Getting my olive oil closer to home has been wonderful. Getting olive oil that is so mild and buttery that you want to lap it up is extraordinary. Being able to make homemade mayonnaise with olive oil without it being bitter is heavenly. Chaffin’s extra virgin olive oil has been a tremdenous plus for our household.
Sometimes finding high quality products can be hard, and olive oil is no exception. Ever since I became aware of how olive oil can be corrupted with low quality olive oils, I’ve been on the look out for olive oil brands I could trust. Yup, that’s right. Sometimes when we buy our “high quality, extra virgin olive oil” we could be buying olive oil mixed with lower quality oils. I read once that people make as much selling corrupted olive oil as those selling drugs on the black market!
“In 1996, a study by the FDA found that 96% of the olive oils they tested, while being labeled 100% olive oil, had been diluted with other oils. A recent study in Italy found that only 40% of the olive oil brands labeled “extra virgin” actually met those standards. Italy produces 400,000 tons of olive oil for domestic consumption, but 750,000 tons are sold. The difference is made up with highly refined, nut and seed oils. Less strict guidelines make the situation even worse in the United States. Like in Italy, more oil is “produced” in California than there are olives available. The difference is made up with less expensive oils such as corn, soy, and sunflower. The problem is these other oils have been refined. The high temperatures of the refining process change the molecular structure of the oils, making them toxic.” 1
For more information about this topic, read the New Yorker’s article addressing it.
Not only is Chaffin’s olive oil USA grown and pure, it is delicious. How do they get such great tasting olive oil? Here’s the description of the process.
“Extra Virgin Olive Oil pressed from Mission Olives. Oil is cold centrifuge pressed less than 15 miles from the ranch. The Chaffin Mission Olive trees are in many cases older than 100 years, yielding a superior oil. Our oil olives are harvested late in the season when the flavor is mild and buttery rather than sharp and grassy. Our trees are hand harvested giving back to the workers as well as producing, clean, undamaged fruit. Oil is unfiltered for a full antioxidant profile and stored in a cold, dark environment to maintain quality. Our olives are farmed without using chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides. We use cover crops and rotations of cattle, goats, sheep and chickens to control vegetation and fertilize the orchards. Goats are used to assist in brush removal and pruning rather than tillage and herbicides. Our olive groves provide valuable irrigated pasture for our cattle herd in the summer. Thus yielding two crops rather than one. Oil is pressed within hours of harvest for best taste.”
They are doing so many things right, it’s hard to list everything I love about how they farm! From the hand harvested olives from old trees, to the non-chemical farming, to the oil being pressed within hours of picking!
And that all aside, the fact that it tastes so good? That’s the real clincher for me. And they are very reasonably priced as well. All in all, I am a big fan.
Recently, they started harvesting at different times as well as offering an mandarin infused olive oil. They sent me some samples to try out. My four year old, my husband, myself and my dad all enjoyed testing out their oils.
The mid season has a bit of a bite to it, yet is still exceptionally mild. The late season (my four year old’s favorite) is almost as mild as butter, and the mandarin is bursting with flavor! I can’t wait to make a salad dressing using it.
In fact while doing this taste test, we found my four year old’s new favorite snack! She now loves bread dipped into the late season olive oil with a drizzle of sweet balsamic vinegar. Hurrah for yummy olive oil!
Chaffin Orchards agreed to send me some of their products to both try and keep in exchange for me posting again about their lovely olive oil. Thank you Chaffin Orchards for all that you do!