Frequently Asked Questions



Olive Barrel FAQ

What is extra virgin olive oil?

Olive oil is made by simply crushing olives and extracting the juice. “Virgin” means the oil is produced by mechanical means, without the use of any solvents or chemicals, and under temperatures that will not degrade the oil. For a virgin oil to be labeled “extra virgin,” it must pass an organoleptic (taste) test and meet strict chemical standards of Free Fatty Acid and Peroxide Value content, which are a reflection of age and quality.

What is balsamic vinegar?

Balsamic vinegar is the juice or "must" of Trebbiano or Lambrusco grapes that has been cooked over an open wood fire producing a brown, syrupy liquid. The liquid is then placed in a series of very old wood barrels and aged for a minimum of 12 years. The result of this aging process is a delicious, rich, thick and sweet vinegar.

What is the proper way to store olive oil and balsamic vinegar?

Heat, light and air are the primary enemies of oil and vinegar. They should be stored in a cool, dark place such as your kitchen pantry. Never leave your bottles near the stove or in direct sunlight. THE OLIVE BARREL uses dark tinted bottles to help protect from light and UV rays. You can also store in stainless steel containers. Olive oil and vinegar do not need to be stored in the refrigerator, even after opening.

What is the shelf-life of Ultra Premium extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar?

If stored properly, a high quality oil with good chemistry will last up to 18 to 24 months. To receive maximum flavor and healthy nutrients, however, it really should be consumed within a year of the crush date. This is why we rotate our inventory between the northern and southern hemisphere harvests to ensure the freshest olive oil available. Our balsamic vinegars are already aged up to 12 years and 18 years for the traditional, so they will last indefinitely.

Can you replace butter with olive oil in recipes?

Yes, extra virgin olive oil can be substituted for melted butter and other types of oils in most recipes including baking. It reduces the saturated fat and cholesterol while adding depth and flavor to your dish. Baked goods will last longer due to the polyphenols and Vitamin E. 

Use the following chart to convert melted butter to olive oil:

  1. 1 tsp Butter = 3/4 tsp Olive Oil
  2. 1 tbl Butter = 2 1/4 tsp Olive Oil
  3. 2 tbl Butter = 1 1/2 tbl Olive Oil
  4. 1/4 cup Butter = 3 tbl Olive Oil
  5. 1/3 cup Butter = 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  6. 1/2 cup Butter = 1/4 cup + 2 tbl Olive Oil
  7. 2/3 cup Butter = 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  8. 3/4 cup Butter = 1/2 cup + 1 tbl Olive Oil
  9. 1 cup Butter = 3/4 cup Olive Oil

Are your products gluten-free?

Yes, all of our extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars are gluten-free and produced in gluten-free environments. Our flavored products are infused with all natural ingredients like fruits, berries and herbs and contain no grain whatsoever. 

Can I bring my bottles back in for a refill?

Absolutely. The Olive Barrel encourages you to bring your empty bottles back to the store and we will be happy to refill with a new oil or vinegar. We will even give you $1.50 off on each refilled bottle for going "green!" Please follow these easy guidelines to reuse-recycle-refill:

  • Clean bottles with hot water and a grease-cutting dish soap (We recommend Dawn).
  • Make sure cleaned bottles are completely dry - any moisture will affect the quality of the product and may introduce bacteria to any new product refilled to that bottle.
  • Drying is easy...Place your bottles in a cake pan and put them in an oven at 250° F for 10 to 15 min. Turn off your oven and let them sit

Can I infuse an EVOO oil with fresh herbs?

We would highly recommend caution when infusing oils. Improper preparation can be hazardous, even fatal. Several people have become ill and some have died as a result of consuming homemade garlic infused olive oil and food prepared with homemade garlic infused olive oil. According to The Science of Cooking: Olive oil makes a good infusion base for some herbs, but tends to go rancid more quickly than other oils. The primary concern with infused oils is the extremely dangerous and sometimes deadly microorganism, Clostridium botulinum (C. bot), which can cause botulism. The fresh vegetables, herbs, and/or fruits used to flavor or infuse oils can be contaminated with C. bot spores. Fresh produce also contains water, which allows bacteria such as C. bot to live and grow. C. bot thrives in an oxygen-free environment like oil. This is why flavored and infused oils must be made and stored correctly to prevent botulism poisoning. While we are not experts, we think you need to be very careful. Homemade infused oils can pose food safety risks, and wonʼt last nearly as long as our flavored olive oil selections. Besides, Flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oils from The Olive Barrel consistently taste better and cost about the same as unflavored Extra Virgin oil, and will ultimately last much longer than home prepared oils.

What is the nutritional value of extra virgin olive oil?

NUTRITIONAL FACTS:

Olive Oils - per tablespoon: Calories 120, Carbs 0, Sugars 0, Fat 14g (Saturated: 2g - Mono-Unsaturated: 12g), Cholesterol 0, Sodium 0

What is the nutritional value of balsamic vinegar?

Balsamics - per tablespoon: Calories 10, Carbs 8g , Sugars 7g (no sugar added, all natural sugar from the fruit), Fat 0, Cholesterol 0, Sodium 0

What are the health benefits of EVOO?

Here are some health benefits as follows:

  • The best form of dietary fat you can use
  • All natural - no chemical processing to make it edible
  • Lowers cholesterol – High in anti-oxidants and monounsaturated fat
  • Contains no cholesterol
  • Has anti-cancer properties. High in antioxidants
  • Excellent source of Co-Q 10
  • Small amount before meals lowers appetite.
  • Research suggests that Olive oils:
  • can naturally decrease blood pressure
  • are heart healthy
  • provide natural anti-inflammatory thus inhibiting cancer and boosting
  • immunity
  • fights osteoporosis
  • can help lower obesity
  • there exists a connection between olive oil and lowering blood sugars
  • can lower strokes chances
  • Tastes great. You will want to eat more healthy salads.