Saporito OVS

4401 NW 25th Place
Suite D
Gainesville, Florida 32606

352.745.7886

SaporitoOVS@gmail.com

 

Hours of Operation

Tuesday - Saturday

10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

FAQs

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

What is olive oil?

If you crush olives, you’ll get olive oil and some water. Gravity then gives a hand by naturally decanting the mixture. The oil will soon float to the top. It’s as simple as that.

 

Olive oil is known for being one of the best sources of monounsaturated fatty acids, a type of fat that has been shown to improve blood cholesterol levels. The antioxidants in olive oil have also been shown to help fight a multitude of diseases.

 

What does “extra virgin” mean?

Olive oil is considered extra virgin when it has been produced by a simple pressing of the olives. Other grades like “pure olive oil”, “lite olive oil” and “olive oil” are usually produced using chemicals and other processes to extract the oil from the olives or are combined with other types of oils. Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) must meet certain laboratory tests on things like acidity and levels of peroxide. Finally, extra virgin olive oil must taste like olives and it can’t have any negative tastes that professionals refer to as “defects”.

 

DOWNLOAD: UC Davis Report - Tests indicate that imported "extra virgin" olive oil often fails international and USDA standards

 

How do I know if an olive oil is good?

Without chemical testing, it is pretty close to impossible. That is why the reputation of your olive oil seller is so important. Be wary of companies that do not display the chemistry of their oils. Also, taste it. Pour a little into a small cup or on a spoon and slurp it down slowly. Close your eyes and really taste it. If you’re tasting an EVOO, it should taste green, fresh, and like olives. Other grades will not taste like much because they have been treated to remove unpleasant tastes. But you should not detect any bad tastes, such as cardboard or metal.

 

How do I know if olive oil is fresh?

Be aware that sell by dates will tell you nothing about freshness because companies can put any date on the bottles they wish. Sometimes you’ll see a harvest date which is a better indicator. The oil will be at its peak during the first year, and then the antioxidants will start to fade. If it’s a quality oil, it will still be good for a lot longer, but the health benefits will begin to dissipate by 20-25% each year. Be sure that the oil is kept in a dark or opaque container and away from heat and bright light to keep it at its best.

 

What color is good olive oil?

The color of olive oil is not an indication of quality, and you shouldn't choose one because it’s greener or more gold. Olive oil should be chosen for taste, not for color. Different olives have naturally different colors, and therefore, produce a variety of color tones from golden to green.

 

Can I cook with olive oil?

High quality EVOO is the most nutritional oil to cook with and new studies have shown that using an EVOO high in phenols (antioxidants) for cooking and baking applications leads to a significant reduction in oxidation and the inhibition of harmful byproducts over other vegetable oil or olive oil lower in phenolic (antioxidant) content. The majority of the oils we offer are high in phenolic content, high in oleic acid (the healthful MUFA) and low in FFA (free fatty acid). There is a direct correlation between FFA and smoke point. The lower the FFA, the more the oil can be heated before it reaches its smoke point.

 

However, low grade and the vast majority of the olive oil available in the grocery store, is relatively unstable under high heat and we wouldn't advise cooking with it.

 

DOWNLOAD: Why Cooking with Ulra Premium Quality Extra Virgin is ALWAYS Better for You

 

Can I fry with olive oil?

Yes. Extra virgin olive oil’s smoke point is generally given as 410 degrees Fahrenheit, far above 250-350 degrees that covers most cooking. Make fried food healthier by using olive oil. Try gently frying an egg in EVOO, or even pan-fry chicken in olive oil.

 

To retain more of the health benefits of EVOO at high heat, rub your food with oil before cooking to ensure that some of the oil is absorbed by the food. It will improve the flavor of your food as well.

 

What is the most important thing I should know before purchasing an olive oil?

The single most important piece of information is the harvest date of an olive oil. Olive oil should be treated like fresh fruit juice, as it is highly perishable. It is always healthier and more flavorful when consumed close to its crush date. As an oil ages, it tends to lose a lot of the magnificent health and flavor properties that make it such an enjoyable product. It is common practice for grocery store oils to have a “best by date”. This is an arbitrary date, determined by the producer/bottler and it really does not provide the consumer with the information they need. On a side note, never buy oil in clear glass or clear plastic, as olive oil is highly susceptible to UV degradation.

 

Why does my throat burn after tasting some of extra virgin olive oils?

All extra virgin olive oil should have at least a slight burning sensation on the end. In reality it is a “healthy burn”. One of the main health benefits associated with fresh EVOO are polyphenols. The higher the phenol content, the more pepper and the more bitterness the oil will have. For most people, bitterness and pepper is an acquired taste. However, we see people gradually move up the intensity ladder and eventually begin to enjoy robust oils.

 

What is the difference between fused and infused oil?

Naturally flavored olive oils are either fused or infused. Fused olive oil (known as "agrumato" in Italy) refers to the method of simultaneously crushing olives with whole, fresh fruits or vegetables after being picked at the peak of ripeness.

