Agromafia Exposé: How to Buy REAL Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Taste Real Deal Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oils
Real Italian extra virgin olive oils
A troubling deception
You may have seen Sunday's 60 Minutes program exposing the "Agromafia" in Italy and the decades-long problem of extra virgin olive oil fraud—nut oils masquerading as olive oils under a thin veil of chlorophyll and chemical alterations; heat treated and refined oils sold under the guise of “extra virgin"; and oil from other countries being bottled in Italy and labeled as "Made in Italy." So how do you know your olive oil is the real deal?
Make sure of your source
That’s where we come in. As longtime supporters of extra virginity, we are committed to bringing you the best, true extra virgin olive oils from around the globe. This means:
- Each of our extra virgin olive oils is made from the first pressing.
- Each starts with passionate producers—whom we visit and have longstanding relationships with—true artisans committed to making olive oil the right way from harvest to bottle.
- We have master olive oil tasters on staff who taste all of our oils and work with extra virgin seal certification programs like the California Olive Oil Council.
- Olive oil is essentially a fruit juice, so the flavor can change over time. We taste each and every olive oil throughout the year to ensure that the best-quality and tastiest extra virgin olive oils make it to your table.
How to read a label
Another great way to know that your extra virgin olive oil is truly extra virgin is to read the label. Look for detailed information like:
- Location—the specific region or city where the producer is located. Imposters will be vague. "Made in Italy" is not good enough. This can mean it's packaged, not produced there.
- Harvest Date—An authentic producer will print the date of harvest.
- Varietals—Which kind of olive or olives are used? A true extra virgin olive oil will make clear its origins.
- Estate—Many of the best extra virgin olive oils come from a single estate and will state this on the label.
- Price. Finally, this is one case where you get what you pay for. If the price seems unreasonably cheap, there's a reason.
Buying your olive oil online? We've listed all this information plus tasting notes on the product page for each olive oil.
Taste the Real Deal
3 Italian extra virgin olive oils to start pouring right now
Olio nuovo is the pressed oil from the first olive harvest of a season. This Sicilian olio nuovo is a full-bodied blend of organic Nocellara, Biancolilla and Cerasuola olives. It sings with notes of freshly cut wheatgrass, tomato leaf and almond, and a hearty kick of black pepper in the finish.
How to use it: Enjoy fettunta—a simple Italian dish of grilled bread drenched in olio nuovo. Or use Titone Organic Olio Nuovo to dress a salad of bitter greens garnished with crunchy crystals of fleur de sel.
Made in Tuscany, this beautifully-balanced oil is filtered, resulting in a clear, forest green color. It has the aroma of freshly cut grass, flavors of artichoke and a hint of cinnamon with a mild, peppery finish.
How to use it: Drizzle over warming winter dishes—rich porcini farrotto, Tuscan ribollita soup or grilled meats like Bistecca alla Fiorentina.
A robust, herbaceous oil from Puglia, Italy with bright aromas of green fruit, bay leaf and artichoke—with a healthy dose of pepper that lingers on the palate.
How to use it: Drizzle over foccacia studded with Italian tomato wedges and olives. Or use Crudo as a finishing flourish for bold dishes like flame-kissed tuna steaks, roasted broccoli rabe or Pan-fried Corona Beans & Kale.
Look for more 2015 harvest extra virgin olive oils in the coming months—new oils from Tuscan-favorite Tenuta di Capezzana, Sicilian Olio Verde, Sole Sabino DOP from Lazio and more.
Need help picking out an olive oil? As extra virgin olive oil lovers ourselves, we're happy to assist. Give us a call at 888.952.4005 and we’ll help you choose the right one for you.