Hard-boiled eggs are a nutritional superstar! They’re packed with protein and amino acids in a delicious low-calorie package. They’re even better when paired with polyphenol-rich extra virgin olive oil. We like to keep them in our fridge for a post-workout snack (drizzled with EVOO of course) or chop them up and add them to a veggie-packed salad. Here are our go-to recipes for hard-boiled eggs.
Lightened Up Egg Salad – Egg salad done right is delightful. We came up with this lighter-on-the-mayo version that has satisfying eggy flavor, a nice crunch of celery and zippy hint of lemon. We like it on toast or in a crisp lettuce cup in lieu of the traditional sandwich. Try it with regular EVOO or our Meyer Lemon Olive Oil.
We love garlic in all forms so it’s no surprise to us that our Fresh Garlic Olive Oil is one of our bestselling products. It’s perfect for sauteéing, drizzling, roasting and marinading ANYTHING to which you want to add a dash of fresh garlic flavor. We’ve rounded up our favorite recipes and uses for our Fresh Garlic Olive Oil to give all you garlic lovers an extra dose of inspiration.
Food fraud—or the act of deceiving consumers about a food or ingredient for the sake of profit—affects as much as 10 percent of the global food supply. Of all the instances of food fraud in the United States, according to a scholarly database tracking this very thing, olive oil leads the way, making up 16 percent of cases (followed by milk, honey, saffron, and orange juice). This type of deception has been around for basically as long as we’ve packaged food: Researchers have excavated mislabeled Roman jars containing counterfeit samples of oil.
One of the reasons oil is so often faked is that it’s bottled before you use it, and it travels far before it lands on grocery store shelves. The United States imports more olive oil than any other country and yet regulations on the labeling of said oil are voluntary. House and Senate subcommittees have urged the Food and Drug Administration to take a harder look at the issue; in a draft report accompanying the Agriculture Appropriations Bill for fiscal year 2017, the House committee stated it was “concerned with reports that consistently describe the prevalence of adulterated and fraudulently labeled olive oil imported into the US.”
Since extra-virgin olive oil is the most valuable oil category in the United States, shady producers and dealers have plenty of incentive to mess with it in hopes of reaping more profit. They defraud consumers in three main ways: by (1) diluting real extra-virgin olive oil with less expensive oils, like soybean or sunflower oil; (2) diluting high-quality olive oil with low-quality olive oil; or (3) making low-quality extra-virgin olive oil, typically incorporating older—and often rancid—stocks of oil held over from bumper crops of previous seasons. When the University of California–Davis researchers tested olive oil bought off the shelf in 2010, they found that 69 percent of imported “extra-virgin” samples failed to meet international standards, based primarily on sensory and chemical testing.
Aside from imparting rotten flavors and ripping people off, this fraud deprives people of some of the health benefits that may have prompted them to buy the oil in the first place: Fresh extra-virgin olive oil is higher in polyphenols, which may reduce the risk of heart disease. It’s also low in saturated fat and contains antioxidants.
So what’s the best way to avoid getting fooled?
1. Price. If you’re buying a liter of olive oil for $8 a bottle, you’re probably not buying 100% olive oil and there’s a slim chance that it’s extra virgin. True extra virgin olive oil is not cheap to produce, which is why some large oil producers blend olive oil with seed oils or use practices and extraction methods that do not comply with the standards for being designated ‘extra virgin’.
2. Harvest date. A good quality extra virgin olive oil will list a harvest date on the bottle. OliveOlive oil often makes headlines for its health benefits with new studies popping up each year highlighting the properties in EVOO that fight heart disease and cancer. In recent years though, olive oil is also making news for darker reasons. This story on 60 Minutes about the Italian mafia’s practice of producing fake extra virgin olive oil aired recently and has olive oil consumers rightfully concerned. This mafioso-made fake olive oil often makes its way across the Atlantic and lands on grocery store shelves around the United States. As a consumer, how can you know that you are buying the real deal? Here are some tips for what to look for and what to avoid when shopping for EVOO. oil is a fresh product that should be consumed within a year or so of bottling and a good producer wants you to enjoy their product at its best. If you don’t see a harvest date, move on!
