By Marilyn Campbell,
California is striking oil — olive oil that is. Revelations about the health benefits of olive oil have led to a steady increase in American olive oil consumption. According to the California Olive Oil Council, sales of U.S. produced olive oil has increased 20 percent each year for the last five years. Much of our domestic olive oil comes from the Golden State.
As olive oil is becoming more widely used, the number of artisan olive oil producers has risen, particularly in wine country. These world-class olive oil producers adhere to strict standards set by COOC to earn a prestigious certification guaranteeing that they are 100 percent California extra virgin olive oil.
Whether drizzled on tomatoes or used for sautéing, top quality olive oil in a variety of flavors is in great demand. To keep the pace, artisan olive oil producers are churning out highly refined specialty olive oil — with flavors as exotic as basil and blood orange — at increasing rates.
With so many choices on the market, navigating your way thought the maze of oil can be tricky. The COOC recommends taking a close look at the label on the bottle.
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