GO FOR THE GOLD
Artisanal EVOOs offer consumers ‘liquid gold’
While there are three grades of olive oil, extra virgin olive oil is the least processed, and therefore the healthiest. This grade of olive oil contains a bounty of anti-inflammatory antioxidants and healthful fatty acids, but many commercial EVOOs are widely mislabeled, leading consumers to purchase a lower grade (and unhealthier) oil instead. The following brands are launching truly extra virgin olive oils, catering to a target demo that cherishes craft food and beverages.
Katerina Mountanos launched Kosterina to bring authentic Greek olive oil—along with its exceptionally high-quality taste and health benefits—to U.S. consumers. Compared to other commercial olive oils (many of which are late harvest and therefore lack the health benefits of true EVOO), Kosterina’s early harvest, high-polyphenol EVOO contains a higher concentration of antioxidants, which may fight inflammation, reduce the risk of diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer’s, and lower cholesterol. Kosterina’s EVOO is made from the Koroneiki variety of olives, lending the uber-healthy oil a light and fruity flavor.
Direct-to-consumer olive oil company Brightland offers an EVOO that is made with organic, early-harvest, and hand-picked heirloom olives from a single-estate farm in California. The resulting product is fragrant, full of antioxidants, and packaged in an aesthetically pleasing, UV-coated bottle to protect the oil from damaging light. Brightland partners with different artists on the design of its bottles and offers multiple varieties of its EVOO (including limited edition ones) that are meant to be used and enjoyed with different food preparations (much in the way that different types of wine are best paired in certain combinations).
Pompeian, America’s first national brand of imported extra virgin olive oil, has added 100% Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil—a single-origin EVOO made from farmer-direct and cold-pressed olives—to its lineup. While Pompeian has been around since 1906, the brand launched this particular product just last fall, demonstrating responsiveness to active market demand for premium EVOO that is affordable and easily accessible. Pompeian’s product is slightly less expensive than other comparable EVOOs, as it retails for $5.29 for a 24 oz. bottle.