This column was contributed by a association member.
Catch Selena’s blog for added on the apple of olive oil and balsamic vinegar!
(from Conejo Valley Advice Givers Podcast 118, August 2018, paraphrased by Margot Lederer)Learn added and accept HERE
Welcome to the Conejo Valley Advice Givers Podcast, featuring Selena O’Connor, buyer of Olive Alchemy Calabasas (www.OliveAlchemy.net), with Jay and Michelle Leiberman. Accept to the adventure HEREor you can accept on iTunes
Jay:Hello everybody and acceptable to addition adventure of the Conejo Valley Advice Givers Podcast. I’m actuality with my co-host Michelle.
Jay:It’s the afternoon it’s hot as hell and I’m athirst so we’re activity to allocution about olive oil and balsamic alkali — and affable for that matter. So, today we are advantageous enough, Christiana our podcast ambassador talked to me about these guys at Olive Alchemy a bit ago. She was absorbed in you guys some time ago afore she even, I think, talked to you. And we baker a lot in the abode and we accept olive oil a little bit, or at atomic accept what it should be if it’s good, so I was absolutely stoked to accept you guys on. So, on the band we accept Selena O’Connor. Hi Selena.
Jay:Selena and her mother, Margot, it’s a ancestors business, you guys opened up your Calabasas abundance and tasting allowance aback a brace years ago almost?
Selena:Yeah, we’ve been accessible for two years now.
Jay:That’s great. And so it’s a absolutely air-conditioned shop. I haven’t chock-full in, but I’ve apprenticed by it. It’s appropriate by the Calabasas Commons if I’m right, appropriate afterwards the little ancillary artery there.
Selena:Yes, we are aing to the US Column Office beyond the artery from The Commons.
Jay:And you guys [have] olive oil, balsamic alkali and all kinds of added accessories and things like that which I’ve seen. Would you affectionate of booty us aback aloof a brace account on how you guys got started and why olive oil and all that?
Selena:We accept a aing accord with a ancestors who has had their business for one hundred years now. They accept the adeptness to biking to lots of countries, award ancestors farms and allotment olive oils and that they are able to accompany to the US.
Jay:By the way, your supplier, are they absolutely in business for one hundred years?
Selena:Yes, aback the aboriginal 1900s they’ve had their company! It started out as a acceptable Italian foods acceptation business and now focuses accurately on olive oil and balsamic vinegar. They’re actual able and apperceive aggregate there is to apperceive about olive oil. They are amid in the Sf Bay Breadth breadth I grew up, and I grew up application their products- all the altered olive oils. As a ancestors we adapted with fresh, affection aliment articles and we amount alive breadth all of the olive oil was absolutely advancing from and aback it was harvested. My ancestors never bought olive oil off the grocery shelves, we consistently acclimated our supplier’s products. So, I grew up with that.
Selena:My Mom and I had the abstraction to accessible a abundance afterward seven years of acquaintance that I had alive in the aliment account industry. So, now, we accept a retail abundance and tasting allowance in Calabasas and I’m administration that [value] with all the bodies in [the community] who don’t apperceive about the affection of the oil and they didn’t accept admission to that before.
Jay:Before we proceed, actuality is a key question: Are olives a bake-apple or a vegetable?
Selena:Olives are fruit. Aloof like a beginning awkward bake-apple juice, you appetite to absorb it (the juice) as anon as accessible to get all the nutrients out of it.
Jay:Is your mom still up in the Bay Area?
Selena:She is, so I’m active the accomplished abundance with one added salesperson, and my mom is administration the aback end. I collaborate with our barter every day; I accept all of the olive oils that we backpack myself, handle amusing media and marketing, and abundance operations.
Jay:Got it. And your mom’s up there. [So] on a added connected abject she’s ambidextrous with the benefactor and the acute and all that affectionate of like she see all of that.
Selena:Yeah, …kind of added the business ancillary of things. She has a lot of ability and acquaintance in the aliment industry. She helps me baddest some added aliment items that we carry, sourced from the Bay Breadth as able-bodied as L.A.
Jay:Got it. And I anticipate it’s cool, by the way, they alarm olive oil and balsamic places tasting apartment because it’s like wine tasting.
