Your Questions About Olive Oil Answered

Q: What is olive oil?

A: It is the natural juice from the olive that starts to deteriorate slowly from the time it is picked and pressed, as it ages it becomes oxidized and eventually turns “rancid”.

Q: What are the different classifications of oil?

A: Extra-virgin- is the pure juice extracted by mechanical process at low temperatures from the fruit of the olive tree. It comes from the first pressing, under conditions that do not lead to alterations in the decantation, centrifugation and filtration, to the exclusion of oils obtained using solvents, chemical or biochemical action. It must not have any mixture of oils of any kind, thereby maintaining its health and taste attributes. Rich in anti-oxidants, it is not to contain more than .8 acidity, not to exceed 20 in perosidy and when judged by an accredited panel of judges, to have a superior taste being classified as extra-virgin.

Virgin Oil– is extracted as in extra virgin but has an acidity of no more than 3.3%. There can be no refined oils in it and is usually represented as extra virgin on labels. It may be judged to have a good taste, but not having all the attributes of the extra virgin.

Olive Oil- is a blend of refined oil that have been chemically treated to neutralize strong tastes and to hide defects. It contains more than 1 % acidity, often used in canned products and sold as good olive oil, deceiving the public being that acidity is removed and flavoring often added, yet classified in the U.S. as pure olive oil, particularly in restaurants.

Pomace Oil- is oil extracted from the pomace (remains after pressing) using chemical solvents, as well as heat. It is a blend of refined olive oil and although could have some virgin oil in the blend, it can be consumed but may not be called olive oil except in the U.S., and often used in restaurants.


IMG_3799Villa Lucia’s 2013 olive harvest has begun. Our hand pickers have begun this week to pick by hand the certified organic olives that shortly after picking will be pressed into what we consider our liquid gold. Stored immediately after pressing into stainless steel containers, our oil will be ready to be shipped to Luciana’s Ristorante in Dana Pt. California, as well as other locations to meet the requests from our regular and new customers, Supplies are limited but we estimate that we should have as in previous years about 2000 liters of organically certified extra virgin olive oil, meeting the requirements of the International Olive Oil Council.olive_branch

After years of not becoming involved in the classification and verification of meeting the standards of the IOOC, the USAD and the FDA has finally recognized the merits of this food item and the necessity to end one of the largest frauds in the food business. Olive oils finally are being controlled and certified by the FDA, eliminating many of the expensive brands that have infiltrated the market and were nothing but refined oils. fooling the public with products that could be costly but lacked the nutritional value and health benefits. Thanks go to the FDA which Villa Lucia hopes will continue to see that refined oils and blends that do not meet the standards of the IOOC will no longer be permitted to infiltrate the market with false labeling
and deceive the public.
Our oils can be ordered by email,, and will be met asap after pressing. They are sold in gift stainless steel containers of 250 ml for 20 euros(28 dollars) or 3 liter family stainless steel family containers for 150 euros(205 dollars), not including shipping. We ship refills in tins that are good for temporary storage to be used to refill stainless containers. We suggest that our oils be used as a condiment to enhance flavors and not as a frying oil which the refined commercially sold oils can best meet that need. Our production is once a year so best to buy the necessary quantity if able to maintain it in a cool, environment, or Villa Lucia may store in our large stainless steel cellar containers and ship during the year to meet a new request as well as to refill orders.

250ML REFILL 8.00 EUROS(11 dollars)
1L REFILL 30.00 EUROS(40 dollars)
5L REFILL 140.00EUROS(190 dollars)



American Plastic Surgeon in Tuscany

When my two friends came, off-season, to have face and nose surgery, they stayed in our popular chicken coop away from the main house to recuperate. One day as I was working, looking out of my office window in the front of the house, observed a car that had pulled up with 4 passengers. At the moment of their arrival, unknown to me, my friends, bandages and all, were walking in back of the house, knowing there were no customers around. Not aware of the two patients in back, I was curious when seeing out of my office window the 4 walking down our driveway, make a quick u- turn back to their car. Sitting in their car for a few minutes allowed me to go out to see what was going on, As I approached the car, a gentleman walked over to me and asked,” what kind of place is this? Is this a clinic? I thought it was a B&B. Everyone in back is bandaged.” I tried to explain that my husband is a plastic surgeon and I run the B&B. The two women hearing this from the open car window, leaned out and asked in harmony,” is he good?” Years ago in medical residency Jorge did take part in performing sex-change operations. So I answered giving a a little wiggle, arms stretched out with dropped hands, smiling said, “well, what do you think? I use to be Luigi”. With that four strange looking faces, without a comment, glanced at me as the driver hit the pedal and took off. Watching it screech down the driveway, I regretted my humor not appreciated as well as losing the possibility of having 4 reservations.

