What is the difference between extra virgin olive oil and refined olive oil?
Extra virgin olive oil is made with olives that have been processed mechanically, without using anything that may alter its taste, aroma or natural properties. It is literally pure olive juice, although its quality and price depend on the freshness of the olives that were used. Refined olive oil, or just plain olive oil is made using chemical solvents. Such process destroys almost completely the good properties of olive oil, and the resulting product is a vegetable fat with no color, no taste and no flavor. It looks like dense water. A small percentage of virgin olive oil is added to that fat to give it some flavor and color. Seed oils (canola, corn, soy, sunflower, etc.) are also processed with chemical solvents.

What does “First Cold Press” mean?
In order to obtain a top quality extra virgin olive oil, olives must be pressed at room temperature (never above 30° C, or 86°F). Above that temperature, olives yield more oil because it becomes less viscous, but its quality decreases dramatically. The word “First” means really nothing. By definition, extra virgin olive oil comes from olives that have been pressed only once, so the word “first” is redundant.

What is the acidity grade?
Chemically speaking, it is the amount of fatty acids present in any edible oil. Putting it simpler, the acidity grade is closely related to the freshness of the olives used to make the olive oil. The fresher the olives, the lower the acidity grade will be. Most olive oils have an acidity of 0.4 grades and higher, but a good extra virgin olive oil must never have an acidity above 0.2 grades.

Yellow or greenish olive oil. Which one is better?
The color of an extra virgin olive oil comes from the ripeness of the olives, and it has nothing to do with quality but with your personal preferences. Olives that have been harvested before they were ripe (green color), produce an olive oil with a greenish color and a slightly bitter taste. If the olives have been harvested when fully ripe (black or purple color), they produce an olive oil with a yellow color and a fruity taste.

Filtered or non filtered olive oil.?
Some extra virgin olive oils look murky, while others are completely transparent. That murky look comes from impurities that have not been filtered, while transparent extra virgin olive oil has passed a process of mechanical filtration to remove those impurities. Some consumers think that murky olive oil is more natural or healthier, but it is not true because the mechanical filtration does not affect at all the qualities of the olive oil.

How should I store my olive oil?
Extra virgin olive oil’ worst enemies are sunlight and oxygen, so bottles and containers must be kept closed, stored at room temperature and away from direct sunlight. Do not put it in the refrigerator. The amount of time it can be stored greatly depends on the quality of the olive oil. Low quality olive oils are made with olives that are not fresh, so the olive oil will get rancid quite soon. We use 100% fresh olives, so Davalia olive oil can stay fresh for two years or more if stored properly.

Extra virgin olive oil and health.
Almost all properties that we mention in this point refer ONLY TO EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL, and not to refined olive oil or seed oils. Also, these benefits come from a continuous use of extra virgin olive oil included in a balanced diet.
Extra virgin olive oil is mainly a monounsaturated fat, considered to be the best for our health. It helps control cholesterol levels, and benefits the hearth and the arteries. Also, it is extremely rich in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that delays cell aging. Extra virgin olive oil is an excellent moisturizer for the skin and hair, and it also benefits the liver and the digestive system.

High cooking temperatures degrade all oils into harmful substances (benzopiren), and cooking oil should NEVER be reused. But extra virgin olive oil is an exception: it withstands higher cooking temperatures than the rest of oils, and it can be reused two or three times before beginning to degrade.
We must warn consumers about products made with “vegetable fats” that may make the product seem healthier. Those vegetable fats are usually coconut or palm oil. They are used by the food industry because they are cheap, but they have an extremely high content in saturated fat, considered to be very harmful if consumed too much. Also, many products are made with “partially hydrogenated vegetable fat”. They are better known as “trans fats”, and are even more harmful than saturated fats. A low consumption of products containing those fats poses no danger to your health, but they may be very dangerous if consumed too often and for a long period of time.

Is Davalia Extra Virgin Olive Oil organic?
It is almost organic, but we can not tag it as so. Our best ally is the specific weather of Les Garrigues: winters are so cold that very few pests survive it and very rarely we need to use chemical products. The fertilizers that we use are 80% organic, but they contain a small percentage of microelements such as iron, magnesium, manganese, etc. Manure is very poor in those minerals that are essential to any plant including our trees. The quantities applied are very small and do not damage the environment at all, but according to the regulations, we cannot tag our olive oil as organic even though it is very close to being organic.

However, a product can be 100% organic and also be very destructive to the environment. A good example is intensive plantations of corn or soy. They may be legally organic, but they completely destroy the biodiversity of the land because in a hundredth squared miles there are only three living things: corn, the farmer and his dog. Also, for a corn seed to produce a seven feet plant in less than one year, it demands huge amounts of water, and it consumes so many nutrients that the soil ends up completely depleted. Nothing else will grow there unless the soil is heavily fertilized. As you can see, some crops may be totally organic and destroy the environment at the same time.

On the other hand, our olive trees are native of the Mediterranean ecosystem and they contribute to improve it. As you can see in the pictures, we plant them in natural forest pockets, very close to pine trees, acorn trees and aromatic bushes, so the biodiversity of flora and fauna in our lands is much higher and healthier than that of many plantations certified as organic.

Extra virgin olive oil and price
Many consumers consider extra virgin olive oil to be too good or expensive for cooking or frying. Actually, cooking with extra virgin olive oil is not much more expensive than using low quality oil. As it has been said above, extra virgin olive oil withstands higher cooking temperatures than other oils, and it can be reused two or even three times. Another specific property of extra virgin olive oil is that it almost doubles its volume when used for cooking, so you need to use much less quantity than if you used cheap oils.
Another way to see the real cost of a good quality extra virgin olive oil is by using some simple figures. The average use of olive oil per person and year in our country is about ten liters, and the average price per liter of Davalia is € 5.6 (*). By multiplying these figures, the cost of consuming Davalia is € 56 per year. If you divide those € 56 by 365 days (one year), the result is that Davalia extra virgin olive oil costs you only fifteen cents per day, a price seven times lower than that of your daily morning coffee. These figures clearly show that consuming an olive oil of outstanding quality like Davalia is not only good for your health, but it is also extremely cheap.

(*) Average price of five liter container in Spain

  • Your health and palate will greatly benefit from using extra virgin olive oil.
  • Use an extra virgin olive oil that comes from a protected denomination of origin. It passes stricter quality controls, it tastes better, you know where it comes from and how is it made. It also helps promote local farming, wich results in great environmental benefits.
  • A good quality extra virgin olive oil may be more expensive to buy, but in the long term it ends up having a cost similar to that of cheap oils. Also, be wary of prices that are too good to be true. Fraud is not uncommon in the olive oil industry, and if you see an extra virgin olive oil that is very cheap, chances are that it may be blended with something else. It is a fraud to consumers punishable by law.
  • A good quality extra virgin olive oil can be perfectly used for cooking or frying. Actually, its advantages in terms or flavor, health benefits and money saving are much more noticiable if used for that
  • Use extra virgin olive oil with an acidity of 0.2 grades or lower. That guarantees that the olive oil has been made with fresh olives.