Cart 0

What is extra virgin?

Olive oil is considered “extra virgin” when it has been produced by crushing and extracting the juice of fresh, healthy olives that contain, more than any other olive oil grade, the health-promoting nutrients that olive oil is famous for. To be considered “extra virgin”, the oil must meet certain laboratory tests on things like acidity and levels of peroxide. A professional taste panel must also determine if the oil has any negative tastes that the panel refers to as “defects.” It is the only cooking oil that is made without the use of chemicals and industrial refining. Simply stated, it’s the highest quality and most expensive olive oil classification. It is the purest the oil can be.

For those reasons, it is neither easy nor inexpensive to produce extra virgin olive oil. It’s essential to use fresh olives in good condition, mill them within hours of harvesting, and monitor every step of the process with great care. That’s one of the reasons most store-bought and inexpensive olive oils labeled “extra virgin” are, in fact, not extra virgin at all.

California, however, has set very high standards to ensure that “extra virgin” on the label of a California-produced olive oil means exactly that. Look carefully at the label for an “extra virgin” certification seal and a harvest date. 36° Extra Virgin Olive Oil proudly displays the California Olive Oil Council extra virgin olive oil certification seal and harvest date on each and every bottle they produce.

Unlike wine, however, no matter how much you covet your bottle of extra virgin olive oil, you should use it. It will degrade over time, so even in perfect storage conditions, it's important to enjoy it within its two-year shelf life from the date of harvest.

From the trees at 36° Extra Virgin Olive Oil to your table, you’ll definitely taste the difference!