Black Friday Deals!

Hourly Sales
10:00am -11:00am: 25% off Cuisinart
12:00pm – 1:00pm: 15% off all Bubbles
2:00pm – 3:00pm: 15% off Olive Oils and Balsamic Vinegars
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All Day Sales (While Supplies Last)

USA Pans– 20% off Mini Sheet pans

Le Creuset– Spend $100 and receive their Hard-Bound cookbook “The Cast     Iron Way to Cook”
Spend over $200 and receive the cookbook and a 4-piece set of their Dutch Oven Refrigerator magnets

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Classic 6” Cook’s Knife $59.99, Classic Ikon 6” Cook’s Knife $89.99
Classic 5” Tomato Knife $59.99, Classic Ikon 5” Tomato Knife $89.99
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Classic 4 ½” Asian Utility Knife $49.99
Classic 2 pc Mini Asian Set $99.99, Classic Ikon Mini Asian Set $139.99
Classic 9” Double Serrated Bread Knife $79.99
Classic Ikon 9” Serrated Bread Knife $199.99
Classic 7” Santoku $79.99, Classic Ikon 7” Santoku $119.99
Totally Bamboo 20% off 20” Bamboo Carving Board
**One day only sale. Limited supply and no rain checks available.

How to Tell if Your Olive Oil is Fake

Considered the healthiest fat in the world, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) has won over the hearts of millions of Americans across the nation. Loved for its exquisite flavor that can add a touch of excitement to thousands of dishes, EVOO also offers a range of health benefits thanks to the rich composition of omega-3’s, antioxidants, and polyphenols. In fact, extra virgin olive oil is one of the few foods that has been approved by the FDA to advertise specific health claims on the label – the same scrutinizing process that new medications have to go through!

All of that being said, unfortunately, due to the worldwide popularity of EVOO, it also happens to be one of the most counterfeited and adulterated foods in history. A study by the UC Davis Olive Center actually found that as much as 69% of all imported extra virgin olive oils fail to meet the internationally accepted standards. Countries all over the world are making these discoveries, including a fraud ring that Italian authorities discovered in December of 2015 that sold 7,000 tons of falsely labeled EVOO that was worth tens of millions.

To help make sure you don’t fall victim to fake EVOO, we’ve created this simple guide that helps you distinguish between fakes and the real thing.

What Makes Olive Oil Fake?

Counterfeiting can occur at any point along the production track particularly because olive oil that’s extracted in one country is oftentimes shipped to another and blended with oils from various origins before being bottled. Though there are multiple ways the EVOO can be adulterated, there are two primary methods that get used.

In the worst case scenario, extra virgin olive oil gets blended with other, cheaper oils such as soybean and seed oil to increase the yield prior to bottling. Not only does this greatly diminish the beneficial properties present in EVOO, but it also changes the taste.

The more common practice that counterfeiting brands use is blending EVOO with other olive oil that’s been sitting around for a prolonged period of time. In some cases, this oil can more than a year old and long past the consumption date, once again ruining the flavor and health benefits.

1. Look for Relevant Information on the Label
Looking past the labeled origin of olive oil (which can also be fake), there are multiple pieces of information to look out for that can help tell you whether or not the EVOO is real or fake. As any true EVOO producer knows, one of the most important factors is the harvest date since that ultimately tells consumers whether or not the oil is fresh or bad.

When brands fail to list this on the label, there is no true way of telling when the olive oil was harvested, increasing the chances that you’re getting an adulterated or rancid product. It’s also good to look for an estate or mill name on the label. Because most counterfeiting brands omit this information, it’s safe to say only high quality producers will tend to do it.

2. Only Buy “Extra Virgin” Olive Oil
When looking at olive oil in supermarkets, there’s no shortage of different brands and types for consumers to choose from. Some of these include terms like “light” and “pure”, or maybe even just “olive oil”, all of which have been excessively processed and potentially adulterated. Unless you’re specifically buying “extra virgin”, it’s almost guaranteed that you’re getting a lesser quality product.

This means you will get little to no health benefits from the oil itself, whereas with extra virgin olive oil that comes from the first press, as long as it’s authentic and fresh, you’ll enjoy a plethora of beneficial properties, and, of course, better flavor. This is a quick way to immediately narrow down a large portion of the options you have, so make sure you only stick to extra virgin.

