I Lost My Extra Virginity

When Good Oils Go Bad, or How I Lost My Extra Virginity

All olive oils that we produce and label as extra virgin are certified as such by the California Department of Food & Agriculture's Olive Oil Commission, and we stand by those claims. Eventually, however, every fresh product ages, declines in quality, and finally "goes bad"; olive oil is no exception.  If this emerging flat taste of oxidation is mild, i.e., measured as 2.5 or below on a 10 point scale, the oil can be sold as “virgin grade”.  A superlative oil will eventually decline – its aroma will fade, its flavor will flatten, and its once peppery finish will soften. The oil will change from "extra virgin" to merely “virgin". The virgin moniker is more than marketing-speak! It is a recognized grade  designation by the State of California, the US Government, and international agencies as well!

Studies show (footnote to come) that most of the world’s olive oil production is virgin, thus most of what is consumed is virgin also.  It remains good food, it is just no longer extra virgin.  From time to time we find a few of our oils no longer meet the extra virgin grade standard we claim on the label.  Out of respect to the effort that goes into production, out of respect to our commitment to truth in labeling, and out of respect that most of the world purchases and consumes virgin grade olive oil today, we will offer small lots of such oil from time to time at a 60% discount on this page.  You will not find oils here all of the time, just some of the time, and when you do, please be assured that they were made from good quality fruit, they entered the bottle as extra virgin, but just got tired.

For oils that have lost the Extra in their Virginity, we are defacing the logo on our metal cap, adding a sticker under the product name, and marking out the Extra Virgin Alliance and Olive Oil Commission of California seal on the back.  We just thought you’d like to know.

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