Q: What are the health benefits of olive oil?
A: Olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, is healing and full of health benefits. It is anti-inflammatory and packed with polyphenols (which are high in antioxidants)! The polyphenols found in olive oil help protect against developing certain types of caners and neurodegenerative diseases. It is also good for heart health, helping to lower risk of heart disease, lower cholesterol levels, and prevents the formation of plaque in arteries. Olive oil is the healthiest oil you can cook with and is a truly nourishing gift from the Mediterranean
Q: Where can I buy KAÏA?
A: You can buy KAÏA on our website (France only), La Grande Épicerie website (EU website) or from a stockist near you.
Q: What is extra virgin olive oil?
A: Extra virgin olive oil is the highest quality olive oil and is produced by cold pressing olives. To be classified as extra virgin, the olives must be pressed at a temperature below 27 degrees within 48 hours of being harvested. Also, the acidity level has to be below 0.8% for it to be considered extra virgin olive oil. Our olives are pressed the same day they are picked and the acidity level of our olive oil is 0.2%.
Q: What is the difference between filtered and unfiltered olive oil.
A: Unfiltered olive oil is the freshest, straight out of the mill. Usually, between grinding and bottling, there is a filtration process that removes all the residual olive particles and makes the oil shiny, transparent and more shelf stable (thus creating filtered olive oil). Unfiltered olive oil does not go through the filtration process, creating a deep, opaque green color and a hazy appearance, a bit like freshly squeezed orange juice with its pulp or natural wine!
Q: What does it mean when an olive oil is “cold pressed?”
A: It’s what it sounds like — it means the olives are pressed without using heat! Heat can potentially interfere with the flavor, texture, and health benefits of olive oil. Specifically, the olives must be pressed at a temperature below 27 degrees. After the olives are harvested, they are carefully separated from the leaves that may still be attached to the fruit. Then, at the mill, the olives are carefully washed and crushed, and pressed before the oil is filtered into its final state!
Q: What does it mean when an olive oil tastes bitter or peppery?
A: A bitter taste and peppery flavor are actually a good thing (if they are balanced)— they are indicators that the olive oil is fresh and high quality! An earlier harvest olive oil, like the one we produce at KAÏA, will likely have a bolder taste than a late harvest oil– that is because there are higher levels of polyphenols in early harvest olives. A peppery flavor or peppery sensation at the back of your throat is another indicator of an early harvest olive oil that is high in antioxidants.
Q: is KAÏA certified organic?
A: Yes! KAÏA is ECOCERT and USDA certified organic.
Q: What is the best container for an olive?
A: Light & heat are the enemies of olive oil, so avoid clear glass and plastic containers! The best way to store olive oil is in a cool, dark place so look for oils that are kept in stainless steel tins and dark tinted glass.
Q: What does single origin and single variety olive oil mean?
A: Single-origin olive oil means the olives used to make the oil are grown and harvested from just one grove (like KAÏA’s fifth-generation family grove). Sometimes, single origin can also mean that the olives only come from one country (instead of a blend of olives from different countries).
Single variety olive oils are those that are made using just one type of olive (like KAÏA – we exclusively use Chemlali olives) as opposed to a mixture of varieties. Single variety olive oils offer a more artisanal, terroir-driven approach because you get to taste the specificities and complexities of a single variety of olives!
Q: What are some uses for olive oil besides cooking?
A: There are tons of uses for olive oil besides cooking! On the body it can help moisturize hair and skin, soothe sunburns, and remove makeup.
Q: Can I use olive oil on my skin? Can I use olive oil on my hair?
A: Absolutely! Olive oil is rich in vitamins (like vitamin A, D and K), antioxidants, and squalene! While there are tons of benefits to consuming olive oil, and you can get many of those benefits from using it externally, too. On the skin olive oil can help reduce damage caused by UV rays, and can work to moisturize the skin as well. Olive oil can be directly applied to the skin or mixed in with a moisturizer, but it might not be the best choice if you’re prone to oily skin. In terms of hair, olive oil can help add shine and softness to hair follicles! Olive oil can be beneficial for nourishing and hydrating the hair and scalp.
Q: What does olive oil taste like?
A: A high quality olive oil will have a fresh flavor. Most olive oils in supermarkets are a standardized product made from blends of different olive oils that costs much less and loses the regional tasting notes. Good olive oil should reflect terroir and may taste a little bitter and peppery or smoother and buttery depending on the ripeness and variety of the olives.
Q: Can olive oil expire?
A: Olive oil is shelf stable, and an extra virgin olive oil can usually last from 18 to 24 months. However, once an olive oil has been opened, it is best to use it within 6 months to get the strongest and best flavor! Avoid leaving olive oil in direct sunlight or next to high heat to prevent it from going rancid. It is not dangerous to consume expired olive oil, but it may affect the taste of the food you cook with it. It’s best to store your olive oil in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and heat.