What’s In Your Pours? #knowtheproducer


What’s In Your Pours? And how do you know?

Those are the questions behind our newest campaign, #knowtheproducer, and the reason we take such great pride in working with our producers to bring you the best of the best olive oil direct from Italy.

Recent news surrounding olive oil fraud, a global issue, not just an Italian concern, has brought to light the reasons you need to know what’s in your pours.

To answer some of the same questions we once had, we’re sharing what Luanne, {olio2go.com manager, taste tester, producer connoisseur, and so much more} has to say about why #knowtheproducer is important to you, the economy, our environment, and the food you eat.

What constitutes fraud of olive oil and why is it a problem?

True olive oil is just that – true to taste, origin and the process. Extra-virgin is from the first pressing of the harvest and is additive-free. The taste is unbelievable – like nothing you’ve ever tasted before.

What has become common practice, and thus the problem in the world where olive oil in concerned, is that the oil in its original production is tampered with in some manner, or improperly stored. Tampering occurs when other oils and other products are added to a olive oil in order to produce high quantities and lower priced oils to sell on the mass market. The companies and individuals behind such production are Mafia based for the most part, though some are owned by organizations in China, for example, who never set foot on Italian soil, and whose olives are not even grown in Italy. Rather they buy their oils from anywhere  they can for a cheap price and claim authenticity by saying they are “packaged in Italy” in order to cheat the consumer and sell their oil at prices true producers can’t even come close to matching. The average consumer wont’ know the difference.

What are the main issues and concerns concerning the fraud of olive oil and how does it affect producers of authentic, genuine olive oil?

Over half – maybe closer to 75-80% – of the olive oil on American grocery store shelves today is not authentic, meaning it has been mixed with lesser quality oils to stave the high prices of true, authentic olive oil. Thus olive oil has a range of prices from commodity pricing to higher level, premium pricing for an outstanding product. There are many comparisons to wine! We think Italian olive oils are the best, and the cache of Italy draws many to the grocery store oils too. That’s where much of the concerns are directed.

Italian olive oil producers have been making true, authentic olive oil for generations. Their groves are passed down in their families, and they take great effort, care and practice making sure that their harvests are genuine, flavorful, extra-special, and honest. This kind of affection for a product doesn’t come cheap. So when a Mafia-owned or private entity comes in and undercuts a true producer by incorporating additives, docking a container ship in an Italian port, then bottling and placing a label on a tin can that says “packaged in Italy” – well a family-owned, no matter what the size of their facilities, can’t compete.

Are there any health benefits or concerns to consumers who buy and use olive oil that is “not real”?

Most definitely. The health benefits we know of from using olive oil in cooking – heart health for example – pertains to only true, authentic olive oil, not that that if often found on supermarket shelves that is tainted, or has a label that can’t be traced to the original producer to ensure authenticity. The benefits derive from the best characteristics, the polyphenols found in top quality, true, extra virgin olive oil.

There have been instances of serious fraud in the past where tainted oil killed people. Of course, that’s the worst possible outcome. But let’s say that a nut oil is blended in, for example, someone with a nut allergy could have a very bad reaction, possibly deadly.

CLICK HERE to read a great article from The Guardian for more on why olive oil fraud is harmful and can be deadly.

Why is authentic olive oil something consumers should get excited about (over using that from the grocery store or that from companies that take part in the fraud)?

Top quality, authentic olive oil tastes distinctively different from what many have assumed to be olive oil. The good stuff is full of vibrant flavor – with notes of artichoke, fresh almond, herbs, tomatoes, along with grassy notes, depending on the olive cultivars. When you taste the good stuff, the word “oil” is not what will come to find. With the good stuff you are benefiting your health and your diet. Have you ever noticed that with good quality food, you are satisfied when you eat less?  Well, #knowtheproducer, know quality food!

What are some of our customer’s favorite olive oils and why?

There are so many!!!  Davide Borselli’s La Poderina Toscana Oro has been a favorite for several years. It is a fabulous selection from southern Tuscany. Many first learned of it when Jane Black of The Washington Post wrote about Super Premium Olive Oils in October 2011. Enjoy the read HERE!

Tuscan selections are very popular because so many people have traveled to Tuscany. Castello del Trebbio is close to Florence, so that’s been a popular stopping point for tourists who love olive oil. Those who have gone to seek the holy grail of the Brunello wines at Sassicaia have encountered Oliveto Fonte di Foiano. Filippo Alampi’s Fattoria Ramerino has been a great discovery for us, and for customers seeking to taste the award winners! Filippo’s olive oils have won notable awards since we “discovered” them at Olio Capitale in Trieste.

We invite you to take a look at our online store and find one of your own favorites! Share you story with us ~ we’d love to hear how you use it in your kitchen!