Making of Olive Oil

Olive oil is one of nature’s perfect foods—pure, simple and essentially the same since ancient times. It is not a vegetable oil, but rather a fruit oil. Pompeian Olive Oil is pressed from the sun-ripened fruit of Mediterranean olive groves.

The character of any olive oil you buy depends upon many factors—the variety of olives used to make it, as well as the soil, climate and seasonal weather conditions at the groves in which the olives were grown. Throughout the summer, the fruit of the olive is kissed by the sun and ripens from green to reddish violet to black. At harvesting, which usually occurs from November to March, selection of the finest olives leads to excellent oils. It takes about 11 pounds of olives to make one liter of oil. The average tree yields enough olives to produce three to four liters per year.

The first cold pressing yields the flavorful Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Freshly picked olives are taken to a mill, where huge stone wheels grind the olive flesh and pits into a smooth, homogenous paste. The olive paste is then spread on flat disks, which are stacked for hydraulic pressing. The compressed “cake” of olive paste releases a mixture of oil and water. The olive paste cake is pressed repeatedly to extract all remaining olive oil.

Water is removed by centrifugal force, yielding pure, all-natural olive oil—the “first cold pressing.” Because this oil is of the highest quality, it is enhanced only by filtering to remove unwanted particles of olive flesh or pit.

This first cold pressing must have an acidity of less than .08‰ and meet strict quality standards to bear the label Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It is an olive oil with a rich, natural bouquet and the full, fruity flavor of the olive itself. To please a variety of palates—from gourmet to everyday—and serve different culinary uses, Pompeian also produces Classic Pure Olive Oil and Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil. At Pompeian, our century of experience with olive oils that are 100% pure, natural and organic helps us achieve consistent taste and quality. We continuously monitor and adjust our olive oils until they are a perfect balance of flavor, color, bouquet and clarity.