50 acres of land is dedicated to growing and packaging olives for olive oil. The olive varieties that we grow are; Ascolana, Maurino, Frantoio, Pendolino, Nocellara del Belice, Coratina, and Picual. Currently available for 2015, we have limited oils from our Ascolana, Maurino and Nocellara del Belice trees, these oils won’t last long! Also available this year are oils from the Frantoio, Picual and Coratina trees.
These olives are large and oval with no nipple and many small lenticels. The fruit ripens evenly and late in the season.Coratina olives produce very high quality oil with high levels of polyphenols making it very stable and is intensely fruity and pungent.
The Picual olive has a distinctive shape, with a marked point at the end of the fruit. Picual ripens from mid-November through late December and yields around 26% olive oil by weight. Picual is one of the most stable olive oils in the world due to a very high polyphenol count and it also stands up well to high heat during cooking. The flavor is very powerful and flavorful causing a noticeable “bite” in the back of the throat.
|Nocellara del Belice
These are large, plump olives that make both good table olives and good olive oil. When being used for oil, the olives are harvested early to get a light, fruity oil.For table olives, they are harvested when they reach a brownish-green.
Chock full of desirable pepper and extremely pungent this Robust green oil displays capsicum like sensations & registers high in anti-oxidant content without a ton of bitterness. Celebrate the lingering, healthy burn!
Olives are a very good source of monounsaturated fats and a good source of vitamin E. Because monounsaturated fats are less easily damaged than polyunsaturated fats, it’s good to have some in our cells’ outer membranes and other cell structures that contain fats, such as the membranes that surround the cell’s DNA and each of its energy-producing mitochondria. The stability of monounsaturated fats translates into a protective effect on the cell that, especially when combined with the antioxidant protection offered by vitamin E, can lower the risk of damage and inflammation. In addition to vitamin E, olives contain a variety of beneficial active phytonutrient compounds including polyphenols and flavonoids, that also appear to have significant anti-inflammatory properties.
Cellular Protection Against Antioxidants
Vitamin E is the body’s primary fat-soluble antioxidant. It goes after and directly neutralizes free radicals in all the fat-rich areas of the body. In combination, stable monounsaturated fats and vitamin E add a significant safety factor to cellular processes like energy production, a process that generates free radicals even when things are running smoothly.
When cellular processes such as mitochondrial energy production are not well protected, the free radicals produced can interact with and damage any nearby molecules–a process called oxidation. When a cell’s mitochondria become damaged, the cell cannot produce enough energy to supply its needs and dies. If a cell’s DNA becomes damaged, the cell may mutate and become cancerous.
Protection From Cancer & Heart Disease
Free radical damage can lead to numerous ailments. For example, when free radicals cause the oxidation of cholesterol, the oxidized cholesterol damages blood vessels and builds up in arteries, and can eventually lead to heart attack or stroke. So, by preventing the oxidation of cholesterol, the nutrients in olives help to prevent heart disease.
If free radicals damage the cellular DNA in colon cells, the cells can mutate into cancer cells. By neutralizing free radicals, the nutrients in olives help prevent colon cancer. A higher intake of both vitamin E and the monounsaturated fats in olives is actually associated with lower rates of colon cancer.
Beneficial Anti-Inflammatory Effects
The anti-inflammatory actions of the monounsaturated fats, vitamin E and polyphenols in olives may also help reduce the severity of asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis, three conditions where most of the damage is caused by high levels of free radicals. The vitamin E in olives may even help to reduce the frequency and/or intensity of hot flashes in women going through menopause.
Olives, one of the oldest foods known, are thought to have originated in Crete between five and seven thousand years ago. Their use quickly spread throughout Egypt, Greece, Palestine and Asia Minor.
Olives are mentioned in the Bible, depicted in ancient Egyptian art, and played an important role in Greek mythology. Since ancient times, the olive tree has provided food, fuel, timber and medicine for many civilizations. It has also been regarded as a symbol of peace and wisdom. Olive oil has been consumed since 3000 BC.
Olives were brought to America by the Spanish and Portuguese explorers during the 15th and 16th century. They were introduced into California by the Franciscan missionaries in the late 18th century. Today, much of the commercial cultivation of olives occurs in Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey.
Olive oil consists of monounsaturated fatty acids, which promote the good HDL blood cholesterol while inhibiting the harmful LDL blood cholesterol. There is no cholesterol in olive oil itself. Studies have found that olive oil significantly reduces the risk of stroke, stomach cancer, heart disease, heart attacks, and other cancers. Olive oil seems to also protect the bones, joints, skin, liver and heart.
Olive oil in the Mediterranean diet
In the 1960s, it was found that the people of Greece (Crete) consumed a great deal of salt and fat (but also a lot of plant foods). They were living longer than the Japanese, who were also eating a lot of salt but whose diet was low in fat and lower in plant foods.
The people of Crete lived longer because they had lower rates of stroke, stomach cancer, heart disease and other cancers. Researchers also noticed that people living in countries around the Mediterranean had a lower incidence of heart disease, despite their high intake of mono-unsaturated fats, such as olive oil. This led to investigations into what is known as ‘the Mediterranean diet’, of which olive oil is a major part.
Research supports the health benefits of olive oil
Recent studies into the health benefits of olive oil have found that it can lower the risk of coronary heart disease by reducing blood cholesterol levels. According to one study, a person’s risk of fatal heart attack is halved in just two to four years once they switch to ‘the Mediterranean diet’, which includes using olive oil as the main dietary fat, increasing vegetable intake, and limiting meat and dairy foods. Research has also found that olive oil may influence body fat distribution, with less fat stored around the stomach.
There are three types of fat: saturated, polyunsaturated and mono-unsaturated (these terms describe the type of chemical bonding between the atoms). Each type consists of fatty acids, which are chains of carbon and hydrogen atoms, in varying combinations. Both polyunsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats can lower blood cholesterol levels. Olive oil is a mono-unsaturated fat.
Blood cholesterol and atherosclerosis
Low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) is considered the ‘bad’ cholesterol. This is because it can stick to artery walls and cause atherosclerosis, which increases the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.
Studies into LDL cholesterol have suggested that oxidation is an important step in the development of atherosclerosis. It seems that mono-unsaturated fats reduce the capacity of LDL cholesterol to oxidize, which may explain the protective properties of olive oil. However, extra virgin olive oil also contains around 40 antioxidant phytochemicals. Antioxidants have been associated with reduced oxidation of LDL cholesterol, so perhaps these phytochemicals are the factors responsible for the health benefits.
Once a fatty meal is eaten, it takes the liver around six to 12 hours to scour dietary fats from the blood and change them into compounds such as LDL and HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol.
There is evidence that this six to 12 hour period may be a crucial contributing factor in atherosclerosis. Mono-unsaturated fats like olive oil are cleared from the blood much faster than saturated fats, and this reduces the window of opportunity for the development of atherosclerosis. Mono-unsaturated fats also help to prevent the blood from becoming sticky after a fatty meal and forming dangerous clots.