3. Look For Certification Seals
Here, we’re not talking about the made up labels that many brands will put on their own olive oils to make them look more authentic, we’re talking about seals of certification from a reputable third party. By far, the two most reputable seals to look out for, serving as very good signs that the EVOO is authentic and real, are from the European Union’s Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and the California Olive Oil Council. Both of these organizations have incredibly strict requirements and testing that must be fulfilled before a brand can bear their seals, adding an extra level of protection for consumers.

4. Pay Attention to Packaging
Label aside, extra virgin olive oil is also susceptible to UV radiation and degradation when exposed to sunlight. While many brands will use clear glass or plastic to bottle their EVOO so that consumers can see the color as a way to convey quality, neither are actually the best choice. Since olive oil is prone to UV radiation, higher end producers will bottle their oil with darker colored glass such as brown or green to help preserve the oil. That’s not to say that there aren’t true EVOO’s that are bottled in clear glass (we actually carry a few ourselves!), but they must be properly stored and cared for.

5. Put Your EVOO in the Refrigerator
While this isn’t a fool-proof test by any means, extra virgin olive oil contains mostly monounsaturated fats which should thicken when exposed to colder temperatures. After a short while in the fridge, if you have true extra virgin olive oil, you should notice that the liquid has become more viscous and even a bit cloudy. When EVOO has been cut with lesser quality oils, it reduces the monounsaturated fat concentration which can result in olive oil that remains fully liquid when exposed to cooler temperatures. If your olive oil doesn’t thicken at all, that’s a pretty good sign that it’s a fake.

About Veronica Foods

Since starting the D’Olivo brand and to this day, it’s been our goal to provide customers with nothing but the highest quality olive oil. During our initial search for a supplier, we were fortunate enough to stumble across Veronica Foods and learn that their mission aligned with ours perfectly – make the finest, freshest, and broadest selection of extra virgin olive oil in the world. By exclusively carrying their olive oil products, we’ve been able to spread the beneficial properties and amazing flavors of olive oil to thousands of customers year after year.

To learn about what makes Veronica Foods olive oil so special, we have to first look back at their humble beginnings in 1942, when the company was founded. After 47 years with less than 1% of the company’s business coming from olive oil, the founder’s daughter, Veronica, and her husband, Michael Bradley, took the family reigns and decided to focus on olive oil in a more serious and committed way.

Though they knew little about olive oil or how they would grow the business, Veronica and Michael spent years traveling the olive oil producing regions of the world, tasting hundreds of different styles to expand their knowledge and explore new methods. By 1998, their dream became reality when they purchased their own olive grove and state-of-the-art crushing mill so they could test and evaluate methods learned during their travels to begin producing olive oil of the highest quality.

Today, Veronica Foods continues to produce the finest conventional, organic, and fused whole fruit citrus olive oil from their mill in Tunisia, importing more than 1 million gallons each year to supply hundreds of specialty retail shops throughout the United States. Outside of producing their own olive oil from their grove in Tunisia, Veronica Foods has also formed many exclusive alliances with small regional mills that are unable to expand into the US market alone, helping to introduce American’s to many unique olive oil varieties for the first time.

Before even being able to sell Veronica Foods olive oil, stores must first go through an intensive educational seminar to ensure they know everything there is to know about their olive oil and the beneficial properties it provides to customers. They place a heavy focus on educating consumers about the quality and benefits of their oil by including figures such as polyphenol count, oleic acid percentage, and, most importantly, the harvest date.

While many brands omit this kind of information from labeling, Veronica Foods hopes to shift the consensus of the consumer market from caring about the origins of olive oil to caring about the harvest date by being fully transparent about the qualities of the oil they sell. This is especially important to customers that enjoy their olive oil for nutraceutical purposes and look to take advantage of all the beneficial properties including disease prevention.

Unfortunately, this is not the only challenge that the olive oil market faces. The widespread problem of mislabeled and adulterated product has been going on for years as large name brands blend their olive oil with lesser oils to increase output and maximize profits at the cost of greatly minimizing or completely eliminating the beneficial properties of olive oil. By staying true to their mission of delivering nothing but the finest and freshest olive oil in the world, Veronica Foods continues to be the shining example we proudly source all of our oil from.