 

Infusion is the process of adding flavor, using essential oils from herbs, to the oil after the olives have been crushed to ensure long-lasting flavor. This method is more common and used when flavors may be impossible or too difficult to crush with the olives.

 

What is the Ultra Premium (UP) standard?

The Ultra Premium (UP) logo indicates the highest quality extra virgin olive oils in the world exceeding all existing standards. In order to qualify for the UP grade, the EVOO must meet or exceed a comprehensive set of production, storage, transportation, compliance, testing, chemical, and sensory requirements. This standard dictates that each olive oil is supplied with crucial product information including: crush date, polyphenol (antioxidant) level, free fatty acids, oleic acid, peroxide value (all measured at the time of crush), country of origin and more.

 

These requirements have been developed into a private specification representing a compilation of industry standards, best practices, and proprietary methods for achieving the highest level of quality. This specification encompasses the entire life cycle process of an olive oil from tree to table, beginning with the farmer and ending with the sale of a bottle to a customer.

 

The UP standard was created in response to the growing need to separate high quality EVOOs from what dominates the so-called “gourmet” and “premium” olive oil markets, as well as the broader category sold in mass markets around the world under thousands of brands and private labels. Companies often sacrifice quality to provide the virtual river of olive oil required on this massive scale. Large multinational corporations place an overemphasis on the origin of the olive oil they offer to the detriment of more critical factors such as chemistry and freshness which can be objectively measured, quantified, and certified.

 

DOWNLOAD: Ultra Premium Standards versus Existing Standards for Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

Balsamic Vinegar

 

What is balsamic vinegar?

There are two top grades of balsamic vinegar. Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, D.O.P must be made either in Emilio Reggiano or Modena, Italy, by cooking high quality caramelized Trebbiano, or occasionally Lambrusco, grapes. (D.O.P. stands for Protected Designation of Origin – the governing board in Italy.) It is cooked in copper kettles over a wood fire until it reaches a specific consistency, density, and amount of dry solid extracts. It must then be put directly into old, fired wood barrels which were used to age balsamic vinegars in years past. The vinegar becomes thicker as it naturally evaporates over time. As it evaporates, it is moved from barrel to smaller barrel, being topped off with slightly younger balsamic vinegar. As a result, no product, including actual D.O.P. certified balsamic vinegar sold in licensed bottles, can make an actual age claim. However, generalization of “25 year old” vinegar is considered to be an acceptable short-hand description.

 

Pro-biotic wild yeast and acetic bacteria colonize the vinegar and eventually raise the acidity, thus turning it into “vinegar” over a period of years. It can only be sold in tiny bottles that meet strict criteria. It is never, ever sold in bulk. Because of its rarity, it is very high priced ($75-200 per 100 ml bottle) and is only used a drop or two at a time.

 

What is balsamic vinegar condimento?

The vinegar sold at Saporito OVS is the second type of approved balsamic vinegar - Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, P.G.I., (Protected Geographic Indication) otherwise referred to as balsamico condimento. Our balsamic vinegar condimento starts in the very same way as true D.O.P. traditional balsamic vinegar. It is produced in Modena, Italy, using the same type of grapes and barrels. However, the primary difference between true D.O.P. balsamic vinegar and our condimento is that ours is inoculated with a very small amount of premium quality aged red wine vinegar (less than 2 percent) which introduces the natural acetic bacteria and yeast and begins the process from cooked grape “must” to balsamic vinegar condimento. (Must is the fleshy part of the grape.) It is then aged in the Solera method, which means it goes through a succession of different types of very old barrels, just like D.O.P. traditional balsamic vinegar. Each previously used barrel contains residual amount of older balsamic condimento dating as far back as 18 years, and in some cases 25 years. It is topped off as it moves from barrel to smaller barrel with slightly younger condimento.

 

Are there other similar products on the market?

While we all use the term “balsamic vinegar” to indicate a certain type of product, very little balsamic vinegar, as labeled in most stores, is true D.O.P. traditional balsamic vinegar. Many also cannot accurately claim to be true condimento, since short cuts are taken to achieve a similar but inferior product. Impostors are often comprised of poor quality un-aged wine or distilled vinegar, thickeners, color, artificial flavor, syrups, or sweeteners, including corn syrup.

 

What does this all mean for the consumer?

True D.O.P. traditional balsamic vinegar is very delicious and very expensive. It is rich, thick, and a joy to use. Purchase it from a reliable source and treasure it. Our balsamic condimento is also delicious, albeit not quite as rich and thick. Still, it is also a joy to use and much more affordable to the consumer. You can taste its quality and rely on its method of production, which is approved by the authorities governing its processing in Italy. On the other hand, many companies that claim to offer “balsamic vinegar” can never show proof of authenticity and quality through laboratory chemical analysis. These “vinegars” can be harsh, metallic in taste, overly sweet or have other flavor or density flaws. The choice is up to the consumer, but we believe that our high quality condimento is a wonderful balance of flavor and price.

 

How long does balsamic vinegar last?

Balsamic Vinegar is self-preserving due to its acid nature giving it an "almost indefinite" shelf life.