This is the best time of the year to experience FRESH extra virgin olive oil! – OLIO NUOVO
(October – January)
This is the best time of year to purchase extra virgin olive oil in California, because we are in the middle of harvest, and the oil is FRESH and bursting with flavor! Literally just pouring off the polishers (pictured below). Extra Virgin Olive Oil is best in flavor, best for you, rich and thick when…. FRESH! Experience it for yourself by purchasing a fresh bottle of extra virgin olive oil, which has a special name: Olio Nuovo (also called “Olio Nuevo,” and “Olio Novello”). Translated, these mean “new oil.” Many say it’s the first oil of the season, which it is, however I feel extra virgin olive oil qualifies as Olio Nuovo anytime olive oil is produced, whether it’s in October or December (in California), it’s fresh Olio Nuovo to me. Olio Nuovo traditionally is cloudy & unfiltered, because it’s bottled and sold within a couple days of being milled. Therefore, it’s thick, rich, complex, robust, peppery and delicious! Most olive oil producers have their own Olio Nuovo they sell, and everyone is unique in flavor and color. It depends on the variety of olive and maturity, and every year is different, so tasting many of them can be a lot of fun (learn how to taste olive oil in my video). Extra virgin olive oil is also highest in polyphenols when first milled, therefore making it the best for you too.
When you do purchase a bottle of Olio Nuovo don’t save it, consume it as quickly as possible (this holds true for any bottle of evoo). It will be best within 4 months of production, freshest, and can last up to 6 months. However, once sediment collects at the bottom, the oil’s life quickly drops, as this sediment “olive meat” oxidizes and goes bad. Making the olive oil taste bad and old. It’s still OK to consume, but will taste nothing like Olio Nuovo should. Storage should be out of light and cool (but not in your fridge).
Pictured below is a “polisher/centrifuge” which is the last step in the milling process, taking out any small particles of water and solids, before the olive oil goes into a tank for settling. Enjoy!