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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to most common questions. Can't find an answer? Contact us today!

What is extra virgin olive oil?

Extra virgin olive oil is olive fruit juice! It is the unrefined, pressed juice of selected olives. This juice must meet chemical analysis requirements to be labeled extra virgin.

What is balsamic vinegar?

In Italy, there are strict regulations to differentiate between TRADITIONAL BALSAMIC VINEGAR and the commercially made, inferior product. Sweet Trebbiano white grapes produced in and around the area of Reggio Emilia and Modena, Italy form the base of the world’s only true balsamic vinegar. The grapes ripen on the vine for as long as possible to develop their sugar. The juice, or “must,” is pressed out of the grapes and cooked in copper kettles.  Balsamic vinegar is aged in the “solera” style method in the attics of vintners where acetic fermentation begins from naturally present bacteria. The vinegar slowly oxidizes and is reduced naturally over time. The vinegar is transferred into progressively smaller barrels each year. The vintner will blend each year’s production to create a complex balsamic. You will notice that our vinegar has the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity from the grapes and complexity from the wood the vinegar is aged in. 

What's the difference between white and dark balsamic vinegar?

Both our white and dark balsamics are produced from the same grape (surprise!), the white Trebbiano variety. The difference lies in the production method. Our dark balsamic is created by slowly cooking the grape juice in copper kettles over an open wood fire. The rich, sweet flavor comes when the cooked grape juice (also know as “must”) becomes caramelized. The grape must is then aged in wooden casks stored in attics for fermentation while incorporating the Solera method. With the Solera method, as a portion of the vinegar evaporates, each barrel is topped off with younger vinegar from the previous barrel so each year the new must is blended with the one from the previous year. The result of this aging process, which takes up to 18 years, is a delicious, complex, all-natural balsamic vinegar with no added sugar, thickening agents, or caramel coloring. 100% pure and 100% delicious!

Our white balsamic vinegar process also involves the cooking of Trebbiano grapes, but not to the point of caramelization. They are aged in either new wood barrels or stainless steel vats for up to 12 years. This makes our white balsamic more tart or tangy, yet equally pure and delicious.

Can you cook with olive oil?

Absolutely! The fresher the extra virgin, the higher the smoke point. You can sauté, grill, bake and fry in extra virgin! Just be careful not to smoke the oil and always work with the oil under controlled heat.

How do you refill your bottles?

Refills are available in-store only. Bottles must be clean and completely dry for us to refill your bottles. We suggest washing your bottles upside-down in a dishwasher and then allowing them to drip dry, stopper removed; bottles are also easily cleaned by running hot, soapy water through the bottles until the water runs clear, and then allowing them to dry completely. We can reuse your clean stoppers or provide you with a new cork and we will relabel your bottles; refills do not have to be the originally purchased flavor. Per state food laws, we do not reuse any bottles for regularly sold products and are only able to reuse bottles for customers requesting refills with their previously purchased (clean/dry) bottles.

How do I receive coupons or promotions?

Sign up for our email newsletter or VIP texting list to receive exclusive free shipping promotions, coupons, and many other discounts on our website. Also, please note that only ONE discount code can be applied per order. Discount codes cannot be combined.

Where do your oils come from?

From all over the world! We are proud to “follow the crush” and to carry the freshest extra virgin olive oils available!  We change our line-up of delicate to robust oils every 6-8 months and feature oils from South America, Australia, Europe and California. Our infused oils are imported and infused in California. Our butternut squash seed and delicata squash seed oils are from Geneva, New York!

Is your extra virgin olive oil first cold pressed?

Our extra virgin olive oils are produced using the modern technology of centrifuges to separate olive pulp, water and oil. Traditionally, olive mass was first pressed through fiber mats (first cold press) and then subsequently heated water was introduced for further extraction on the same mass (second press). Today, centrifuges provide an oxygen deprived environment for quick, single step extraction preserving the freshness of the fruit.

Are your oils unfiltered?

Yes, sediment is removed through gentle decantation of the oil.

What is the shelf life of olive, nut, seed and truffle oil?

All of our oils are unrefined and are therefore best consumed as close to the crush/production dates as possible. If stored properly, our oils will hold their fresh flavor for 9-12 months. Over time, the oils will gradually lose their fresh flavor and their polyphenols (antioxidants) and vitamins will decrease.  Do not wait, enjoy your oils now!

What is the best way to store oil?

In a cool, dark place. Extra virgin olive oil’s biggest enemies are heat and light. Do not keep your oils too close to a heat source and never trust an olive oil in a clear container!

I had an extra virgin that I loved, but I can’t find it on the website. Will you carry it again?

Every 6-8 months we sample the newly harvested oils from different countries.  We then decide which oils we will choose to complete our line-up of delicate to robust options.  Every year the productions offer us new surprises.  Our staff is well trained to suggest to you an oil that is reflective of the style of extra virgin that pleases you.

What is the shelf life of balsamic vinegar?

Forever.  It has already “gone bad”!

What do I do with these packaging peanuts?

The packing peanuts are biodegradable, so if you were to spray them with a hose, or put them in a sink, they will dissolve instantly. It's a fun activity to do with your kiddos!

If I order today, when will my package arrive?

Once your package ships you can expect your order to arrive in about 2-5 business days. However, around the holidays, due to the influx of orders, please expect a time delay. It is best to get your holiday orders in as soon in advance of the actual holiday as possible to ensure that your package arrives on time.

I spent $100 or more, why am I not receiving Free Shipping?

