California won 62 quality awards at the 2021 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition. Of California’s 350 types of annual crop, olive oil is up there with the healthiest and most delicious.
90% of California’s olive producers are members of the California Olive Oil Council (COOC). The fertile soils and subtropical climate of California help them grow premium olives.
Olive oils from Europe and the Atlas mountains in Morocco fill our shelves. But California olive oil deserves pride of place in your kitchen.
You might ask, how does it compare with other types? What varieties of California olive oil can you buy? And where does California grow its olives anyway?
We have a guide that tells you all you need to know. Read on to learn all about California olive oil.
1. Is California Olive Oil Any Good?
Californian farms produce extra virgin olive oil in small batches. The USA olive oil industry is not as focused on mass production as other countries.
This means farmers can attend to all of their olive trees. They remove any defective fruits. They ensure only the best olives make it into their extra virgin olive oils.
California’s fertile soil and dry, subtropical climate is perfect for olive growing. All the goodness of California’s nature amplifies the flavor of California olive oil.
Most California olive oil is extra virgin. It is cold-pressed. It is not refined. All its goodness remains intact. Raw olives have a stack of health benefits. By choosing extra virgin, you ensure these get to your food.
2. What Are Its Health Benefits?
Like most high-quality olive oils, California olive oil helps to keep us healthy. It is rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. It has an abundance of oleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid that helps reduce cholesterol.
Vitamin E is amazing for our skin, and California olive oil has heaps of it. It has high levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL). This helps lower levels of unhealthy low-density lipoprotein (LDL).
Inflammation is rife in our fast-paced society. Olive oil is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory foods out there. Its antioxidant properties help reduce oxidative stress in our bodies.
3. Where Does California Grow Olive Oil?
California has produced olive oil since the 20th century. Overseas olive oil brands then took large segments of the USA olive oil market. But since the 1990s, the California olive oil industry has boomed.
There are now over 45 olive oil farms in California, growing 75 varieties of California olives. They produce some of the freshest, highest quality olive oil in the World.
The main olive regions of California are the Sacramento Valley, the Bay Area, the North Coast, the Central Coast and Valley, LA, and the Inland Empire.
The climate of California is akin to regions like the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Nestled in the foothills of the Atlas, Moroccan olive oil is among the best in the world. California olive oil equals this quality.
California produces 99 percent of all olive oil in the USA.
4. When Is California’s Olive Harvest?
To make sure you get the freshest California olive oil, try to buy it at the time of harvest. In California, this runs from late autumn to winter. By this time, most olives are at peak ripeness and bursting with flavor.
Freshness and flavor are California’s olive oil priorities. Farmers pick their fruit and move it to their mills at lightning speed. They soak their olives in water, pick out the stems and leaves.
They then cold-press them to extract the olive oil. From there, they bottle the oil up, ready for shipment from their farms to your kitchen.
5. Why Is California Olive Oil a Premium Choice?
Lisa Pollack, California Olive Oil Council, admires the “range of oils and trademark blends that are unique to California.” This epitomizes the California olive oil industry. All tastes are satisfied. Farmers strive to produce the best.
You get what you pay for in our society; olive oil is no exception. There are cheaper olive oils available. But California olive oil is USA-grown. It is high-quality olive oil made by farmers who pride themselves on their trade.
When you open your California olive oil, you know it skipped the journey around the planet. It skipped those rough seas and pressurized cabins. You know it came from America’s most fertile soil.
When you drizzle it on your meal, you know it will be delicious, nutritious, and natural.
6. How to Use California Olive Oil
You can enjoy California olive oil as part of a diverse, healthy diet. This heart-healthy oil is amazing on salads, over meats, or with slices of bread. Here are some of our favorite flavor combinations.
Marinate fresh meat and vegetables in an olive oil dressing. Mix with garlic, oregano, or cilantro for a herby explosion of flavor.
Drizzle your olive oil over grilled meat and fish for a buttery finish.
Jazz up your salad with a fine blend of California olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Use California olive oil to bake fresh bread for a rich, heart-healthy loaf packed with flavor.
7. What Are the Best Types of California Olive Oil?
California’s olive oil industry produces 75 types of olive oil. Their flavors are unique, and once you try them, you may never again buy overseas olive oil.
Our favorite varieties of California olive oil are Frantoio Leccino and Arbequina Arbosana. Cibaria International sells these olive oils in bulk. Jazz up your kitchen with the flavors of California.
Frantoio Leccino pairs Frantoio and Leccino olives. Frantoio has intense fruity notes and gentle bitterness. It has a peppery finish that lifts your palette.
Leccino olives are smooth, rich, and a little sweet. The two complement each other perfectly.
Frantoio Leccino is delicious over fish, meat, and roast vegetable dishes. Its balanced flavor profile works well with crispbreads and fresh pasta.
Arbequina Arbosana blend combines Arbequina and Arbosana olives. These team up to give you a complex flavor profile. Arbequina has the aromas of apple and banana. Arbosana has the aromas of artichoke and tomato.
These two varieties team up to give you buttery, fruity flavors. Arbequina Arbosana is perfect on toast. It works well with balsamic vinegar. It is delicious drizzled over a salad.
Looking to Buy the Best California Olive Oil?
We hope you enjoyed our guide to California olive oil. It is one of the best olive oils you can buy, and farmers home-produce it here in the USA.
At Cibaria International, we sell premium California olive oil in bulk. It will amplify the finest flavors of your kitchen, and we only stock the best.
Get in touch for a bulk quote today.