Why Buy California Olive Oil?

Posted by John Arlotta on

Americans spend about $3 billion every year on olive oil, but only 4% of the oil consumed is grown and manufactured domestically. Roughly 96% is imported from countries like France, Spain, Greece, and Italy despite the ability to produce world-class olives in California. Arlotta Food Studio is committed to providing American consumers with quality organic extra virgin olive oil that is grown, cold pressed, and bottled in California. 


Types of Olives Grown in California

According to the International Olive Council (IOC), 23 different countries produce some 139 varieties of olives that make up 85% of the world’s consumption. While every cultivar has its own unique characteristics and flavor profiles, olives from the same cultivar can take on different tastes and textures depending on the environment and cultivation process. Some of the most popular olive cultivars grown in California include:

  • Sevillano: Sevillano olives are a Spanish cultivar that grow exceptionally well in California. While they boast a mild, fruity flavor that is ideal for oil production, their have a very low oil content, which makes them more suitable as table olives. 
  • Arbequina: Arbequina olives grow on beautiful evergreen trees and produce fruit early on in the season. The meaty black olives have a very high oil content and small pits, which makes them perfect for olive oil production. They boast a grassy, fruity flavor profile with notes of apple and even banana. 
  • Maurino: Maurino olives grow on stunning compact trees, and while the fruits are quite small, the plant produces them in abundance. They are highly aromatic with flavors that hint at fresh grass and artichoke. 
  • Leccino: The Leccino olive tree has been featured in written documents from the Middle Ages, making it one of the world’s oldest known cultivars. Grown in the cooler regions of California, it produces green and purple-black fruits with a high oil content. The Leccino olive is known for being sweet and neutral with a slightly spicy or peppery aftertaste.
  • Pictual: Pictual olives are the most commonly-grown olive for oil production in the world. In fact, these olives account for roughly a quarter of all the olive oil produced annually. It boasts an oil content of 20% to 27% by weight and a full-bodied taste that can be described as fruity and peppery. 

  • Arlotta Food Studio’s organic extra virgin olive oil is expertly blended by chefs and connoseuirs to provide excellent flavor and silky texture. Whether drizzled over crusty bread or whisked into a flavorful marinade, the decadent organic California olives truly shine. 

    Arlotta Olive Oil

    Why Olives in California?

    Where are olives grown in California, and how does do they compare to olives grown in other parts of the world? Olive trees are native to the Mediterranean region, but they grow on every continent in the world with the exception of Australia. While not every cultivar can be grown in every location, California’s climate perfectly mimics that of the Mediterranean, which makes it ideal for olive tree groves. In fact, as of 2022, there were 39,000 acres of olive groves sprawling across California, with the majority found in the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys. 

    Though olive trees are extremely hardy, the size, flavor, and overall quality of the fruit can vary significantly depending on the environment. Olive trees do best in US Department of Agriculture (USDA) hardiness zones 8 through 10, and California’s zones range from 4 to 11. They thrive in climates with frost-free winters and sunny, arid summers. The biggest and best fruits grow in alkaline soil with a pH between 5.5 and 8.5, and these alkaline soils are only found in dry climates with little rainfall. 

    Arlotta Food Studio’s range of organic extra virgin olive oil is made from olives grown on California farms by California farmers. American consumers want transparency, honesty, and world-class quality when it comes to their food. This desire is facilitating the shift from European and Spanish olive products to “Made in California” olive oil.

    Do Olives Grown in California Make Good Olive Oil?

    There are several types of olives in California, and some are better for oil production than others. For example, Pictual and Arbequina olives are both prized for oilmaking due to their high oil content, but Sevillano olives contain very little in the way of oil, which means they are better for brining and serving as table olives. 

    Because each olive cultivar has its own unique flavor profile, olive oils are also unique. Some of the finest olive varieties in the world are produced each year in California, including varieties used to produce quality olive oil. Some California olive oils are mild with a fruity or nutty notes, but others have more intense flavors that range from peppery to buttery. Arlotta Food Studio’s craftily combines oils from various olives to create our signature organic extra virgin olive oil.

    Is California Extra Virgin Olive Oil Healthy?

    California extra virgin olive oil has numerous proven health benefits. It is high in monounsaturated heart-healthy fats, it contains antioxidants that fight free radicals, and some studies show that it even has anti-inflammatory properties. 

  • Monounsaturated Fats: About 73% of olive oil is a monounsaturated fat known as oleic acid. Studies have shown that oleic acid can reduce inflammation throughout the body, and some new data suggests that it may even positively impact genes that have been linked to cancer. It also contains polyunsaturated fats like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in high concentrations. 
  • Antioxidants: Olive oil contains high concentrations of vitamins E and K as well as active and potent antioxidants. Antioxidants fight cancer-causing free radicals and may even lower the risk of heart disease by protecting the cholesterol in your bloodstream from oxidation.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Science shows that inflammation is a major cause of conditions like heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, and a variety of metabolic syndromes. Extra virgin olive oil can reduce inflammation, which may in turn reduce the risk for these chronic conditions. It gets its anti-inflammatory properties from a compound known as oleocanthal, which has been shown to inhibit genes and proteins that lead to inflammation. 

  • Why Buy California Olive Oil? 

    Many people believe that European olives are banned in California, but this is not the case. Rather, the US has imposed rules on the import of Spanish olives that uphold fairness and ethics in the global olive marketplace. The Spanish olive industry has been subsidized by the EU for years, which led to the “dumping” of ripe olives on American consumers. The extraordinarily low prices significantly jeopardized American olive farmers - especially in California - and threatened to put them out of business. 

    Aside from being locally and ethically manufactured and sold, Arlotta Food Studio’s California olive oil is first cold pressed and minimally processed. Its mild profile makes it perfect for blending with other delicious flavors, including hot peppers, lemon, garlic, and even fruits like blood orange. The organic olives are gluten- and GMO-free, and every bottle you buy supports Californian farmers as well as the American fine food industry. 

    World-class olive oil no longer comes exclusively from Spain, France, or Italy, and the best olives in the world are grown in California. Arlotta Food Studio’s line of organic extra virgin olive oil is a simple American-made product that adds complex flavor to marinades, rubs, dressings, and more.

    ← Older Post Newer Post →