove the off flavors.

Pomace Olive Oil: Oil extracted from the olive pomace – the solid waste left over from the milling process. It includes olive pits, skin and flesh. The oil is obtained by re-milling the pomace to obtain the remaining 1 percent to 5 percent of oil that’s left in the waste. It also can be obtained by mixing solvents into the pomace; heat is then used to extract additional oil from the pomace.

Bon appétit,

Your Friends at California Olive Ranch

 

Posted in Frequently asked Questions | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment