Spring is the season when the international olive oil competitions publish results. We just learned that the Los Angeles International Competition had 571 entries, of which only 366 received medals – Gold, Silver or Bronze. Of the 126 Gold medals, 26 were awarded Best in Class. Both our Mistral and Sierra won Gold medals and, being in different classes, both also were Best In Class. We feel incredibly privileged that our oils were found to be among the top 4% (better than 99.9%) of those in the competition.
Additionally, both the Mistral and Sierra are extremely rich in antioxidants (656 and 686 ppm respectively), which is far more than the average of other good extra virgin oils. This confirms our ability to make great tasting olive oils that are also extremely beneficial for our health.
In addition, this year we produced 4 Gold Series oils, about 50 gallons each, that are equally excellent and especially rich in antioxidants (from 758 to 951 ppm).
We are very pleased with how harmonious all our oils turned out this year. We were able to achieve high antioxidant levels while still maintaining a nice balance between pungency and fruitiness.
Our Mistral has a nice, light intensity, making it deliciously French in style. The Sierra has its usual lively intensity coming from the California mission variety.
We are happy to announce the Barouni is back this year for the lovers of a robust intensity oil. We chose the very best varietals to round out our Gold Series offering this year. Two French varieties, Aglandau and Grossane; and an Italian variety, Coratina.
The US is not the only country dealing with fraud found in imported olive oil. In a February publication, Germany’s watchdog group, Stiftung Warentest, found that half of the 26 extra virgin olive oils they tested were not actually extra virgin. In 5 of the olive oils coming from Greece and Portugal they found high levels of oil hydrocarbons possibly coming from motor fumes. They recommended that the sales of these olive oils cease immediately. The rest of the defective oils came from Spain and Italy. They also found that 4 out of the 6 organic oils they tested were deficient..
Apparently these brands are not sold in the US, but it points to the greater systemic problem of large olive oil producers unscrupulously cutting costs and exporting the oil. Wherever fraudulent oil is priced below the cost of producing authentic olive oil, honest producers suffer. Fortunately, more and more consumers are becoming aware of these practices and are beginning to recognize the difference between fraudulent products and real extra virgin olive oil.
On January 2nd and 3rd, 60 Minutes ran three segments, The “FBI of food”, Don’t fall victim to olive oil scam, and AgroMafia, exposing Mafia involvement and the fight against it, in the entire Italian food chain, including olive oil fraud of course. Exports are certainly no exception. Estimates run as high as 80% that what is labeled as Italian extra virgin olive oil here in the U.S., simply aren’t. An easy way fake olive oil is made from colorless, flavorless seed oil is shown, using chlorophyll and beta-carotene. Americans are also deceived by another practice – doctoring a defective olive oil, and calling it ‘Extra Virgin’. Watch the segment here.
Back in November Apollo Olive Oil had the honor of being chosen as a Finalist for a 2016 Good Food Award. At last on January 16th, the winners were ceremoniously announced and Apollo was among them! Gianni received the award from the hands of Carlo Petrini, the founder of the International Slow Food Movement. There were a total of 1,927 entrants from across the U.S., with just 242 winners in 13 categories. Of the 11 winners in the ‘Oil’ category, only five were for olive oil, of which two others were also extra virgin olive oil. The Good Food Award recognizes that the Sierra and Mistral are of excellent quality and produced with sustainable methods benefiting local food economies.
We are very proud of winning this Good Food Award because it is the only competition that includes sustainability as a critical component. The application included many questions pertaining to farming practices, processing, and packaging that were all aimed at choosing those producers with the highest sustainability standards. So with Apollo Olive Oil you can be sure you are not only getting the healthiest and highest quality olive oil, you are also getting the one using the highest standards of production from farm to table.
With Apollo Olive Oil, you have several gift-giving options – the beautiful golden gift box, your gift message on a nicely printed card, and the extended 15% holiday savings for orders over $100.
Now, in keeping with our Holiday tradition, when you place an order over $100 just enter the SUPERSAVER coupon code for the 15% discount. That’s a perfect way to stock your pantry AND do your holiday shopping in one transaction.
Our gift to you: A 15% savings PLUS free shipping on any order over $100 by using the coupon code SUPERSAVER.
Good from Today through New Year’s Eve!
A new study from the University of Granada shows that cooking with extra virgin olive oil increases the phenol content over that of the raw vegetable. Some in the past have thought that the cooking process destroys the polyphenols in EVO where this study shows the polyphenols are absorbed by the vegetables. The cooking method that displayed the highest level of increase was deep frying, at the same time it showed the highest increase in fat content. Sauteing in EVO showed a moderate increase in phenol content. While boiling in water showed a decrease in phenol content. While not addressed by the study, the water from boiling vegetables is generally considered to be full of nutrients and can be used beneficially in other ways, such as for soup.
They also found that cooking in EVO actually breaks some bonds that free up more polyphenols. This shows evidence that disputes the theory that the polyphenols in real extra virgin olive oil are destroyed during the cooking process.
Once again we are proud to sponsor this year’s harvest festival on September 26th and 27th, 10am to 4pm. It will be held at the Alcouffe Community Center at 9185 Marysville Rd., Oregon House, CA 95962. This is the biggest food and wine event in the North Yuba foothills.
North Yuba has received international recognition as a premium wine and olive oil region with local producers garnering coveted medals at major state, national and international competitions.
There will be over 60 vendors this year, including food stalls offering everything from haute cuisine to hot dogs, arts & crafts, antiques, Farmers Market, coffee bistro, and live musical entertainment. Ample children’s activities guarantee a day of family fun.
As far as we can tell we are the only California producer that makes a mono-varietal from the Grossane olive. With over 20 varieties we are constantly experimenting with making some of California’s most interesting oils. With the Gold Series we choose the varieties that produced the very best oil for that particular year. This year we felt the Grossane was particularly distinctive and so we bottled a very small quantity that is only available on our website at www.apollooliveoil.com.
GROSSANE is originally from France. Our beautiful, young trees stretch across the western face of our orchard, and produce pleasant walnut, grassy, and fresh-cut vegetable flavors. With its long finish, GROSSANE is best raw, on steamed vegetables and fresh salads. (Delicate intensity – Milled December 2014 – 375 ml)
Legend has it that the GROSSANE was brought back from the crusades to the southern part of the Rhone valley. There, its plump, rosy pink and green olives are harvested for oil production, and later when the big olives have ripened black, for table olives.
[Certified Extra Virgin and Certified Organic | Free Fatty Acid: 0.25% |
682 mg/Kg polyphenols + 196 mg/Kg tocopherols = 878 mg/Kg total antioxidants]