3. Country of origin. This one is tricky. The majority of grocery store olive oils bear the label language ‘Made in Italy’. Italy produces some fantastic olive oils, but they probably aren’t sitting on your grocery store shelf. A lot of the oil you see touting Italian heritage is often made from olives grown in other countries like Morocco or Tunisia, and then shipped to Italy for bottling. There’s very little regulation on labeling of imports so it’s difficult to know if you’re actually getting what the label tells you. Phony imports often can sit in a warehouse for months before being sold, which is no way to treat a fresh product! If you buy California olive oil that is certified extra virgin by the California Olive Oil Council (COOC), you can trust that you’re getting the freshest, true extra virgin olive oil. If you are buying imported olive oil, make sure it has a harvest date!
4. Know your retailer. You are most likely to find true extra virgin olive oil from a specialty retailer. Larger grocery stores may carry certified extra virgin olive oil, but you have to know your labels. Shopping a smaller retailer where you can talk directly with someone who knows exactly where the olive oil came from is your best bet.
At We Olive, we’ve created a tasting room environment for you to experience and enjoy our fresh, certified extra virgin olive oils, learn about the farmer that produced the olives, and even how to use it in your cooking. Find a location near you or buy your certified EVOO in our online shop today!
Portions of this article originally appeared on Mother Jones. Find the full original article here.
The month of March is designated as Women’s History Month with March 8th marking International Women’s Day, a day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. We wanted to show you what that looks like at We Olive, with many of our locations being women-owned and women-managed and with our corporate team being led by women. We’re proud to introduce you to the Women of We Olive!
My current product obsessionis…We Olive Arbequina EVOO. It’s so versatile to use every day that it’s the perfect go-to EVOO and also delicious on vanilla ice cream with a sprinkle of sea salt!
When I am not at We Olive, I am…I’m talking about We Olive! There’s so much to talk about and it’s so exciting to bring We Olive to our community!
Natalie Sollock, Training & Development Manager, We Olive
My current product obsessionis…the Bondolio Olio Nuovo (no longer in stores) on my grilled chicken salads with avocado, so fresh and delicious. I’ve also really been into our Wasabi Sake Mustard, I dip pretty much everything in it… flatbreads, pastry pups, cheese, make salad dressings…mmm!
When I am not at We Olive, I am…on a hike, biking to the beach, at a yoga class or at the San Diego Zoo.
My current product obsessionis…Jalapeno Olive Oil! I love to spice up anything from soups, to salads, hummus, popcorn, make tortilla chips, it’s my go-to oil for eggs!
When I am not at We Olive, I am…I am out in nature (as much as I can be in So Cal), hiking, whale watching, picnicking in the park. When I can get a couple days off, I am up in Paso Robles visiting my family, with a little wine tasting too. I enjoy quiet time as well, meditation, astrology, exploring holistic healing. Massage, Reiki, etc… I love how healing olive oil is and now exploring essential oils.
Fresh extra virgin olive oils produced from the most recent harvest are in and we can’t wait for you taste them! Learn why freshness is so important and how to keep olive oil fresh.
If you experienced Olio Nuovo right after the harvest in the fall, you’ll understand why we are so excited. Olio Nuovo, which is the freshest olive oil you’ll ever experience, is picked, milled and bottled within a day or so of harvest. Olive oil producers typically only make a small amount of Olio Nuovo because it doesn’t have as long a shelf life as regular extra virgin olive oil.
Olive oil producers will mill all of the harvested olives, just like Olio Nuovo, but they allow the milled oil to rack for a few months so the tiny olive pieces can settle. This process gives EVOO a shelf life of about 18 – 24 months vs. the 3 – 6 months you’ll get from Olio Nuovo. That means we start to get the fresh olive oil that has been racking right around this time each year. And it is delicious!
Here is a lesser-known fact: Extra virgin olive oil is fresh-squeezed juice. Consequently, extra virgin olive oil is perishable. And, unlike wine, extra virgin olive oil doesn’t improve with age.
How to keep olive oil fresh and extend the shelf life.
Many people save good quality extra virgin olive oil for special occasions, but it’s a fresh product that should be consumed! Once bottlled, olive oil has an 18-24 month shelf life so extra virgin olive oil should be purchased within 12 to 18 months of its harvest date and should be used up within six months of opening. We recommend using up the oil within 30 to 60 days upon opening. Remember, high-quality extra virgin olive oil provides the best health benefits and flavor when it’s fresh.
Protect it from light
Extended exposure to light can deteriorate the quantity and quality of the antioxidants found in olive oil. Olive oil should be packaged in dark glass or tin to cut down on light exposure. It should also be stored away from direct light as exposure to light dramatically shortens the shelf life of extra virgin olive oil.