All About Aromatic Bitters and How to Use Them

If you’re like most people, the first thing you think of when you hear the word “bitter” is someone who’s miserable, angry, and generally not very happy. While all of that may be true by definition, aromatic bitters can introduce you to a whole new world of unique, complex flavors that enliven drinks and dishes of all kinds. Having recently come back into the spotlight thanks to the surge of interest in craft cocktails, aromatic bitters actually have a number of health benefits and culinary uses just waiting to be explored.

What Are Aromatic Bitters?

Aromatic bitters are flavored extracts made from infusing herbs, bark, roots, fruits, and flowers in flavorless alcohol to create a concentrated formula. Because it’s made from ingredients that are incredibly bitter by themselves, it only takes a few dashes at most to have the complex flavor profiles fully infused into your beverage or dish.

Believe it or not, aromatic bitters have actually been around since the ancient times where they were traditionally used as a digestive aid and to treat all kinds of ailments. In fact, traces of aromatic bitters have even been found along the insides of pots and jugs throughout Roman and ancient Egyptian history.

Though they’re still widely used for holistic purposes around the world, in the United States, bitter flavors have all but disappeared from the modern diet. Sadly, the natural bitter flavors found in many foods have become replaced with salt and sugar as the demand for these kinds of cuisines continues to drive unhealthy products onto shelves.

How to Use Aromatic Bitters

While almost any Google search on aromatic bitters will turn up countless results for various alcoholic beverages that use this powerful flavoring agent, they can also be used for their health benefits and to spice up your favorite dishes. That’s right, it turns out the powerful herbal and botanical ingredients used to make aromatic bitters can actually be used as a remedy for digestive problems of all kinds.

When taken, the strong flavor profiles of aromatic bitters are known to stimulate saliva production and increase the secretions of gastric juices and bile to help your body digest better. Though there is little evidence to back it up, some doctors and homeopathic experts suggest that the obesity problem in the United States stems from widespread poor digestive health and the lack of naturally bitter foods in our diets.

To take advantage of the many health benefits aromatic bitters offer, simply take a teaspoon before or after each meal to help with problems such as poor appetite, sluggishness, and bloating. Because they’re so potent, you can also mix a teaspoon of aromatic bitters with soda water to make it more palatable. If you’re feeling a little adventurous, try out different mixtures to come up with your own digestive health boosting beverage.

Of course, aromatic bitters have so much more to offer aside from digestive aid thanks to their incredibly diverse flavor profiles. Below, we’ve covered a few fun and exciting recipes you can try out that incorporate bitters.

Aromatic Bitters Recipes

1. Salad Dressing With a Bitter Twist

Whether you’re a salad fanatic or the occasional herbivore, aromatic bitters work exceptionally well in dressings. The healthy mixture of greens – some of which may be naturally bitter, such as kale – are are the perfect pallet for introducing all kinds of flavors ranging from sweet and spicy to salty and bold. Simply adding a few dashes of aromatic bitters to your favorite balsamic vinaigrette dressing will instantly elevate your salad to a whole new level of tasty.

2. Not Your Average Bowl of Ice Cream

While you’re welcome to try this one out with any ice cream flavor, we find that it works best when sticking with the timeless classic – vanilla. Acting like a blank canvas, the natural sweetness of ice cream and its creamy texture are perfect for experimenting with different flavors. Put a few scoops of ice cream in a bowl followed by some sliced fruit to set the stage. Next, add a few dashes of bitters and mix if you’d like to get a pleasantly tasty surprise.

3. Soup for the Adventurous

Soups are an excellent dish for enhancing with aromatic bitters simply because they can be as simple or complex as you would like. Whether working with store bought cans or your own recipe, bitters blend exceptionally well with creamy and vegetable based soups. Start out with just a dash or two and mix well to see how the flavors are blending before adding more. Then, simply adjust accordingly to create a soup with new levels of depth and complexity.

