Frequently asked questions
What is an Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
All of our unflavored olive oils are certified UP 100% extra virgin olive oils. In order to have such certification, our company can trace the olives from the tree to the bottle to ensure that they are "without defect", the true test of whether an oil is really extra virgin.
The olives are harvested while still fairly green. While this results in a lower yield, it means our oils have the highest possible phenol levels, making them among the healthiest oils in the world.
They are also the freshest in the world. We alternate harvests between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, bringing in fresh oils every six months.
Where do the oils come from? Are they fresh?
Every six months, we rotate our oils from the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Our oils come from Greece, Spain, Italy, the US, Tunisia, Chile, Australia, South Africa, Uruguay and a number of other countries. Our company seeks out the finest and freshest oils from around the world.
In order to ensure their quality, we store them away from light, heat and moisture. When you get them home, you should keep them at least one foot away from your stove and out of direct sunlight. It is not necessary to refrigerate them, but they will stay at their best if they are kept fairly cool and away from too much light.
Are the oils and vinegars all natural? Are there any additives?
The flavorings in our oils and vinegars are 100% natural, using only the freshest herbs, juices and fruits available.
They are free from articifical colors, flavors, gluten, salt, and there are no added sugars or sulfites. While there are some naturally occuring sugars and sulfites in our vinegars, none are added.
What are the nutritional numbers in the oils and vinegars?
Our oils, just like most oils, are 119 calories per tablespoon. However, olive oil is much healthier than most oils, helping in the fight against cancer and heart disease, among many other benefits.
With only a couple of exceptions, our vinegars have about 12 calories per teaspoon (or 3 carbs, 3 grams of sugar).
There are a couple of exceptions such as the Serrano Honey and the Vermont Maple. We will be adding the nutritional details to our website soon.
Do you have a customer loyalty program?
Yes, we have a frequent buyer card. When you purchase $250 of products, you receive a 200 ml bottle of any regular olive oil or vinegar except the truffle oils.
If you are ordering online, please ask us to send a stamped loyalty card in the comment box. Once you collect $250 in purchases, you can call us to get your free bottle.
Even though you get points added to your card for all of your purchases, you can only redeem your card for an oil or vinegar.
Do you recycle bottles?
We are not accepting returned bottles at this time. We are not permitted by our local Healtt Inspector to refill bottles without sanitizing them. However, the sanitizing process was removing the print from many of the bottles so they could not be reused. As a result, we decided to stop the return bottle policy until things change with our bottle printer.
Can I cook with olive oil?
Yes! Unlike less stable unrefined nut and seed oils, high quality unrefined extra virgin olive oil doesn't oxidize nearly as quickly when you cook with it. The higher the phenol level, the higher the smoke point. This is due to the stablizing effect of the polyphenols (anti-oxidants), the typically low quanitity of free fatty acids, and the fact that olive oil is comprised mostly of monounsaturated fats with very little polyunsaturated fat. This makes quality olive oil one of the most stable and chemically ideal cooking oils, producing the least oxidization and free-radical build up during heating.
High quality olive oil tastes great, accenting the natural flavors in meats, vegetables and other foods. In many cultures, olive oil is considered to be a necessary flavor enhancer to many dishes.
It is important to remember, however, that all olive oils are not created equal. Seek out only HIGH QUALITY olive oils to enjoy the best health and flavor benefits.
Do you do corporate, wedding and other personalized gifts?
Yes. We can do personalized labels on our bottles and we can do personalized gift packs and baskets. Please call or email us to discuss your ideas.
Do you have tasting parties and cooking classes?
We have tasting parties in our Destin store for between 8-10 people after hours (6 pm is our closing time). We can do larger groups in our PCB store. Please call us for details.
Also, we hope to start cooking classes soon in our PCB store. You can find out when classes are scheduled on our Facebook page (even if you don't have a Facebook account) at Facebook.com/EmeraldCoastOliveOIl or checking out our Event planner as soon as it goes live here on our website.
How should I store my oils and vinegars?
Oils and vinegars are best when they are kept at least 1 foot from your stove or other heat source and out of direct sunlight. It is not necessary to refrigerate them.
If you plan to be away from home several weeks without air conditioning in the summer, it is a good idea to put them in the refrigerator or freezer. The oil may become thick and cloudy when it's chilled. This doesn't harm the quality; just let it come to room temperature and it's ready to use.
What do the chemical analysis numbers mean under the descriptions of the unflavored certified ultra premium extra virgin olive oils?
The numbers help assure you that you are getting some of the finest oils in the world.
The polyphenols are the natural anti-oxidants that occur in good olive oil.
We will be posting additional information about the chemistry very soon.
What do the statistical numbers mean on the unflavored olive oils?
Olive oil quality can be tested so you know exactly what you're getting.