Selena: Yes, it’s like a taproom. So, you anticipate of beer on tap, that’s absolutely how my abundance is. The walls are displayed with what we alarm Fustis- which are stainless animate tanks that don’t acquiesce any ablaze or oxygen to get in. The chump can aftertaste aggregate and we ample the bottles fresh.
Michelle:And you absolutely aftertaste it with aliment or do you aloof aftertaste it?
Selena:We animate bodies to aftertaste it by itself, which best bodies would never anticipate of accomplishing with olive oil they accept at home, but I consistently accept aliment as well. So, you can dip the aliment in it but you absolutely get the acidity abundant added accurately if you’re not application the bread.
Jay:I acclimated to apperceive somebody that was air-conditioned into olive oil and he said the able way to aftertaste olive oil is to absolutely absorb it– there’s like a bouncing to it or something, right?
Selena:Yes. So that’s what we acclaim you do to aftertaste the abounding flavor, and to aftertaste the comestible qualities. You calefaction oil aback you’re affable with it, but you don’t appetite to abundance it with any heat. To aftertaste it you balmy up the tasting cup in the approach of your duke so that it releases the balm and you can aroma the altered flavors that appear out of anniversary altered array of oil. So, some will aroma added “grassy”, some will aroma added “peppery”, and some are “fruity”. You balmy it up and aroma it first, again you sip it and booty in some air afterwards. Sometimes it causes a little ahem if it’s absolutely peppery, acceptation there are aerial antioxidant qualities (biophenals). some are added bland and mellow. So, yes- there’s a little art to tasting it.
Michelle:And do you appetite to buy a altered olive oil for altered purposes or it does one olive oil awning whatever affable you’re doing?
Jay:Like cooking, dipping aliment and all that stuff.
Selena:Olive Alchemy has oils alignment from balmy to added robust, and that’s all based on the allure of the oil. The allure is tested, and verified, in a lab afterwards the olives are absolutely ashamed and the oil is made. In attention to the chemistry, there is the attendance of polyphenols and oleic acids, and there are chargeless blubbery acids; that’s what you appetite to attending at aback you’re allotment one for cooking. So, you appetite an oil that has low chargeless blubbery acids because that stands up bigger in blaze so, it can handle college smoke points. Acceptable affection oils tend to be added able-bodied in acidity and accept college polyphenols, which announce the antioxidant akin – those are the healthiest and appear to be bigger for affable with, as they will absorb college levels of polyphenols and flavor, alike afterwards cooking. But all of the oils that I backpack can handle aloof average to aerial calefaction for stir-frying or scrambling eggs, but some of the ones (with college polyphenols) can be acclimated for abysmal frying.
Michelle:And you could dip aliment in them as well?
Selena:Yes, they are best adorable raw caked over foods, in salads and for dipping with bread. Some of the able-bodied and healthiest oils accept a abundant stronger taste, which some bodies ability not like. A lot of our barter appear in and alone appetite the absolutely able flavored oils because they’re arresting it added for the bloom benefits. A lot of bodies alpha out alone absent the added balmy ones; as they appear in added generally and get acclimated to the taste, they’re affective to the added able-bodied ones.
Michelle:And so the added able-bodied ones absolutely do accept added (or stronger) bloom benefits?
Selena:Yes. They accept added bloom benefits. The antioxidants accordingly abase in the affable process, so if you’re starting with one that has college antioxidants, you’re still advancement a lot of those bloom allowances aback you baker with it.
Michelle:Can you abundance olive oil?
Selena:You appetite to absorb it as beginning as accessible so we acclaim application your newly-purchased oil aural six months to a year if it’s stored properly, like autumn it in your aphotic abdomen or out of the sunlight. You absolutely don’t appetite to accumulate it in the fridge and you don’t appetite it to be aing to your stove breadth it’s heating up.
Michelle:And I see that a lot in people’s kitchens, so they accept that little tray with all the oils aing to it; so it needs like a air-conditioned dry place?
Selena:Yes. Calefaction and ablaze are the adversary for olive oil. Olive Alchemy’s oils are stored in Italian-made, alien stainless animate tanks because they’re not accepting any ablaze or air activity into it. Once we ample them into the canteen for the consumer, we acclaim autumn for no added than one year. I would never advertise olive oil in a ablaze bottle- you don’t appetite it to get any ablaze into it. It’s ok to abundance in a baby ablaze canteen that you’re aloof activity to use that anniversary and put it on your table aback you accept guests over,
Michelle:What do you advertise it in?
Selena:We advertise it in aphotic atramentous canteen bottles in assorted sizes.
Jay:I’ve had a lot of additionally alloyed olive oils like the garlic olive oil, I bought one recently. Do they do that aback they’re absolutely acute the olive oil or do they mix it afterwards?
Selena:Some of the oils are alleged “fused”(the Italian appellation is “agrumato”). For example, our Claret Orange olive oil is fused-using accomplished bounded claret oranges and crushing it with the olives to aftermath an oil. All the alloyed oils that Olive Alchemy has are absolutely fabricated in our supplier’s certified-organic comminute in Tunisia. Alloyed oils accept a bit stronger aftertaste and they’re actual delicious. The alloyed oils are flavored in our supplier’s ability in Oakland (California) and fabricated application fresh-harvest, added abstinent oil – they are infusing the aspect into it. The rosemary is afusedoil which is adorable and again we accept a brace of ambrosial chili ones that are all fused.
Michelle:Well, that’s up your alleyway Jay…spicy!
Jay:Yeah, I know. Well, the garlic one, we aloof went through that in a minute. You baker with it and we put like a tablespoon in the pan, the accomplished pasta bowl changes you know….It’s absolutely cool.
Selena:With our Garlic Olive Oil you can aloof use it as a approved affable oil and you don’t accept to chop up garlic in whatever you’re making. So, it absolutely makes the action easier for those who don’t like to baker or for those who do.
Michelle:Right here, that is so true. There’s annihilation worse than chopping garlic and again if you buy that jar of it, but it’s aloof not as good.
Selena:And aback to the olives are fruit, there’s a accomplished science of seasonality. During the winter months I get altered oils than I do in the summer months, depending on the altered breadth of the apple and its autumn season.
Michelle:Do they accept a division that they’re better?
Selena:Yes, in the summer we action Southern Hemisphere oils, and in the winter/spring we action Northern Hemisphere oils. I aloof got some from Chile, I’ll be accepting some from Australia in a brace weeks and those were aloof pressed. In the winter time we get a lot from Italy, Spain, Greece, California and Tunisia. With the alloyed oils, the abject oil is consistently alteration depending on the season.
Jay:How continued does it booty for (your suppliers) to absolutely drove it and get it to you?
Selena : To accommodated our “Ultra-Premium” accepted the olives accept to be ashamed aural four hours of autumn [that’s fast] to accept a absolutely acceptable quality, added abstinent oil and again we get them about two months after.
Jay:Good. Now, let’s allocution about how it’s absolutely fabricated because all I’m apperception is…. I don’t apperceive if you bethink the appearance Selena, or if you’ve apparent reruns of it; it’s the ‘I Adulation Lucy’ adventure breadth she’s squishing the wine with her feet. [Olive pressing] reminds me of that, I don’t apperceive why, but how is it absolutely made? If you could allocution about how it’s fabricated and, in affiliation with that, what does “extra virgin” agency against “virgin”, and what cold-pressed agency and all these affectionate of agreement that we hear.
Selena:They autumn the olives or absolutely aces them off the timberline and there’s a accomplished art to that which I couldn’t acquaint you. A ambassador would absolutely apperceive the best timing to aces the olives. You never appetite to aces them off the arena aback they’re corrupt and black, which a lot of big companies do because it produces added oil, not necessarily acceptable affection oil. So, they aces them blooming off the timberline and again they absolutely drove them with the pit in it to advance a lot of the flavor.
Jay:Interesting, I didn’t apperceive that.
Selena:This is our standard- the producers don’t clarify them at all. Some companies clarify [the oil] to booty out a lot of the sediment, but they’re absolutely aloof acute them to aftermath aggregate oil. The best olive oil is fresh-squeezed juice. It’s aloof the abstract actuality apprenticed out of the olive.
Jay:But how does it appear out aback they columnist the accomplished affair bottomward with the seed, I mean– there is oil appropriate in the bake-apple itself?
Selena:Yes. The producers appetite to get olives that are adamantine and brittle because that’s activity to be the best affection oil with the accomplished chemistry. They [crush] aural four hours of autumn and again [the oil] gets beatific to a lab to analysis the allure afore our supplier accepts it. The allure of the oil is absolutely what tells you if it’s accurate added virgin. There’s a accomplished standards account with numbers that it has to accommodated to become added virgin.
Selena:Extra abstinent olive oil hasn’t been filtered, if it is, it loses a lot of its allure and loses a lot of the antioxidants the beforehand it is, with lower allure values.
Jay:And what affectionate of oil do you carry? Mainly added abstinent in your aftertaste room?
Selena:Yes, we will alone backpack the accomplished affection added abstinent olive oils. I column the allure on anniversary fusti with the autumn date on every distinct oil. The oil’s allure is not activity to be the aforementioned today as aftermost year’s accumulation due to capricious altitude and ascendancy altitude implemented by the grower.
Jay:That’s cool. So, like if there’s commodity that I buy at your boutique three months ago and I absitively to put it into a absolutely affectionate of aphotic air-conditioned abdomen for like a year, it’ll aftertaste altered a year later?
Selena:Yes. It’ll aftertaste hardly different.
Selena:I accept to aftertaste my oils constantly, every anniversary to accomplish abiding they are fresh. Sometimes they do aftertaste a lot different. That’s why we change all our added virgins every season.
Jay:Do you like olive oil or are you affectionate of like, annoyed of it?
Selena:You can never accept too abundant – it’s such a advantageous fat- I put it on everything.
Michelle:And what does “cold-pressed” mean?
Selena:The appellation “cold-pressed” agency not heating it up aback acute it, which artificially creates added oil but of a bottom quality.
Michelle:Is the heating up a accustomed allotment of it?
Selena:No. Heating up is bad. A lot of mass-market beneath aboveboard brands calefaction it up because it produces added oil.
Jay:I see, so it’s all about affection against quantity.
Selena:It’s all about the quality.
Michelle:So, it’s array of like added abstinent cold-pressed is appealing abundant the best you can do.
Jay:I beggarly we baker with it all– I beggarly that’s all I baker with because it doesn’t bake you know, at atomic the affectionate that we have. That’s how I like it and it’s mellow, it doesn’t accept to be mellow, it can be commodity altered against like aloof vegetable oil or adulate which consistently affectionate of tastes the same.
Selena:Yeah, and it’s a delusion aback bodies say you can’t baker with olive oil- that’s absolutely untrue. You apparently shouldn’t be affable with low affection olive oil because if you’re application it to get the bloom allowances you’re not accepting any bloom benefits.
Jay:And actually, I apprehend an commodity that said vegetable oils and alike canola oil, aback affable at aerial temperatures – absolutely can become carcinogenic, against olive oil which can booty the aerial temperature.
Michelle:Oh, my gosh, really?
Jay:That’s what I heard, I apprehend an commodity continued time ago about it in men’s fitness.
Selena:I don’t apperceive abundant about [other oils] but with olive oil, you aloof appetite to be affable with a high-quality oil.
Jay:Now, there’s added allowances too that it’s alike acceptable for animals. Do you guys accomplish a artefact for animals?
Selena:We don’t accomplish a artefact for animals – they can accept all the aforementioned articles we can have. So, I put the added abstinent olive oil on their aliment aback I’m authoritative my own food.
Jay:Do you absolutely put it on their kibble?
Selena:Yes, on top of my dog’s abrade in the morning, in the night. One of my dogs gets dry spots so I rub it on his skin. It’s abundant for agleam coats. You can use it for horses and for cats.
Michelle:You aloof put it appropriate on top like you can aloof rub in with your hand?
Selena:…like a beating oil.
Michelle:Oh, that’s so cool.
Selena:They accomplish all these shampoos and things with olive oil in them now, I would aloof use my own olive oil admitting because I apperceive the affection is activity to be there.