Biophenols vs. Phenols

There has been a lot of confusion lately about Biophenols versus Phenols since we’ve been switching over to the new system on Fusti Tags. Phenols have to do with the sensory information of the oil, but Biophenols is a recognized system for testing that carries a lot of weight. Please read this Biophenol letter for some in depth information that will help expand your knowledge on this:

As science developed, we have learned that a significant amount of health attributes related to extra virgin olive oil are not only linked to its profile rich in monounsaturated fatty acids but also to its biophenol content. In the early days, total biophenol content was simply measured by measuring the reaction of this complex group of substances with a colorant (Folin-Ciocalteau). The darker the blue colour developed from the reaction, the higher the level of biophenols. The actual level of biophenols was determined by a comparative scale measuring how much colour was developed by known quantities of a standard phenol (either caffeic acid or garlic acid). Even when this method provided a reasonable indication, it was far from perfect as all different phenols react to the colorant in different ways. Furthermore, it did not tell us anything about the different groups of biophenols. As we know now, some of those biophenols have very specific health and sensory properties (i.e. Oleocanthal, which has important antinflammatory action and it is responsible for the pungent feeling on the back of the throat).
Even when there are no limit for polyphenols in international standards, they are very effective antioxidants in olive oil and contribute significantly to oxidative stability, shelf life and health claims. Given the growing importance of these antioxidants, a new and more precise measuring method has been developed. This method utilises High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) is a form of column chromatography that pumps a sample mixture or analyte (in this case EVOO) in a solvent (known as the mobile phase) at high pressure through a column with chromatographic packing material (stationary phase). The sample is carried by a moving carrier gas stream of helium or nitrogen. HPLC has the ability to separate, and identify compounds that are present in any sample that can be dissolved in a liquid in trace concentrations as low as parts per trillion. Sample retention time (the time that it takes for each biophenol to exit the column) will vary depending on the interaction between the stationary phase, the molecules being analyzed, and the solvent, or solvents used. As the sample passes through the column it interacts between the two phases at different rate, primarily due to different polarities in the analytes. Analytes that have the least amount of interaction with the stationary phase or the most amount of interaction with the mobile phase will exit the column faster. A detector at the point of exit determines when and how much of each biophenol is sensed. The total amount of biophenols in this method is determined by adding the individual quantities of each measured biophenol.

There are typically more than 20 different biophenols in extra virgin olive oil. The prevalent classes of hydrophilic phenols found in EVOO are phenolic alcohols and acids (i.e. Hydroxytyrosol and vanillic acid), flavonoids (i.e. luteonin), lignans (i.e. pinoresinol) and secoiridoids. Among these substances the last two classes include the most concentrate phenols of EVOO. Secoiridoids, like aglycone derivatives of oleuropein, demethyloleuropein and ligstroside, are present in olive fruit as most abundant EVOO phenolic antioxidants. Several important biological properties (antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, chemopreventive and anti-cancer) and the characteristic pungent and bitter tasty properties have been attributed to EVOO phenols.

Leandro Ravetti

About Our Owner – Roni Hosfeld

At D’Olivo, our mission is quite simple – help people discover the many health benefits of ultra-premium olive oil and true balsamic vinegars so they can live a healthier, tastier lifestyle. Though our focus originally started with high-quality olive oils, over the years, we’ve procured a wide selection of holistic and local products that can help our customers achieve just that. On any given day, you can walk into our Walla Walla location and get lost on an informative yet delicious tasting tour, or simply browse around for some new, benefit-rich products that can help you work toward personal health goals. In this article, we’re going to share with you the story of our owner, Roni Hosfeld, and the amazing journey she made to bring the D’Olivo brand from its humble beginnings to where it is today.

Most people these days think of olive oil as nothing more than a kitchen ingredient used for cooking that can be bought at popular supermarkets. To Roni Hosfeld, this was very much her way of thinking as well, until one fateful trip to Colorado. An unexpected detour landed her in a small oil shop that opened her eyes to the world of olive oil for the very first time. Though Roni didn’t know it then, this brief experience would change her life and serve as the foundation for the D’Olivo brand.

