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Xabia Jim 04-13-2008 11:50 PM

Olive oil vintages
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Okay here is what I learned (gleaned) from a conversation with the picker.

The family heads up to their trees in the mountains about 2 hours from the coast to pick their olives in the fall. It's a family affair and they cram 10 people into a two room finca on the property during the picking.

The oil from the previous vintage was a dark green and very strong. The oil from this vintage was a light golden color....a very distinct contrast.

What Juano told me is that it had rained heavily last fall so they could not get out into grove to pick the olives as planned...too muddy. So the harvest was delayed 15 days which caused the fruit to ripen more than usual. That created the lighter color and sweeter oil.

They grow a white olive variety for the oil (acietuna blanco) which is a smaller olive that is white and green.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it....

Inishta 04-15-2008 12:03 AM

Re: Olive oil vintages
[QUOTE=Xabia Jim;29657]

Originally Posted by Frances (Post 29625)
oil should last a while, right?


Any opinions on this?

I don't remember throwing out any olive oil.

I asked Juano how long it lasted and he said basically, it's oil and there's no problem....many years?

...but I thought some oils can go rancid.....

keep it cool and dark?


As you may expect XJim I have an opinion...........:D

I buy oil for the year from the annual harvest and growers use theirs all year. I would say that is fine for extra virgin oil as storage time increases the acidity level and as EVOO is less than 1% acidity it lasts longer. I don't think cheaper oils should be kept so long. Oils degrade over time but as olive oil is monounsaturated it stands up better. I buy oil in 20 litre containers, decant it into dark glass bottles and store in a cool cupboard. Frances and yourself should take the oil out of the plastic transportation bottle asap as oil absorbs pvc, hence all the cute bottles it is sold in. Light is the enemy of oil. As you say cool is important and oil can be stored in the fridge but will go cloudy. This is not a problem as it will clear again as it warms.



gjbingham 04-15-2008 08:08 AM

Re: Olive oil vintages
Good report XJ. Thanks for the research. Look at all the cool stuff we learn by being here!

jengineer 04-15-2008 12:25 PM

Re: Olive oil vintages
So when I visited distant relatives in Sicily I learned that my penchant for buying things 2 at a time is not unique. This distant great uncle or cousin in his late '70's back in 1990 also bought stuff by twos. But that is not the point.

They lived in what on the oustide look like a old ramble down 2 story stone house in town. Most of the buildings looked run down from the outside. But oh you step in and it is a mini-mansion and very well appointed mind you. Olive oil was served with every meal. Mom asked them, wife and husband, how much oil they use in a year. The wife said just one can. Now get this dad and mom are very rusty on their Italian, me I'm useless, and our hosts only speak Sicilian. Mom says huh must be a 5 gallon can. I ask dad if they would show us this can. They take us down to the bottom level into a carved out mini basement and there all by itself in this cool room is a 50 gallon drum of oil.

Yep that is 25 gallons for the wife and 25 for the husband. So figure 25 gallons, 365 days in a year, 3 meals a day no weighting for more in the evening less in the are looking at almost 3 ounces (86 ml) or almost 6 tablespoons per meal per person.

I am still amazed

james 04-15-2008 12:41 PM

Re: Olive oil vintages
Young olive oil and old wine. It's an old Tuscan saying.

You really want to consume the good stuff within a year of pressing. Otherwise it loses its flavor, spice, tange, pepper, grass, citrus, tartness, or whatever made it the good stuff in the first place. Past one year, you might as well have just bought less expensive oil.

We work hard to only have the new oil in the FB Store, and for those of us buying EVO in the U.S., beware. The Italians are know for dumping old oil they could not sell in Italy in the U.S. They would never offend their regular customers (virtually all of whom are olive oil experts), but they will happily dump it on us. The same is true for coffee. Illy and Lavazza are excellent there, but old and stale here.

Helpful? :-)


gjbingham 04-15-2008 10:39 PM

Re: Olive oil vintages
Great story! I loved it! Hard to live without it once you get used to it. The oil is probably dispensed from a co-op gas pump, just like the red wines in Sicily. Sounds bad, tastes good!

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