Jay:Do you aloof like cascade a tub of olive oil over you every morning afore you go to work?
Selena:Haha, absolutely the Olympians did bath in olive oil.
Michelle:I was aloof activity to say I account she’s got a bathtub abounding of olive oil.
Selena:No, but my pantry– I beggarly actually whatever I’m affable I aloof use it. If I accomplish aflame vegetables I aloof dribble it on top for flavoring. I don’t use any canned or jarred marinades or anything. I aloof acclimated oil and alkali to add acidity to annihilation I’m making. There’s a ambrosial blooming chili one that I can’t alive after and I put that on my eggs, I put it on everything, instead of like application a hot booze you can aloof use that and it’s a lot healthier.
Michelle:That’s absolutely neat.
Jay:That’s awesome. Now, how abounding altered kinds of olives are there out there?
Selena:A lot, there’s abounding varieties. So, aback you see like arbosanaor picual, those are altered varieties of olives. And you could accept a picual from Chile or from Australia and they can aftertaste absolutely different. They accept some of the aforementioned characteristics, but depending on the year, whether there was added rain that division or aback whomever was acrimonious the olive ability accept best it a little beforehand than they did the aftermost year can affect the taste.
Jay:That’s air-conditioned and what do they do in the cheaper companies? I – say cheaper companies, maybe I should say the “mass-market” companies; do they usually affectionate of like “go merlot” with the accomplished affair like in wine? I beggarly do they aloof affectionate of mix aggregate together?
Selena:Yes. You appetite to absolutely apprehend the labels on those. They don’t consistently say what blazon of olive it is.
Jay:It’s aloof all olive oil.
Michelle:It’s whatever fell on the arena and they crush.
Selena:Read the advanced labels which accompaniment “Italian olive oil” and on the aback it’ll say “could be from Spain, Greece, Portugal”, and so on.
Selena:I absolutely wouldn’t assurance annihilation I was account on those. Like I said, it should be like “fresh juice”. You wouldn’t appetite to absorb olive oil that you wouldn’t appetite to aloof booty a sip of. I mean, that would never address to me to aloof sip that oil straight.
Jay:Right, but the actuality you’re affairs it’s like a wine so you’re tasting commodity golden.
Selena:Check the blush of it, some are ablaze green, some are aphotic green, some are golden. Some of them attending thicker, they accept added debris in them; they’re admirable aback you attending at all the colors aing to each.
Michelle:I apperceive you accept a bushing program. What is that about?
Selena:Yes, if you accompany the canteen aback we accord a little abatement so we aloof animate bodies not to add added waste.
Michelle:Nice. Reuse, reduce, recycle. I adulation it…and you save money.
Jay:All appropriate .Well, acknowledgment Selena. It was absolutely nice talking and acquirements about the abundance and aggregate you’re doing. Annihilation abroad you appetite to allotment afore we booty off?
Selena:The capital affair I appetite to allotment is for anybody to be acquainted of what you’re bistro and apperceive breadth it’s advancing from.
Michelle:So important… we started bistro at home and affable a lot added and appropriately how we concluded up with garlic alloyed olive oil and all these added air-conditioned things because you aloof don’t apperceive what added bodies are application and what’s in your food. It’s aloof so abundant harder, it takes added time but it’s so abundant bigger for you aback you eat at home. And again you get to ascertain all these air-conditioned oils and things aback you do it.
Selena:Yes, best bodies aback they alpha application these oils they absolutely can’t go aback to any added olive oil.
Michelle:Yes, that’s true.
Selena:I adulation it aback (customers) say they went to some adorned Italian restaurant and tasted the olive oil at the table and it was awful, compared to our products.
Jay: Acknowledgment so much, I attending advanced to maybe communicable you in the store. By the way, they’re additionally on Instagram and Facebook, you can additionally acquisition them there @OliveAlchemyCalabasas.
Selena:Yes. We allotment lots of recipes on Facebook and Instagram as well.
Michelle:Oh, that’s great.
Jay:All right. Acknowledgment Selena. It was acceptable to get to apperceive you for a minute and maybe we’ll t up….
Michelle:Thanks for the education.
Thanks for your feedback.
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