Olive Oil

Come enjoy Tastealotta olive oil; our tasting room is like fine wine tasting while also being a wonderful culinary experience!

 
 

Olive Oil From France to Italy


High atop hills and gracing valleys from Spain to Tunisia and from Portugal to Spain and beyond are olive trees that provide the olives for the wonderful Tastealotta olive oils. We hand pick our olive oils for their color, taste and aroma.


Searching for the best olive oils in the world is a wonderful process and one that we enjoy. Everything from soil to climate, from root stock to water make a critical difference in the olive oil we carry at Tastealotta. We source our olive oil from all over the world, including Italy, Argentina, Australia, California, Greece, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, Syria and Morocco, these are just a few of the world-wide origins of our olive oils.

How Olive Oil Is Made


The art of making olive oil has not really changed over the thousands of years; harvest the olives at the right time, crush them into paste, seperate the solids from the liquid, and then further seperate the vegetable water from the oil. And there you have olive oil.

The stone grinding method is still used many places in the world.The olives are crushed to paste between revolving millstones, the paste is spread on woven mats, stacked in a press and squeezed until the fluid is recovered in basins beneath the press.

The vegetable water sinks and the oil is skimmed off. The mats are emptied of the pits and skins and repasted with fresh olive paste to repeat the process. This method results in very sweet oil with slightly higher levels of acidity. The mats impart a distinct flavor from the cultures that grow with their repeated use. Many old timers insist that this flavor is an important component in making fine olive oil but considered a defect by people who use newer methods.

The continuous method is the most widespread method used in the world today. Olives enter the mill at one end and oil comes out the other. The olives are crushed by hammer mill and the paste is pumped to a malaxer where it is warmed and mixed until the oil begins to separate. The resulting paste is pumped to a centrifuge where the solids are separated from the liquids and the vegetable water and oil are further separated in a final centrifugal process. Because the polyphenols that account for the flavor in olive oil are much more soluble in water than in oil, reducing contact with water preserves the flavor of the oil.

Varieties of Olive Oil


The variety of olive selected for planting will have an effect on the overall flavor and characteristics of the oil, but the merits of individual types or cultivators is a hotly contested subject with olive growers. Most table fruit is unsuitable for oil production because of yield, size, and oil content. The complicated subject is also woven into the area where each variety is grown, so many contributing factors determine the final flavors of olive oil you taste at Tastealotta.


The following cultivars account for the major production of olive produced in the world today, but is only a fraction of the known cultivars. Each cultivar has its unique characteristics, but some differences can be more subtle whereas others can be more remarkable and the region or cultivar easily detected by a pro. Each has its unique characteristics, but some differences are remarkably subtle. Some are more durable, while others hold up better to heat. Some are rich, soft and buttery while others are big, angular and complex. The choices are delightfully limitless.

Come, Taste & Enjoy


There is no substitute for personal experience. Try as many olive oils as you can.That is why we encourage tasting at Tastealotta. Olive Oil is a very personal experience. You will find your personal favorites from either Spain, Greece, Italy, Turkey or possibly California.

The oil season begins in early October in the Northern Hemisphere and April in the Southern Hemisphere extending to late February in the Northern Hemisphere and June in the Southern Hemisphere. We carry what is seasonally available. Each producing country has different producing regions, varieties, and preferences for harvest time and style, no two seasons in any area are same. Many varieties alternate in productivity; a year of high productivity is followed by a year of rest.

Each producing country has a dominant variety or cultivar historically suited to its terrain, and is representative of the general "style" of the country. There is no substitute for your individual experience. Try as many extra virgin olive oils as you can; they represent extraordinary examples of unique quality and value impossible to duplicate in traditional supermarket brands.