The olives used to produce our oil come straight from the hills surrounding the Cave of Castelcivita, steep and plentiful olive groves where water flows naturally and quickly, nourishing the roots of the trees without aging the roots.
Harvest occurs once each year, in early November, which helps preserve the organic property of the trees. The aroma and flavor of the olives are kept fresh with an immediate cold-press process that produces only the finest of extra-virgin oils.
Aroma – from Tree to Bottle: First, smell the oil. Good olive oil has a mild aroma, not too strong and not too fruity. Olives for extra-virgin oil are pressed the same day as collected from the tree. Since fermentation has not begun, all the natural characteristics of olives are preserved. So the aroma of good quality oil will be pleasant, and not overpower your nose!
Taste – Savor The Flavor: Next, taste the oil. Good olive oil has a spicy, even bitter, taste after you swallow. That bitterness, which one has to learn to enjoy, comes from an antioxidant called polifenoli, which olives produce naturally. Polifenoli helps preserve human cells by slowing down their maturation. A good oil’s aftertaste is an essential sign of quality.
Price – Cheaper in The Long Run: Look at the price. Quality is not cheap. Low cost is something to avoid when shopping for good olive oil. Low-cost oil is usually made from very old olives, not fresh from the tree, but late in their life cycle, sometimes just before they perish. And remember this: The best way to use extra-virgin olive oil is sparingly, as you would good seasoning. With high-quality oil, a little goes a long way. In the long run, you’ll save money and calories over a low-cost commercial oil.