Extra virgin olive oil, or EVOO, is considered the highest quality of oil classification. It is the first cold pressed olive oil, meaning the olive is crushed to extract the juice. The importance of this technique is that it preserves the antioxidants and healthy fats of the oil, which are what protect our body from damage by free radical oxidation. Often, if unregulated, a bottle labeled “extra virgin” may not always be an authentic EVOO. To ensure the highest quality, Secolari’s extra virgin olive oils are all certified by the California Olive Oil Council (COOC).
The COOC created a certification program using stricter standards than international regulations, making it some of the best oil on the market. EVOO must meet certain guidelines in order to hold this title, such as having no more than .8 grams per 100 grams of oleic acid, no chemicals added, and being free from defects. It is produced without the use of any solvents under temperatures less than 86°F, so that the oil is not degraded. Since EVOO is the first product of the extraction process, it has the strongest flavor and scent of all olive oils.
All of our EVOO is certified by the California Olive Oil Council, meaning it has passed the strict standards held by the certification program.
A certification or seal of approval means the olive oil has passed distinct criteria to ensure it is the highest of quality. Freshness is highly important when it comes to EVOO. So, for those who live in the U.S., California olive oil is pressed and shipped more quickly and is more reliable than Italian or other international oils. Just look for the seal on your Secolari bottle, and you'll know it has passed the strict guidelines set forth by the COOC.
A note about our flavored olive oils
Even our flavored olive oils hail from California. While they cannot be certified like EVOO, the standards for these oils are just as high. They are of equal quality and origin as our extra virgin oils, and are flavored by the Agrumato method: created when the herb, fruit, or pepper is added at the time when the olives are first cold pressed. These fused olive oils are made with fresh picked organic whole fruit or herbs, which are crushed together with fresh early harvest olives using 100% mechanical cold extraction methods. If the fruit or herb was not included in the pressing, these would be Extra Virgin oils.
Olive Oil Production in California
Learn about the history of the olive oil industry in California and take a tour of olive groves in California in this video produced by the California Olive Oil Council. Follow the olives from harvesting to milling and learn about the attention and care which goes into producing fresh, high quality California extra virgin olive oil.
Sensory Evaluation of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Understand what it means to be considered Extra Virgin and hear members of the COOC Taste Panel describe the best technique for tasting and evaluating extra virgin olive oil.