All extra-virgin olive oils are basically the same. Just because the bottle reads "extra virgin" does not mean that the oil is made from quality olives, or that the olives used weren't bruised, oxidized, olive fly-infested, or overripe. In fact, it is possible for an olive oil to be made from low quality olives but still achieve the "extra virgin" requirements through chemical processing. However, these oils will always be found out by their oily, fatty, bruised apple-like taste and their processed aroma. Every single one of Lucini's olives is hand-picked and pressed within 24 hours to ensure a remarkably low acidity level (0.225%). Our "extra virgin" is a characteristic of nature, not of chemicals. A single taste of our oil will demonstrate all the hard work, dedication, and care that goes into making it.
You shouldn't use high quality extra virgin olive oil for cooking. Many think that "gourmet" olive oil should be reserved for use as a sauce or on its own, and should not be used to cook. This is simply not true. In fact, because of its balanced flavor, Lucini enhances the taste of anything from grilled vegetables and chicken to pasta dishes, salads, any main course, cookies and cakes.
"Cold-pressed" extra virgin olive oil is the best kind available. This is true, but not the whole story. Some people look for the term "cold-pressed" on extra virgin olive oil labels to determine the quality of the oil. In fact, "cold-pressed" actually refers to the process used by all extra virgin olive oil makers. It is the universal method by which oil is squeezed from the meat of the olive fruit. It can be done carefully or sloppily, on farms or in factories, to perfect or to overripe olives. Lucini ensures that our oil is gleaned only from the first cold-pressing, and that it is done meticulously, gently, and delicately. We maintain strict temperatures during extraction of never more than 30o centigrade. An olive oil cannot be "extra virgin" without being "cold-pressed," and it can't be Premium Select without being Lucini.
An olive is an olive is an olive... Just as with any fruit, a number of things can affect the quality of the olive. Where it's grown, the way it's cared for, the way it's harvested, and so forth. Lucini olives come from central Italian hillside estates, where olive trees have been growing for generations. Here, the centuries-old rootstock is best able to draw nutrients from the soil, yielding a better fruit. These highland micro-climates consistently produce the finest quality olives in the world. Lucini knows that unless you start with the best olives, your extra virgin olive oil will never come close to Premium Select.
Olive oil is fattening. Perhaps the greatest myth about extra virgin olive oil is that it is unhealthy or fattening. An essential part of the Mediterranean diet, it is, in fact, neither of these things. On the contrary, extra virgin olive oil contains high levels of the energy-producing monounsaturated fatty acids, but extremely low levels of the fat-producing polyunsaturated fatty acids. In plain English, this means that extra virgin olive oil is a healthy addition to anyone's diet. It has even been shown to stimulate bone growth and cell rejuvenation, and to help control cholesterol levels and prevent cardio-vascular problems.