Roni, who had been working in public service for over 20 years, let the idea of starting her own oil shop fall to the wayside as a pipe dream. However, in May of 2013, Roni received an exciting call that opened the door for D’Olivo. Jumping at the opportunity, in less than two months time, Roni had to design the store’s layout, order product, and essentially build the D’Olivo brand from the ground up while still continuing to work at a local winery. It was during this time that Roni stumbled across Veronica Foods, a leading distributor of ultra-premium olive oils around the world and the company we still source all of our oil from today.

In order to sell Veronica Foods olive oil, Roni had to go through a detailed background check and intensive training program, all of which she admits was more than worth it due to the unwavering quality of their oils. With product handled, she then undertook the momentous task of hiring staff members that would not only represent the D’Olivo brand, but love doing it. By still following her philosophy of training and equipping each employee with the tools and knowledge they need to do the job, all of our staff members play the role of both tour guide and teacher to every customer that walks through our doors.

For Roni, in addition to educating everyone she comes into contact with about the many health benefits of ultra-premium olive oils, she’s also constantly looking for new ways to meet the needs of the Walla Walla Valley community while staying true to the D’Olivo brand. This is ultimately what urged Roni to offer a new line of skin care products sourced directly from the Olive Oil Skin Care Company in Australia. Understanding that olive oil is also beneficial for the skin and hair, Roni wanted to continue offering customers more holistic products that would allow them to achieve their goals the natural, healthy way.

From the beginning, when she was still splitting her time between the store and a winery job, Roni was brainstorming countless ideas that she could use to help D’Olivo grow while building a continued relationship with customers. Using her experience in the wine industry, she decided that the best way to do this was to start the brand’s very own olive oil and vinegar club. Marking a big step forward, the club allows customers to subscribe and receive four quarterly shipments of olive oils and vinegars that they can handpick themselves.

With a constantly expanding inventory of delicious oils and vinegars, this is one of the best ways to experience all the D’Olivo brand has to offer. As a club member, you’ll have the luxury of tailoring your experience with three different levels that offer between two to four bottles of oil or vinegar each quarter. In addition to receiving the oils and vinegars of your choice, members can also enjoy a handpicked gift from Roni herself as an extra treat each quarter.

Today, Roni still works just as hard as she did when D’Olivo was first founded to ensure the brand reflects her passion and dedication to the products and customers. On any given day, you’ll find her greeting customers with a warm smile, striking up laughter filled conversations, and helping everyone find the perfect olive oils and vinegars. So, the next time you find yourself in Walla Walla Valley, be sure to stop by and have your eyes opened to the world of olive oil in very much the same way it was for our owner, Roni Hosfeld.

Fun Ways to Use Flavored Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar

As healthy as olive oil and balsamic vinegars can be for you, half of the fun is in finding exciting ways to use them in the kitchen. Because they come in so many different flavor varieties, there’s endless culinary possibilities that you can experiment with. At D’Olivo, we carry 36 varieties of olive oil and 40 types of balsamic vinegar that allow you to indulge your taste buds and ad fun twists to your favorite dishes. In this article, we’re going to share some of the best ways you can use flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars to spice up meals and create fun snacks that everyone will enjoy. We also encourage you to check out our recipes section on the website for more specific ideas.

1. Make Soup Exciting Again

Whether making soup from a can or concocting your own from various ingredients, soup is a perfect dish to experiment with flavored olive oils. Due to its consistency, oils blend perfectly with soups, allowing the flavor profiles to disperse evenly and add a bold or subtle taste to each spoon full. Consider using our cayenne chili or cilantro & roasted onion olive oils in creamier soups to add more depth. For lighter soups, our Tuscan herb or lemon infused oils can work wonders.

2. Dynamic Pizza & Flatbreads

Looking for a way to spice up your favorite pizza dish? Balsamic vinegar is the perfect partner to nearly any flatbread. The thick consistency and dark color of balsamic vinegar contrasts nicely from lighter cheeses and ingredients often used on pizza and flatbreads, making them even more tantalizing. From a tasting standpoint, the salty nature of pizza entrees make them the ideal candidate for a touch of sweetness. Explore the different flavors we carry and indulge your taste buds with some new flatbread combinations the next time you’re enjoying a slice.