Store it properly
Store extra virgin olive oil away from light, air and heat. These elements accelerate the process of oxidation which leads to rancidity. As oxidation occurs naturally over time, it is best to use the oil up once it is open within the first 6 months.
Olive oil should not be stored next to the stove as this exposes the oil to consistent heat. It is also not recommended to store oil in the refrigerator because condensation within the bottle may lead to off flavors. Store your oil in a cool, dark cabinet or pantry.
The optimal storage temperature for olive oil is 60 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Exposure to warmer temperatures causes unpleasant flavors to develop in the olive oil.
Spring brings a new crop of produce to the farmers market and we’ve rounded up our favorite spring recipes using asparagus, spring peas and artichokes along with your favorite We Olive olive oils and vinegars. Get our best spring vegetable recipes below.
2018 marks our 15th year in business and as with any major milestone, it has us looking back at where we’ve come from, around us at what we’ve accomplished and ahead to where we want to go next. We opened our first store in Paso Robles in 2003 as a place to showcase the fantastic olive oils that were being produced locally. Our passion for bringing true, fresh extra virgin olive oil to our guests and seeing them experiencing the real thing is what drove us.
We began franchising 3 years later, opening our second location in Fresno in 2006. Over the next 5 years, we opened retail stores around California making local EVOO more accessible to the state. The truth is that many Americans were consuming olive oil, but people were getting 90% of it from Italy or Spain.¹ Our mission was to show Californians, and anyone living in the U.S., that olive oil produced right at home was better than what they could get shipped in from Europe. The simple reason that extra virgin olive oil produced in the U.S. is superior to imported olive oil? It’s fresher. It hasn’t been sitting on a cargo ship, then in storage for weeks or months before it reaches store shelves.
A commitment to real extra virgin olive oil
Real extra virgin olive oil is a fresh product that should be consumed within 12- 18 months of harvest and that means getting it locally ensures that you are getting a fresh product. Additionally, all of the EVOO that you find at We Olive is certified by the California Olive Oil Council (COOC), which uses stricter standards than international requirements for designating an olive oil extra virgin. Our commitment to educating consumers and making the best of what our country produces accessible to everyone is what drove us, and continues to drive us, to grow.
The next chapter
In 2011, we opened our first We Olive & Wine Bar in La Jolla, California. The idea had been brewing for some time as seasonal, fresh food made with extra virgin olive oil coupled with artisan wine made in the U.S. was a natural pairing and a big part of We Olive’s culture.
Over the next few years, we continued to open We Olive & Wine Bar locations in California and finally expanded to our first out of state location in 2013 in Bee Cave, Texas. 8 more We Olive & Wine Bar locations opened around the country in the next 4 years and in 2017, we joined the Texas Association of Olive Oil supporting Texas growers and producers.
Today, We Olive has 18 locations, an online shop and a custom gift program. We continue to be an industry leader, adhering to the highest standards for extra virgin olive oil and focusing on consumer education. Our 13 wine bar locations maintain a wine program that values small producers, exciting varietals and the best the region has to offer. We look forward to serving you for another 15 years!
Extra virgin olive oil is loaded with health benefits and incorporating it into your diet can help reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer and more. Cooking with olive oilnot only benefits your health, it adds fantastic flavor to all of your favorite dishes.
Check out our roundup of heart healthy recipes with olive oil below.
Celebrate American Heart Month by joining We Olive & Wine Bar for a Heart Healthy Cooking Demo. We are proud to partner with Intermountain Healthcare to raise funds to fight heart disease.
Owner and Chef Josh Garcia will show guests how to prepare 5 different heart healthy dishes using heart healthy extra virgin olive oil. Everyone in attendance will be able to taste all 5 dishes, and will receive a 5 ounce bottle of olive oil to take home. Guests will have the option to purchase wine or beer throughout the evening. A portion of all ticket sales will be donated to Intermountain Healthcare and go towards cardiovascular research, along with a portion of retail purchases made that evening.
Cooking Demo will feature:
Zucchini carpaccio with goat cheese and herbs
Grilled fingerling potato salad with lemon garlic vinaigrette
Valentine’s Day is synonymous with chocolate but it doesn’t have to be unhealthy. We’ve put together a list of delicious chocolate recipes made with heart-healthy EVOO for you to make for the person closest to your heart!