7 Olive Oil Facts That Might Surprise You

Posted by John Arlotta on

Did you know that olives are a fruit, making olive oil a fruit juice?

It’s true. While you won’t find a jar of olives situated next to the canned peaches on a grocery store shelf, olives are indeed considered a fruit. 

The rich and savory flavor profile of olives can make you assume they belong in the vegetable family, but olives qualify as a fruit because (1) olives grow from a flower on an olive tree and (2) olives consist of a fleshy exterior and contain a hard seed inside. 

Even though olive oil facts like this one help to set the record straight, olives are still a misunderstood food item.


Olive Oil Facts You Need to Know

Olives have distinct characteristics and olive oil has unique properties. If you want to understand olive oil, you need to learn about olives as well.  

So to clear up some common misconceptions, here are seven olive oil facts you probably didn’t know about these two popular food products found in kitchens all over the world. 

#1 - California is home to olive groves. 

Although olives originated in the Mediterranean Basin and continue to thrive in areas such as Italy, Spain, and Greece, you can find olive groves in the United States. 

In fact, all of the Arlotta Food Studio organic cold-pressed olive oils come from olives grown in our family-owned groves in California’s Central Valley. In the 1700s, Spanish missionaries brought olive trees to America where they have thrived ever since. 

 In our Arlotta groves, we grow three different Mediterranean varietals - Arbosana (Spain), Arbequina (Spain), and Koroneiki (Greece). We choose to produce olives that are the best type to extract oil from, not necessarily the tastiest kind to eat. 

#2 - Olives are nutrient powerhouses. 

 Olives are packed with: 

  • powerful antioxidants (such as oleanolic acid, tyrosol, hydroxytyrosol, oleuropein, and quercetin)
  • monounsaturated fatty acids (a healthy fat)
  • copper, calcium, and potassium (essential minerals) 
  • vitamin E
  • fiber
  • iron

 Those nutrition facts are noteworthy!


#3 - Consuming olive oil can improve your health. 

Olives save lives! Okay, that probably sounds a bit dramatic. But all joking aside, olives offer numerous life-saving health benefits.

Research suggests that incorporating olive oil into your diet may lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, osteoporosis, and more. 

Remember those antioxidants listed above? Oleic acid is known to reduce blood pressure, polyphenols protect your cells from incurring damage, oleocanthal has anti-inflammatory properties, and the list goes on and on. 

If you are looking for ways to improve your heart health, fight inflammation, control cholesterol levels, and increase bone density, eating olives and consuming olive oil could be the answer.

 #4 - Olive trees survive for centuries upon centuries. 

Who knew that the olive oil drizzled across your salad could be derived from olives centuries in the making?!

On average, olive trees live for hundreds of years. But thanks to carbon-dating technology, experts say olive trees can survive for thousands of years. 

Olive trees are one tough tree species. With incredibly resilient attributes, olive trees can endure drought conditions, sub-zero temperatures, and even fire. 

When the above-ground portion of an olive tree is destroyed, the tree can regrow if the roots still remain alive and intact. 

#5 - Olives can pollinate one another. 

Speaking of hundreds and thousands, experts estimate thousands of different olive varieties exist all across the globe, although growers utilize far less variations nowadays.

Many olive oil production companies use the more familiar types of olives to create their products. At Arlotta Food Studio, our premium, extra virgin, first cold-pressed olive oils come from Arbosana, Arbequina, and Koroneiki olives. 

#6 - Ripeness determines the color of an olive.

Just when you thought those green olives were some sort of speciality product, green olives are simply unripe black olives. Color is dependent on when an olive is harvested, but color alone is not the only reason why an olive might be plucked from a tree before its prime.

Green olives taste different than black olives, and some even consider green olives the healthier option.

#7 - Fused, infused, and flavored olive oils are not the same. 

Olive oil manufacturers use various methods to mix and blend olive oils, and consumers need to be aware of those differences.

For example, let’s say you want an olive oil that includes the flavor of garlic, too. A garlic flavored olive oil might give you that taste, but sadly, you won’t receive the health advantages associated with actual fresh garlic. Why? 

Garlic flavored olive oil uses a chemical additive inserted into the olive oil that attempts to imitate the flavor of garlic. Comparatively, garlic infused olive oil such as our Arlotta Organic Garlic Infused Olive Oil - Extra Virgin contains the essential oil of real fresh garlic to ensure consumers do not miss out on those important health benefits

How Olive Oil Facts Can Help You

Now that these olive oil facts armed you with additional knowledge, you can look at olives and olive oil in a whole new way. 

Do you want to elevate your cooking? Incorporate olive oil into your dishes! Are you looking to increase your antioxidant intake? Olives to the rescue! Have you been searching for simple and easy strategies to improve your overall well being? Olive oil, particularly organic olive oil, has health benefits galore! 

Here at Arlotta Food Studio, we have a wide variety of premium, first cold-pressed, extra virgin, organic olive oils. From Rosemary Infused Olive Oil or Basil Infused Olive Oil to Blood Orange Olive Oil or Lemon Olive Oil, we have plenty of tasty options you can integrate into hundreds of meals. 

Start your journey to improved health with better-tasting food by checking out our entire line of award-winning organic olive oils from California.     

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