3. The New Way to Roast Vegetables

Roasting is a widely loved method of cooking that produces deliciously crisp and tender vegetables. Whether using a traditional oven or cooking on an open flame, try cooking with flavored oils rather than plain to discover entirely new vegetable dishes. As the vegetables roast in the oil, they will actually absorb some of the flavor and introduce you to exciting new tastes. Depending on the vegetables you’re using and the flavors you enjoy, browse our collection of oils to see which would pair best.

4. Balsamic Popcorn Creations

Are you the kind of foodie that loves to watch a good movie with a big bowl of hot, buttery popcorn in your lap? As great as popcorn is by itself, there are dozens of ways you can transform this tasty snack into something even better. The naturally salty flavor of popcorn makes it perfect for pairing with sweet and tangy balsamic vinegars. We have dozens of vinegars that are made from sweeter ingredients like peaches, chocolate, honey ginger, and plenty more. Pick your favorite flavor (or two) and simply drizzle it over the top of your popcorn to enjoy!

5. Ice Cream With a Funky Twist

This one is going to sound a little weird at first, but once you try it, you’ll never look at balsamic vinegar the same again. While salty sweet combinations are certainly delicious, there’s a lot to be said about sweet on sweet combinations as well! Load up a bowl of your favorite ice cream, chop up some fresh fruit if you’d like, and drizzle on a flavored balsamic vinegar of your choosing like chocolate syrup. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how well the flavors work together and may even start using it as a regular topping when you indulge in a late night treat.

6. Guilt-Free Kale Chips

Kale chips have been all the craze lately, serving as healthier alternatives to their addictive, higher calorie cousin, the potato chip. These light, crisp snacks are a match made in heaven for flavored olive oils, allowing you to experiment with hundreds of different recipes. Simply pick out your favorite flavor (or two if you want to experiment) and lightly toss the kale in oil until it’s coated and ready for the oven. Once cooked to a nice even crisp, you’ll find that the kale has absorbed a lot of the oil’s flavor, adding a welcome twist to your favorite snack food. Be sure to share this one with friends and family!

7. Yogurt for Champions

Yogurt is a wonderful snack food that can oftentimes serve as a blank canvas for experimentation. The tartness of balsamic vinegar and sweeter flavors of most yogurts marry perfectly when blended together. Simply adding a few drops of your favorite flavored balsamic vinegar and stirring it in will yield an incredibly tasty cup of yogurt. Depending on how you’re feeling, you’ll find that most flavored vinegars pair nicely with yogurt. Browse our collection now to begin exploring new ways you can spice up this healthy snack.

8. Never Buy Mayonnaise Again

If you’ve never made your own mayonnaise, it’s actually not all that hard and can be more cost effective than buying it from the store. While mayo already tastes great by itself, adding a little bit of your favorite flavored olive oil will produce an even more addictive condiment. Consider using selections like our California garlic or fernleaf dill oils to take your mayo to the next level and increase its versatility in dishes. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself putting it on everything you make!

Health Benefits of Balsamic Vinegar

After making a big splash in the culinary scene over the last few decades, balsamic vinegar has become a widely used and loved ingredient all around the world. From chefs using it in complex dishes to people taking it for the many holistic properties, balsamic vinegar is much more than your average kitchen ingredient. In this article, we’re going to first explore how balsamic vinegar is made before reviewing four of the most important health benefits this product offers.

What is Balsamic Vinegar?

Dating back over 1,000 years to Modena, Italy, where balsamic vinegar was originally used as a tonic and given to people importance as a token of honor, it has since become wildly popular around the world because of its distinctively bold flavor profiles and touch of sweetness. Though most often known for its use in salad dressings, balsamic vinegar can be used in everything from marinades to soups.

Classified as a wine vinegar (even though it’s not made from wine), balsamic vinegar is actually produced from sweet grape pressings before they’re given the chance to ferment into wine. After undergoing a transformative journey through the production process, balsamic vinegar becomes the darkly colored, concentrated syrup that we know it as today.

How is Balsamic Vinegar Made?

Similar to wine and other craft-intensive products, balsamic vinegar typically undergoes the same general production process. Where they differ is in the quality of the grapes used, types of aging barrels, and the amount of time aged. In fact, the amount of time aged is one of the biggest contributing factors to both taste and price. It’s for this reason that some traditional balsamic vinegars can go for as much as $250 an ounce, while others can be bought for as little as $5 for a 12-ounce bottle.

