Below you will find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions. If you can’t find an answer to your questions, please don’t hesitate to send us a message or call one of our locations where someone can better assist you.
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Olive and Specialty Oil FAQ
First, we have the producer provide us with a CoA (Certificate of Analysis) which includes chemical testing data showing that it passed all the tests to qualify as extra virgin. (This is where most of our competitors stop)
We then go a step further and have our importer send a sample of each batch to an independent testing lab here in the United States. These samples are tested to make sure it meets or exceeds the criteria to qualify for extra virgin.
We also have them do a separate purity test – additional testing to make sure that there are no other oils beside olive oil in the sample. It is possible to pass the initial chemical test to qualify as extra virgin with the addition of other oils such as canola, sunflower, hazelnut, etc. blended in. This is one of the ways unscrupulous vendors lower their costs and increase their profits.
Our base extra virgin olive oil is from the largest producer in Tunisia and they have a company-owned warehouse here in the United States… in Texas.
We can provide all the CoAs and Independent Testing documents by request for our customers.
Heart health. A variety of studies have shown that omega–9 fatty acids, like oleic acid, can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. They’ve also been shown to increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind) and reduce LDL cholesterol.
Oleic acid supports heart health and blood circulation.
The higher the Oleic Acid count, the better. Quality Oils should contain a minimum count of 55 and you should look for oils that are greater than 65.
The lower the FFA, the more stable the oil will be for cooking at high temperatures. You are typically looking for Oil that are less than 0.8%, but idealy you should be able to find oils that are at or below 0.3%.
A great example of a high heat oil is our Avocado Oil which has an FFA of 0.18%
Polyphenols – known to be anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and an anticoagulant. They help to reduce and neutralize free radicals and repair the damage that have been caused to cell membranes from cigarette smoke, pollution, alcohol, and the sun.
The Polyphenol count also affects the intensity (or pungency) of the oil. A big, peppery, full bodied robust-tasting oil will have a higher Polyphenol count than a smooth mild oil.
This doesn’t mean that oils with a lower count aren’t good, there are times where you don’t want you oil to overpower your dish.
The Polyphenol count is at it’s highest when the Olives are harvested. The minute the Olive is harvested, the Polyphenol count starts to reduce naturally.
Pocono Oil and Spice believes that listing a number that reduces itself over time is misleading and inaccurate for our customers.
The chili oil is made with a blend of hot pequin flakes and Chipotle Chili flakes.
All of the flavorings are natural, vegan and allergen free. We use a process of combining different components to mimic flavors. There is no cheese in our Parmesan flavoring, no meat in our bacon flavoring, etc.
A Flavor such as Basil is flavored by pressing Basil Leaves in the process.
Flavors such as Bacon EVOO or Cheese Flavors use other natural flavors to mimic the desired result. Simply put, there is no Pork in our Bacon EVOO or Dairy Products in our Parmesan EVOO. Our Butter EVOO is flavored using Diocetyl which is produced from Sweet Potatoes.
Out Truffle EVOO uses other mushroom flavors to mimic the flavor of Truffles simply to keep the cost to the consumer reasonable.
UP (Ultra Premium) Grade is a standard that was created by a company called Veronica Foods who is a large manufacturer in California. The UP Grade is not a recognized standard by the North American Olive Oil Association (NAOOA) or the International Olive Council who regulates and monitors the industry and standards, it is nothing more than a marketing tool for Veronica Foods and it’s customers.
We do not sell products from Veronica Foods so we are not eligible to participate in their promotion but we welcome everyone to compare our products to any UP Grade Oil.
All of our Oils meet or exceed the recognized standards of the International Olive Council which sets the standards for all producers of oil. We can provide CoA and Independant test results for any Oil we sell in our stores, you just have to ask to see them and we will gladly share them with you.
Our product contains 1 mg of caffeine per 8oz cup. So the flavor would not change the nutrition content nor the caffeine content. To give you a better idea, a regular cup of coffee has about 100 mg caffeine in 8oz. A regular coke has about 35 mg caffeine per 8oz. So 1 mg per 8 oz is negligible.
In Italy, the only balsamic that is allowed to state an age is a DOP product. To obtain DOP status, the balsamic must be aged a minimum of 12 years and is controlled by the Consortium for approval and bottling into a unique 3.4 oz. bottle. These bottles usually cost between $75 and $120 each. There is only a small amount of this product produced each year. In fact an entire battery of barrels would result in approximately 5 liters of product.
Therefore, a new product was started called Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (today Protected Geographical Indication). This commercial product is made from mixing concentrated or cooked grape must and wine vinegar and then aging this blend in wooden casks. There are two categories of age within the PGI regulation, the minimum required aging in wood is set forth at 2 months or at the second level of aging in wood for 3 years so according to PGI ruling, no balsamic can be said to be aged more than 3 years.
More important than the age in this type of balsamic is that the quality and the quantity of the grape must and the wine vinegar used in the production are crucial to the quality of the finished product.
Our 25 Star Balsamic has a minimum of 80% concentrated grape must and aged red wine vinegar.
NO! The sweetness of our balsamic is due to the high amount of concentrated grape must in our product. The more grape must, the thicker and sweeter it becomes.
Aside from the fact that if the product was truly that aged, the price would prohibit the average person from being able to afford it, as would sell for about $25/ounce.
According to PGI (European Protected Geographical Indication) rules, Balsamic can only be called “aged” if it is really a certified product. Condimento balsamic cannot be classified as PGI nor can it be claimed as aged under PGI rules.
We do not claim an age on our product as we follow the law and guidelines set in place by the consortium. However, we feel that our product stands for itself.
We invite you to compare the products side by side and decide for yourself which product is superior.
Our special quality of grape must give the finished goods a thicker consistency This balsamic is made exclusively for us and to our specification. It contains a minimum of 80% high quality must and wine vinegar that is aged a minimum of 10 years. The resultant product is naturally thick and sweet.
The product is produced in the same manner with the same ingredients as the dark balsamic. The difference is the use of white wine vinegar and they choose the lightest batch of grape must that they have and then they filter the resultant product which lightens it further.
All of the flavorings are natural, vegan and allergen free.