Ancient Wisdom, Modern Innovation

Olive Oil

May 19, 2021
Ancient Wisdom
Over 7000 years ago, humans figured out that pressing olives yielded oil that they used in lanterns for light. It took us quite some time to perfect using the oil for cooking and eating as we know it today. Like the fruit it comes from, olive oil is known for its elevated flavor profiles and rich health benefits. Naturally extracted from the olive, its oil is high in monounsaturated ( good-for-you) fatty acids, which are known to reduce inflammation. Its vitamin E and K content make it antioxidant dense and strengthen anti-inflammatory properties, linking it to being preventative for issues like liver disease, Alzheimer’s or even some cancers. Olive oil has been shown to lower high blood pressure and is thereby linked to heart health. Let's just say that our forebears knew a thing or two! And we all benefit from the ancient and revered process for producing olive oil to this day.
Modern Innovation
We employ and expand the knowledge of growers and producers from millennia ago. When, in its lifespan, an olive is plucked and pressed within a matter of hours, an extraordinary result is achieved. Early harvest means the olives used for the oil they were destined to become were harvested before they ripened. When harvested while they are still green, olives contain a higher polyphenol, or antioxidant, content. The same compounds in olive oil that help cell regeneration and fighting free radicals are what give the early harvest variety its pungent, bitter flavor. Early harvest is considered a healthier version of olive oil, but it is also more expensive to produce. Olives harvested in their early stage yield much less oil than those which have fully ripened. This is why traditional olive oil is much more commonplace. Traditional olive oil comes from olives that were harvested after they ripened. The taste is smoother compared to the pungency of early harvest, with many of the same excellent health benefits. But early harvest olive oil has earned a special place in the finishing oil essentials category. It is your taste buds that will guide you.
Our Olive Oils
At Wildfare, we harvest our olive fruit at the optimal time to create two amazing and distinct olive oil experiences. Much like wine, there can be a “right” fit for pairing olive oil with food. Early Harvest Extra Virgin Olive Oil pairs well with red meat, salads and cheese. It’s great as a finisher vs Traditional Extra Virgin Olive Oil , which is wonderful for cooking. Taste for which oil highlights the qualities of your final dish.

Here is a tasting guide to inspire you.
Smell, Sip And See: How To Taste the Difference in Olive Oils
Olive oil varieties range from brand to price to ingredients. As a consumer, what should we look for in a quality olive oil?
Olive oil tasting is the new wine tasting
Tasting olive oil is like wine tasting; the more practice, the more refined your palate. And after a few times, you might even start to enjoy the sensory experience - the aroma and taste of olive oil. Read on for a few expert tips on how to taste your way to the best olive oil for you.
The “nose” of the olive oil
Try your own tasting. First, pour a tablespoon or two of olive oil into a small wine glass. Hold the glass in your palm with one hand, and close the top of the glass with your other hand. Swirl the glass, and let the oil warm up. Do this for a couple of minutes. As soon as you remove your hand from the top, bring your nose close to it and take in the aroma. This is the “nose” of the olive oil.

Do you notice the smell of freshly cut grass, tropical fruits, or even cinnamon? How about smells like grass, herbs, or even artichokes? These are all good things!
Pungently Perfect
Take a healthy sip of the olive oil. Let it cover your tongue and the inside of your mouth. Suck air through the oils to help you identify any additional aromas.

Pro tips: Close your mouth and exhale through your nose. This retro nasal olfaction helps distinguish flavor elements. Between tastings, clean your palate with some water and a bite of green apple.

Believe it or not, pungency is a very appealing characteristic, and one you may even seek out once you grow accustomed to it. A properly pungent olive oil will give you the taste of spicy pepper in the back of your throat. Pungency can be mild or it can be more intense, even enough to make you cough. Olive oil enthusiasts will sometimes refer to the olive oil that they are tasting as a one, two, or even a three-cough oil. Ahem!
Bitter is Better
Another distinction we give to quality olive oil is bitterness. Stay with us here. When we think about bitterness we can talk about bitter chocolate, bitter salad greens, or bitter mustard - all delicious ingredients that have made their way into our kitchens (and foodie hearts). In olive oil, we can tell how ripe the olive fruit is based on its bitterness. The ripeness of the fruit directly creates different bitterness profiles, and, as you may guess, the early harvested olives yield a more bitter taste.
Olive Oil Food Pairing
At Wildfare, we harvest our olive fruit at the optimal time to create two amazing and distinct olive oil experiences. Much like wine, there can be a “right” fit for pairing olive oil with food. We treat our olive oil as an ingredient and typically start tasting it by marrying it with other foods. Some foods we recommend tasting with different olive oils: steamed fingerling potatoes, fresh mozzarella, beefsteak tomatoes, Crusty Italian Bread, warm cooked cannellini beans, salad greens, grilled steak, or grilled chicken. Look for which oil highlights the qualities of your final dish. Try your own tasting with our Extra Virgin Early Harvest and our Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and sip to discover what tastes best to you.

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