Traditional balsamic vinegar is made from Lambrusco or Trebbiano grape pressings which are sweet in flavor. Once the pressings are collected, they’re boiled down into a concentrated syrup and left to ferment naturally for a few weeks. Once the vinegar has fermented, it’s transferred into wooden barrels to begin the rest of the 12-year aging process. While this is the minimum amount of time for traditional balsamic vinegar, others may only be aged for a few months, or for as long as 100 years.

Throughout the aging process, the balsamic vinegar is transferred into barrels crafted from different wood so it can take on unique flavor profiles. Once the aging process is done and most of the liquid has evaporated, the final concentrated product undergoes inspection before being carefully bottled and prepared for enjoyment.

Health Benefits of Balsamic Vinegar

1. It’s a Healthy Alternative for Diabetics

Because diabetics have to watch the kinds of food they eat due to differing glycemic responses, it can greatly limit the choices they have both at home and at restaurants. Balsamic vinegar is classified as a low glycemic food and has actually been shown to help prevent blood sugar spikes after eating. One study found that insulin-resistant test subjects experienced blood sugar plateaus for as long as five hours after consuming balsamic vinegar with their meal.

This is great for those with diabetes because it adds a lot of flavor and only comes in at around 14 calories per tablespoon and less than 3 grams of carbohydrates. With just one or two servings of balsamic vinegar, you can enhance meals by adding a little diversity and help your body’s blood sugar response stay balanced from meal to meal.

2. It Can Help With Cholesterol Levels

With more and more people suffering from high cholesterol levels each year, a lot of the balsamic vinegar research has been focused on its cholesterol-fighting properties and ability to help people maintain healthy levels. The abundance of antioxidants, polyphenols, in particular, have been shown to inhibit LDL oxidation and prevent toxic cells from raising LDL levels. Though not enough to be a standalone treatment, balsamic vinegar has been recognized as a great addition to any efforts to reduce cholesterol.

Another study also found that balsamic vinegar may help reduce atherosclerosis risk factors when consumed on a regular basis because of its natural cholesterol lowering properties. As one of the leading factors that contribute to the development of atherosclerosis, balsamic vinegar is great for those that are more at risk or wanting to take preventative measures.

3. Digestive and Immune System Health

When you consume food, the job of digestion falls to the stomach acids and bacteria present in the gut. If your digestive system is in bad shape, not only will you have a harder time digesting foods, but you’ll also be depriving your body of all the nutrients due to decreased absorption. One of the main active compounds found in balsamic vinegar is acetic acid, which is known to contain probiotic strains that help keep your body’s digestive system in good health.

Because it can help to create a healthy environment for good bacteria in the gut, your immune system is also going to get a boost, better preparing it to fight off illnesses. Lastly, balsamic vinegar can also influence the activity of pepsin, an enzyme that helps with the breakdown of protein so it can be absorbed by the body easier.

4. Weight Loss Aid

Representing an industry that generates over $60 billion annually in the United States alone, weight loss is a popular topic of discussion. Vinegars have long been known for their weight loss properties, and balsamic vinegar offers its own unique benefits as well. The range of probiotic compounds present in balsamic vinegar can actually help with the feeling of fullness, preventing the urge to overeat at lunch or indulge in a late night snack.

It’s also worth mentioning that balsamic vinegar gives you the freedom to add more flavor to your meals without the use of high-calorie, unhealthy alternatives such as butter, mayonnaise, and animal fats. Experiment with different cuisines and dishes to find exciting ways to incorporate it into your meals and help you reach your weight loss goals.

Shop our variety of balsamic vinegars online today.

The True Story of Our Olive Oil

Here at D’Olivo, we believe in bringing our customers the best olive oils from around the world. As experts in the field with years of experience, not only do we enjoy spreading the many health benefits of olive oil, but we also like to share with customers exactly how our olive oil is made. In this article, we’re going to take you through the amazing journey our olive oils embark on before they reach our store, and, ultimately, your kitchen.

