I’m finally ready to report on a brand new product my colleagues and I at California Olive Ranch have been working hard on for months.
We’ve just rolled out a new extra virgin olive oil we call Everyday California Fresh. It’s the country’s first domestically produced, fresh, high-quality EVOO available in sufficient quantities for the U.S. market – and at mass-market prices.
The oil is fresher than mass-produced oils imported into the United States from abroad. When you open the bottle and inhale the olive aroma, I’m betting you’ll agree.
What makes our oil smell and taste like the olives have just been picked?
First, the olives are grown and pressed in California. I tell people our oil doesn’t sit on a cargo ship for several weeks, traveling across the ocean.
And, as I just told someone: If you live in the United States, you can hop on a plane and take a two or three hour flight to visit our olive ranches and mills. They’re located in northern California. No need to buy an overseas plane ticket.
Second, to ensure the oil’s freshness, our employees get the olives from tree to mill quickly.
We plant our trees using a system known as “super high-density planting.” It allows us to grow the trees in hedge rows of 570 to 670 trees per acre, versus traditional plantings of 100 to 150 per acre. That way, employees driving our harvesting machines can harvest the trees more rapidly – and deliver the olives within hours to our mills, where they’re crushed into EVOO.
It’s this speed which prevents the olive from decomposing before we extract the oil. And the result is a great quality oil.
Here’s another thing you’ll notice about Everyday California Fresh. Each bottle shows when the olives were harvested. We harvest our olives in the fall. So the bottle I’m holding shows a harvest date – stamped on the back – of November 2008. Olive oil typically is best when consumed within two years.
Like our other EVOO, the California Olive Oil Council has certified Everyday California Fresh as extra virgin olive oil. True extra virgin olive oil can’t have any flavor “defects” – moldy olives, for example, can make the oil musty.
The flavor profile delivers a distinct fruity nose, grassy and floral notes, and a smooth and buttery tongue. There’s absolutely no bitterness. You’ll also notice a slight peppery finish in your throat and no greasy aftertaste like you’d get from lower quality imports.
Thanks to a documenting system we use to manage our products’ “traceability,” we can locate the grove of trees on our ranches that have supplied the olives for each bottle of EVOO we produce. No overseas, national olive oil brand can make that claim.
One final note: You’ll notice Everyday California Fresh comes in a new green bottle. The dark green glass prevents light and oxygen from damaging the oil, keeping it fresher longer.
We plan initially to sell Everyday California Fresh at stores in northern California. Our recommended sticker price: $8.99 for a 500 ml bottle, and $11.99 for a 750 ml bottle.
But you don’t have to live in California to try the oil. Anybody can buy it through our online store.
Claude S. Weiller
Vice President of Sales & Marketing
California Olive Ranch