Orange Coast Magazine: I Love Lucy’s Tuscany

magazine cover

As featured in Orange Coast Magazine June 2004 edition

Recipes include Lemon cello and Villa Lucia’s Torrone

Lemon cello: traditionally served after a meal or before bed time.

*Important note: the lemons must be untreated, meaning they do not have wax or any other substances on them.


10-12 lemons

1 bottle of pure alcohol

1 bottle of water

1 pound of sugar


Peel the lemons, trying not to get too much of the white layer into your peels, then add the other ingredients and cover. Let it rest for five to six days. Occasionally stir; maybe once a day. At the end of five days, test for flavor. If it’s OK, strain and bottle. Additional sugar or lemons may be added to desired taste. I prefer less sugar. In the United States, since you cannot get pure alcohol, some of our attendees have used vodka with good results. Optional: I have added a bunch of basil leaves (40 to 50), which seems to enhance the finished product without changing the taste, and gives it more transparency. Soak together for the five days.

Villa Lucia’s Torrone


2 pounds of almonds, toasted and chopped

9 ounces of honey

1 pound, 2 ounces of sugar

1 egg white


Stir the egg white and honey in a pan that will hold all the ingredients. Be sure to use a low flame so as not to cook the egg. Add the sugar and stir constantly over a medium flame for about five minutes to incorporate the sugar. Add the almonds and stir constantly for about five minutes to coat all the nuts. Wet a work surface, marble, or chopping board, put the sticky, hot torrone on it, roll flat, and then cut into squares. Optional: While the torrone is still hot, you may sprinkle the top with chopped pistachios, colored sugar, or another colorful topping.

Lost in Translation

 Finishing planting the tomatoes, looking at my glovelist stained and dirt filled cuticles; I began to wonder if I was right in leaving city life in California for farming? At dinner that night, Claudia, my French girlfriend, reading my mind suggested with her little French accent to “fa un appuntamento per una man-i-cure” “ make an appointment for a manicure”. Our farm hand from Sicily speaking a dialect from the South as well as having difficulty understanding the Tuscany dialect with a French accent, shook his head in disbelief. I questioned his perplexed look. I soon ascertained his misunderstanding of Claudia’s words when he answered my query by asking, “ I am so confused and don’t understand why do Americans need “appuntamento per mano in culo” meaning to have an appointment to put one’s hand up one’s a—.(culo).

You Need Horses
Shortly after arriving in Italy I invited our agricultural advisor for dinner to be informed as to what I needed to do to fulfill my agriturismo license requirements. After an hour debate over horses which I understood he insisted I must have, I became very upset being that I had no desire to have them. His insistance was leading me to leave the dinner table and possibly even Italy.. I could not tolerate at this time, more work and to have to deal with the taking care of cavalli, horses, was out of the question. He explained I would not have to ride since, a farm hand would have to do the work of transporting our olives to the mill, cut wood, and clean the fields. With a look of discuss he turned to me to explain that there was no way I could put these things in a car. With a deficiency in italian farm vocabulary, I continued to insist as well as he did until we both laughed when realizing he was referring to horsepower for my tractor and not horses.

Right Accents Important
In italian, one must be sure to put the right accent on the right syllable. I was excited to share with my dinner guests my excitement that I had just heard that Montecatini was most likely to be selected to be the town to get a casino, what a thought was a gambling location, I explained to my Italian dinner guests my excitement. “Why “? they all questioned me. My answer was to enjoy myself as well it would be very profitable for all of us. Questioning looks but no comments were made, until I added that I did not gamble but loved going to Las Vegas for fun. Giuseppe then responded that he knew that prostitution may be legal there but would not be legal in Italy. Answering to my question as to what did prostitution have to do with it, his answer was they prefer not to have a bordello in town. The confusion was eventually settled being that I had not known that the accent could have such a different meaning to a word spelled the same. I wanted a gambling house, casino, and they understood that I wanted a whore house, casino. All because I failed to put the accent on the last syllable.