Given the public concern regarding the integrity, truthfulness, and quality of olive oil, Ellwood’s has studied the state of the industry to be able to source healthy, high quality, real, fresh olive oil. We have identified Sadeg Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil as our house olive oil.
Sadeg is the oldest California olive oil producer. In 1936 they began cold pressing organic olive oil. Four generations and over eight decades later, they remain small and100% family owned and operated.
In terms of quality, all of California is holding itself to a higher standard than imported olive oils. The OOCC (Olive Oil Commission of California) has the strictest standard in the world, which is actually enforced, unlike olive oil from anywhere else. The olive oil is 100% cold pressed, 100% California, GMO free, kosher, and 100% extra virgin certified. The olives are fresh-harvested from groves that are 100% certified organic. That means no pesticides or herbicides in the process, anywhere.
Besides selling Sadeg retail in the store and providing it to our salad bar, we use this extra virgin olive oil in our dishes made in our kitchen and CREATE bar.
Sadeg’s olive oil is harvested in the Fall along with all other California olive oils and any other olive oil grown throughout the world in the Northern Hemisphere (give or take a few months). Climate by region and elevation affects the harvest date. Olive oils south of the equator have the same differences in harvest times due to climate and elevation. They have an opposite season, a Spring harvest.
The Fresh Pressed Olive Oil Club mentioned in, The Medium’s How We’ve Been Wrong About Healthy Cooking Oils, is a club that partners small olive oil farms around the world. They align with farmers’ seasonal harvests and offer their oil to consumers at peak freshness. Olive oil simply tastes better when it is fresh. There currently is no fresh olive in Italy, California or anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere right now to press - the harvests are complete and the oil is stored.
Sadeg sells through all of its harvests each year and their oil is never more than a year old. We are in the 2020 harvested oil right now. Age is a critical factor. When olive oil is too old, taste and nutrition are reduced.
Further differences in flavor for olive oils can come from the variety of olives themselves. Think of all of the variety of apples and taste profiles within apples. It is the same with olive oil. Sadeg comes from 100% Mission olive trees. They capture the full fruity flavors of these fresh olives while balancing with a subtle peppery finish. It is an olive that is truly American and considered a heritage variety.
CAN EVOO BE HEATED?
The Medium did a study by heating the ten most common cooking oils and found that Extra Virgin Olive Oil contained the fewest toxic compounds at the end, even though it has one of the lowest smoke points.
Rather than just measuring the smoke point of an oil and assuming that this correlated with toxic compounds released, researchers measured the toxic compounds themselves.
Two tests were performed:
- Oils heated gradually (over 20 minutes) from 77–464°F (higher than domestic cooking temperatures) and sampled every 30 degrees.
- Oils heated at 356°F for 6 hours (longer than most slow cooking methods), collecting samples at 30, 60, 180 and 360 minutes.
All heated samples were cooled at room temperature (77 ± 1ºF) and then stored until chemical analysis.
“EVOO performed the best across the board.”
See the full study by The Medium, here.