Olive oil has a distinguished history, dating back to the beginning of civilization. One finds references to olive oil in the Bible; it was even used as currency in some ancient societies. In California, the earliest European settlers planted olive trees and many of California's Missions still maintain these thriving trees. A few Missions even continue to produce oil.
If you've ever had the opportunity (misfortune, some would say) to taste a just-picked olive, it would be overwhelmingly bitter. This unpleasant flavor makes an uncured olive basically inedible. It remains a mystery how someone in ancient times figured out that olives could be cured and made into something delicious, or how they could be pressed to create olive oil.
Many centuries later, at Figueroa Farms, we make our international and national award winning olive oils with state of the art equipment. Our olives are harvested by hand and brought to our mill immediately, where they are crushed without delay, using a "cold extraction" method. We take the utmost care to ensure that we produce the best possible extra virgin olive oil. We store the oil in stainless steel tanks and package it in dark glass bottles for optimal preservation. To find out more about our process, visit the olive mill section of our website.
There is no legal definition of the term extra virgin olive oil in the United States, and unfortunately several producers, both foreign and domestic, misuse this phrase and sell inferior oil labeled as extra virgin. In addition, a lot of the terms and descriptions used on labels can be very confusing, even misleading. In order to address this problem, the California Olive Oil Council (COOC) has developed an Extra Virgin Certification Program and requires its members to submit oil samples to be tested before the oil can be sold as extra virgin. We applaud this program, and you will find the COOC's certification seal on all Figueroa Farms California extra virgin olive oils. Additionally, we donate 5¢ for each bottle sold to support the COOC's efforts towards truth in labeling for all olive oil, domestic and imported, sold in the U.S.