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.

OLIVE OIL HARVEST 2013

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.
OIL BOTTLE
Our oils can be ordered by email, vl@villaluciaoftuscany.com, 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.
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OIL PRICE LIST
250ML REFILL 8.00 EUROS(11 dollars)
1L REFILL 30.00 EUROS(40 dollars)
5L REFILL 140.00EUROS(190 dollars)

IMG_1524 PRICE OF 3 LITRE STAINLESS STEEL OIL CONTAINER WITH 3L OF OIL PRICE-150.00 EUROS(205 dollars)

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT ORDERING OIL PLEASE CONTACT US AT vl@villaluciaoftuscany.com

Villa Lucia Oil

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Our oil is extra-virgin oil made from the olive trees on our property in Montevettolini, Italy. Our oil is a full-flavored, golden-green olive oil, redolent with fruit and a pronounced peppery bite. This pleasant, sharp sensation is a marker of both its high antioxidant quality as well as its anti-inflammatory properties. It also indicates that care was taken during harvest and production. The olives are harvested by hand, at the perfect moment of ripeness, and swiftly brought to a processing facility merely minutes away.

Villa Lucia produces on their organic farm, extra-virgin olive oil, verified by computer analysis of its acidity and perossidy (oxidation) to be classified as extra-virgin, according to the International Olive Oil Council (IOOC), that regulates and authenticates olive oil. Extra-virgin must have less than .8 acidity and perossidy not to exceed 20. Oil not cared for by being exposed to heat, light, or foul odors will deteriorate in quality, lead to rancidity, increase in acidity, and perossidy, decreasing its nutritional value.

Following the pressing of our Villa Lucia olives, oil is put immediately into stainless steel tanks to protect its nutritional qualities and taste. For the past 30 years Villa Lucia continues to produce extra-virgin oil that computer analysis, recognized by the IOOC, has proven to meet the requirements to be classified as extra-virgin.

Best Way to Enjoy Our Olive Oil: 

Our oil is condiment oil, meant to enhance your foods after cooking. By using it raw, you preserve our oil’s exceptional flavor and nutritional qualities. Try it drizzled over pasta, salad, cooked greens, or brushed on crostini. Explore the many ways to enjoy our unique olive oil.

Olive Oil & Food Culture

“ The olive tree is surely the richest gift from heaven” THOMAS JEFFERSON

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I was introduced to good olive oil over 70 years ago. I was just a baby, too young to be cognizant of what I was being fed, but every Italian mother in those days would prepare for their little ones, a little broth made of carrots and celery, to be the base for pastini, ( tiny pieces of pasta) and enriched of course with olive oil. Today in Italy when visited by Italians with babies, the practice is still followed. When a friend stayed with us for a month with little 3 year old Eduardo, first thing in the morning Angela, Eduardo’s mother, while having her coffee, would start making a broth with carrots and celery to add pastini later (small noodles). Daily changes were made as she might often substituted pastini with mashed carrots, greens, squash, potatoes, or other seasonal vegetable. The dish may vary, but always topped with that olive oil just as my mother in law did when feeding Jason, my youngest as a child. When asked if it was my diet, my mother responded in the positive. It was an inexpensive yet healthy dish, easy for a baby to digest, warm comfort food in any weather, bathed in olive oil most likely made by a family member or trusted friend.

Needless to say, baby food was out of the question in those days and if present, not trusted by the old fashion Italian mamas. What I do recall is always having olive oil on the dinner table as a youngster to enrich dishes, definitely for our dinner salads, and if a drop should fall onto the table, to be recycled onto our skin as a moisturizer. We were never to waste a single drop of this liquid gold. If I had the flu, a teaspoon of olive oil could be my medicine. If I had a cold, of course olive oil might be helpful. If I was constipated, no question of its beneficial properties. If I had the opposite problem, lower bowel alimentary stoppage, well I am not sure, don’t recall, but would not be surprised if my old fashion mama would have given me olive oil for that as well.

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I hated hair washing days in elementary school. That meant the night before I would have to sleep with a head bathed in olive oil, wrapped and enveloped into a plastic cap until morning, It was then that I often told my mom, “ enough with this oil”. None of my friends with modern american mothers had their kids do this. I hated even sleeping with the smell of Zia Michellina’s freshly made oil from Abruzzo. My friends used perfumed items. Maybe for economical reasons, but creams, perfumes, scented soaps and conditioners, never had a chance to compete with my mom and her olive oil.

When off to college I was able to escape from my mother’s liquid gold and become an American. That is when I learned how to use colorful salad dressings with strange gluey like substances that at first I could not tolerate but wanting to be an American, so learned to adopt. Married life brought olive oil back into my kitchen, but never appreciated or omnipresent as it was in my youth. That is until 1985 when moving to Italy and finding myself on a farm of neglected olive trees. I had no knowledge of what to do with them but knew they were too sacred to cut down.

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America is one of 23 countries producing olive oil. The industry is monitored, controlled, and regulated by the International Council of Olive Oil producers, an international agency with headquarters in Madrid Spain. The IOOC is the agency that classifies olive oil according to the various categories. If meeting certain standards one’s olive oil can use the approved verbiage on their product verifying that what is in the bottle is as noted on the label. Unfortunately until the last two years, 95% of all imported olive oils were mislabeled. America, the only producer that is not a member of the IOOC was not controlled , therefore any oil could have been called extra virgin, without meeting the standards of the IOOC: FDA had little concern being that they had more important matters to attend to. In the USA olive oil is controlled by the US Dept of Agriculture that had classified American oil as fancy, standard and sub -standard according to their regulations, set up in 1948 and never revised until many demands of the California Olive Oil Producers led to new classifications in 2010. Although a great step forward, still there is a need for the FDA to become involved to verify the contents of the bottle which a USDA logo does not certify.