What is Extra Virgin?
“Extra virgin olive oil is essentially the naturally extracted juice from fresh olives. The olives are crushed into a paste, and the oil is physically extracted from this paste without the use of chemicals or excessive heat,” Australian olive oil expert Richard Gawel notes. “Extra virgin olive oil has a distinctive olive fruity aroma and flavor and it contains natural antioxidants.” Refining, he adds, is a more intricate process using acids, alkalis, steam and other agents. “The refining process removes all of the aroma and flavor substances out of olive including its natural antioxidants,” Gawel explains. “Artificial antioxidants need to be added back to give the refined olive oil a reasonable shelf life.” Simply put, extra virgin means that the oil is made only from the fresh juice of olives, and that it tastes good: extra virgin olive oil is produced by mechanically pressing the olives without the use of chemicals or solvents.
Extra virgin olive oil made in California must not have any sensory flaws, and must meet rigid standards chemical standards set by the Olive Oil Commission of California (OOCC) and the International Olive Oil Council (IOC). At California Olive Ranch, our extra virgin olive oils are certified extra virgin by the California Olive Oil Council (COOC). Our extra virgin olive oils are milled within hours of harvesting the olives. Let us walk you through how it’s made.
First Cold Press
Represents the first pressing of an olive into oil and no heat is added, that’s it! In some countries, producers take the pomace, the remaining skins and pits that remain after the first press, and press the pomace a second or third time to extract 100% of the oil. All olive oil produced by California Olive Ranch is extra virgin, which is inherently first cold press.