How Olive Oil is Made

Olive oil has been around for thousands of years, originating in the Mediterranean region where the exquisite flavors and beneficial properties of the olive fruit were first realized. Now having spread to nearly every country in the world, olive oils come in an impressive range of varieties that offer unique characteristics depending on where they were grown and the processes farmers to use to harvest and produce the oil.

Part of what makes olive oil so special is the tree itself, which can take anywhere from 3-10 years to begin producing harvest worthy olives (as decided by each individual grower). Due to varying growing conditions and the time at which growers decide to harvest, different flavor profiles will be present which help add to the exciting experience of tasting different oils from around the world.

In addition to the maturity of the olive tree itself, growers must carefully tend to them to ensure each tree grows to yield the maximum amount of fruit. Believe it or not, it can take as much as 10 pounds of olives to produce just one liter of olive oil! Once the olives have grown, they must be harvested at just the right time (usually within 2-3 weeks of their prime) to maintain the most flavor and nutrient density.

If olives are harvested too early or too late, many of the beneficial properties will begin to diminish, as well as the robust flavor profiles. For this reason, at D’Olivo, we source all of our olive oil from Veronica Foods. Their world-class production process and unrivaled quality control adhere to strict guidelines and regular testing to ensure customers get nothing but the finest, highest quality product. By growing their own olives and working with mills that have the same passion about olive oil, they’re able to guarantee an ultra premium consistency.

Once the olives are ripe for harvesting, growers have the option of either handpicking or using a machine to shake them down from the trees. Similar to softer fruits, care needs to be taken when it’s time to harvest because bruising the olives can cause the loss of beneficial properties by triggering oxidation and fermentation. This is why with certain brands of olive oil, the bottles will be labeled as either “tree” or “ground” depending on whether or not the olives used to make the oil were found at the base of the tree.

After harvesting, the olives are then carefully washed and prepared for crushing by removing the stem and leaves. This part of the process is what determines if olive oil is extra virgin or not. For it to be considered extra virgin, the olives must be crushed via mechanical means rather than chemicals and heat that serve to refine the extracted oil. Much like fresh fruit juice, once the olive oil has been crushed, it’s typically run through a centrifuge to separate water and sentiment from the oil before bottling.

For olive oil to be considered “extra virgin”, not only does it need to have an acidity level of 0.8 or below, but it then must go through a series of chemical requirements and tests as set forth by organizations such as the North American Olive Oil Association (NAOOA), International Olive Council (IOC), and even regional governing bodies to name a few. Only after passing this rigorous testing phase can olive oil be deemed extra virgin.

Once the oil is bottled, it then gets shipped following further requirements to ensure it maintains its taste and nutrients. Because extra virgin olive oil is so fresh, the different flavors from region to region really stand out and serve as one of the reasons olive oil tasting is so exciting!

What is Ultra Premium Olive Oil?

The ultra premium category was created to distinguish the highest quality olive oils in the world from the increasing amount of fake olive oil that is flooding markets in nearly every country. It’s been the lack of testing and regulation by agencies and government bodies around the world have only helped to increase the number of fake olive oils that are available. In fact, some sources believe it’s safe to assume that as much as 80% of the Italian olive oil available is fake, having been bottled and sold as authentic extra virgin olive oil to foreign markets, the United States included.

The ultra premium olive oil that we source from Veronica Foods focuses on the when, what, and how of olive oil rather than the where. Understanding that the highest quality olive oil comes from the highest quality fruit and production processes, Veronica Foods puts all of their olive oil through an intensive inspection that encompasses both the production process and the end-product to ensure it adheres to the ultra premium standards they’ve set forth.

Our D’Olivo Passion

At D’Olivo, we strive and work to overcome the negative spotlight that has been placed on the olive oil industry in recent years by faulty organizations and incorrect labeling. As such, we are proud to be the exclusive carriers of Veronica Foods olive oil in the Walla Walla area. Having been founded in 1924, Veronica Foods has since become world-renowned for producing some of the highest quality olive oil found anywhere from their olive grove and hand selected mills that meet their ultra premium standards. It’s their impeccable attention to detail and rigorous testing standards that set them apart so they can further spread the benefits of authentic extra virgin and ultra premium olive oils.