Polyphenols: Measured in parts per million, polyphenols are the number of anti-oxidants in any given olive oil. Doctors say that olive oils should have at least 100 ppm for good health. In a 2010 study conducted by the University of California - Davis, it was discovered that almost all grocery store had fewer than 38 ppm. Our olive oils all have more than 100 ppm, ranging as high as 700 ppm. However, the higher the polyphenol level, the more bitterness the oil will display. This is similar to a black pepper bite in the back of your throat. Most people are happy with oils in the 300-400 ppm range.
Oleic Acid: Oleic acid is the natural preservative in olive oil. The higher the level, the longer the olive oil will stay fresh.
DAGs: This is the measurement that is a little bit like the Wine Spectator score for wines. Does the oil taste good, have a good aroma, a good mouth-feel, and have great chemistry. The higher the number, the better.
FFA: Elevated Free Fatty Acids can cause damage to our cell structure. The lower the number, the more protection against damage to our cells.
Peroxide: Naturally occuring in all olive oils, peroxide levels indicate how soon an olive oil will go bad. A level of 20 is considered inferior. All of our olive oils will have levels below 8, ensuring they are fresh and will last a long time.
PPP: This number indicates whether an oil is truly good olive oil and has not been adulterated by poor quality olive oil or even other kinds of oil. The lower the number, the more likely the oil is truly good quality olive oil.
FYI: While we list the entire chemistry breakdown for our unflavored olive oils, you can be sure that our flavored olive oils are also top quality, having a polyphenol level of between 200-225 ppm.
Does the coronavirus affect oils and vinegars?
The coronavirus microbiological organism cannot live in olive oil or vinegar so our products are safe.
In the store, we are using a bleach solution and sanitizers. As always, our staff uses frequent and thorough handwashing. We have screen at tasting tables and cash registers to ensure you can taste without fear. Staff wear masks when serving customers.
We will do our very best to keep you safe. We are happy to ship your order or you are welcome to call and place a pickup order. Then we'll bring it out to your car when you arrive.
Stay healthy, dear customers.
Can I purchase larger quantities of oils and vinegar?
It depends. We occasionally sell 64 oz. bottles and 10 liter cubes (about 2 1/2 gallons). However, we stress that olive oil is best when it's fresh so you should only plan to order larger quantities if you intend to use it within six months. Also, we must limit the quantities of large containers to just a couple per customer per year.
We also require that you order in advance since we don't keep a stock of extra items on hand. Plan on 3-4 weeks lead time since we only order, on average, every 3 weeks.
Please call our Panama City Beach store to place your order at 850-235-8040. We will calculate the price for you since different oils/vinegars have different costs.
As an additional item, you can also buy a plastic pump for the cube if you wish. They are currently $17 and can be reused. Not a necessity; but some people prefer it to pouring.
Shipping larger containers is strongly discouraged; we'd rather you pick up the items from one of our stores. If you want us to ship, please know that FedEx will not insure containered liquids like ours without a significant surcharge, so if the box is lost or damaged, it will be at your expense. (We can find out the surcharge and add that to your order if you would like.)
Shipping costs are not based on our normal shipping rates because of weight, special packing and handling required. Instead, we will weigh the item and packaging to calculate the price with FedEx. We will then charge you for the actual shipping charges plus the box. No handling charges are involved -- just the actual costs to us for shipping.
We stress that shipping is strongly discouraged. However, if you really want a cube, we'll do our best to get it to you.
What is balsamic vinegar?
The word "balsamic" goes back to the Greeks, referring to health. Even in the old days, the beneficial health qualities of vinegar were observed. Balsamic vinegar refers to vinegar made from grapes that is aged in wood, giving it additional character.
Not all balsamic vinegars are created equal. Many store brands contain mostly harsh wine vinegar that's been treated with imitation flavors, thickeners like corn syrup, caramels and other unknown ingredients.
Our balsamic vinegars are all natural. We say, the only ingredient is Trebbiano or Lambrusco grapes. The grape flesh is mashed and cooked down to a certain viscosity. It is then aged with 2% acetic acid to begin the aging process. Because of the acetic acid, balsamic vinegar ages, it does not ferment like wine.
What are the health benefits of balsamic vinegar?
Our balsamic vinegar contains probiotics, or some refer to it as the "mother" since you can make more vinegar from the live vinegar cultures. These probiotics are particularly good for tummy and blood chemistry.
In addition, a study conducted by the Lund Institute in Sweden and Arizona State University found that the old wives' tale is true -- vinegar is good for diabetics, helping to stabilize blood sugar levels if a couple of teaspoons is taken before or during a meal.
Vinegar has many health attributes, having natural anti-histamine, anti-inflammatory, and anti-biotic compounds. There are many other attributes ascribed to vinegar, but the above attributes have been studied and have the data to back them up.
Besides, it simply tastes great!