$100.00 or more must be spent per recipient/address destination after any coupons or discounts are applied in order to get free standard shipping to that destination. We are not able to offer free shipping to recipients in Alaska, Hawaii, or any other International addresses.

Can I send different items to multiple addresses in one order?

We currently are not offering the option to send to multiple locations from a single order. We appologize for any inconveniences.

Can I redeem a gift card online?

Yes. On the back of the gift card you will find a  card number which may be entered in the discount code option during check-out.

How far in advance to my event should I place my favor (60ml bottle) order?

If you are ordering decorated bottles we suggest allowing us 6 weeks to order and prepare your favors.  If you are ordering undecorated favors, 4 weeks allows us plenty of time to stock and prepare the product that you choose.

How does your butter oil get such an amazing buttery flavor?

It’s a secret! It is an all natural vegetable extract.

What is the ratio of vinegar to oil for a dressing?

We suggest 1 part vinegar to 2 parts oil, but the ratio is up to your taste!

Can I substitute oil for butter in a recipe?

Absolutely.  Our butter infused olive oil is a wonderful, healthy alternative to butter in baking.  1 teaspoon of butter = 3/4 teaspoon of olive oil.

Do you offer organic products?

Yes, we do offer organic balsamic vinegar and organic varietal extra virgins. Our organic oil offerings change based on the seasons. We do find that many of our small producers may be using organic methods, but do not go through the arduous task of getting USDA certification.

Is nutritional information available for your products?

Nutritional information is available on our website by clicking on the product and then opening the “Ingredient Information” tab next to the bottom window called “Product Description”.

Are your products kosher?

All of our olive oils: fused, infused and varietals are kosher. Here is the link to our Kosher certification.

What does all the technical language on the EVOO pages mean?

The terminology refers to the chemical analysis of our extra virgin olive oils.

FFAs (Free Fatty Acids) are formed due to breakdown of the triacylglycerols in oils during extraction. An elevated level of FFA can indicate poor quality or mishandled fruit, too much time between harvesting and extraction, poor storage and/or high temperature during extraction.

PVs (Peroxide Values) are primary oxidation products that are formed when oils are exposed to oxygen, causing defective flavors and odors. Higher peroxide levels indicate oxidized and/or poor quality oil.

Oleic (Oleic Acid) is a major fatty acid in olive oil triacylglycerols, making up 55% to 85% of olive oil. Higher Oleic Acid values translates to increased durability and shelf-life.

Bio-Phenols are considered to be one of the best health benefits within olive oil. They have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which help protect the body and its functions.

DAGs (diacylglycerols) are lipid compounds found in all olive oil. The DAG test measures the ratio of 1,2-diacylglycerols to total diacylglycerols. Fresh olive oil has a much higher proportion of 1,2-diacylglycerols to total diacylglycerols. This is a useful indicator of fruit quality and olive oil freshness. Low values can indicate oxidized oil and sensory defects.

What's the smoke point of olive oil? and can I use it for sautéing, searing, or frying foods?

Smoke Point is also known as “burning point” or the point at which your oil stops shimmering and smoke forms. It is a signal that your oil is breaking down.

When oils break down, they can release chemicals that give food an undesirable burnt or bitter flavor, as well as free radicals that can harm your body. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is commonly listed as having a smoke point of 325- 375 F; however, according to the North American Olive Oil Association, Extra Virgin Olive Oil’s smoke point range is actually 350⁰F - 410⁰F.

The smoke point is directly related to the Free Fatty Acid (FFA) in the oil. The FFA for extra virgin olive oil can range anywhere from very low, about 0.2%, up to the international standard limit of 0.8%. The lower the FFA the higher the smoke point.

Since the average stovetop cooking temperature is about 350⁰F, cooking with olive oil is a safe and healthy choice. At Saratoga Olive Oil, we carry only the freshest oils with very low FFAs.

How can I make a thick balsamic reduction?

Just add the desired amount of balsamic vinegar (Saratoga Olive Oil balsamic, of course!) in a small sauce pan, approximately 1 cup for a pork tenderloin. Put on your stovetop and bring to a boil over low heat and then reduce heat to a simmer for 10-15 minutes. The amount that you end up with is about ½ of what you start with and it will thicken slightly as it cools.

As an added extra treat, try our Denissimo Balsamic. This balsamic is naturally a bit thicker due to the longer aging process in a series of five different casks of mulberry, ash, oak, juniper, and cherry wood. The result is a dense and complex flavor which includes notes of dried fruits, hints of dark chocolate and malt.

I recently received my online order, and noticed that my beloved Baklouti Green Chili Olive Oil was cloudy. Should I be concerned?

We receive many phone calls and emails about this commonly occurring situation. The short answer is, “Your olive oil is perfectly fine to use”. The longer answer is your oil’s cloudy appearance can occur for a couple of reasons. Your Baklouti Green Chili is a fused olive oil. Fused oils are produced by crushing the olives and the fruit, peppers or herbs together at the same time. The cloudiness is a natural result of this process as small particles of olive skin and fruit, pepper or herbs as well as healthy enzymes can appear in your oil. This sediment may look ominous, but it is what gives your olive oil the irresistible flavor that you love. Since our oil is made in batches, one bottle may have more olive sediment than another so one bottle may appear perfectly clear depending on when the oil was decanted in the batch. This can occur in both our fused as well as infused oils.

Are your products Nut Allergy friendly?

While none of our products contain any nut products, they are manufactured in a facility that also handles tree nuts.