About our Oil and Vinegar

Extra Virgin Olive Oil:

What is EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)?

Olive oil is actually a fruit juice, made from pressing or mashing olives, in a manner similar to how wine is made from crushed grapes.

According to the International Olive Oil Council, extra virgin olive oil – or EVOO – is the highest quality of four types of oils:

  • Pure: A blend of refined and virgin production oil.
  • Light: A blend of pumice olive oil extracted from the fruit using heat and chemicals.
  • Virgin: No chemicals used when extracting the oil from the fruit.
  • Extra Virgin: Virgin Oil that has gone through several tests that confirm its taste and to verify that it is free of chemicals and defect.

To be classified as high quality EVOO, the product must be made mechanically – on an olive press – without the use of chemicals or excessive heat (cold-pressed). And it must also meet strict chemical analysis and organoleptic standards. (Organoleptic refers to quality of taste, colour, odour and feel.)

The olives from our California-based supplier are all handpicked when they are just slightly under ripe, when the antioxidants in the fruit are at their highest levels. Then, they are cold pressed at 69 degrees Fahrenheit within two to four hours of being harvested from the tree. 

There are a series of health benefits that accrue from regular consumption of olive oil. These include but are not limited to healthier skin, clearer arteries, higher consumption of antioxidants to fight free radicals, prevention of heart disease and strokes and they even posses anti-inflammatory properties.

How does our store fit in?

  • We always carry 3 “unflavoured” Ultra-Premium (UP Certified) EVOOs
  • Mild, Medium or Robust Intensity
  • All are bursting with naturally herbaceous and fruity notes, different levels of complexity, mouth feel and spiciness, depending on your taste buds.
  • Signature Oil & Vinegar’s entire inventory is completely switched twice annually, in accordance with product availability relating to regional harvesting times. In the winter, for example, our supplies come from the Northern Hemisphere, including California, Italy and Spain. In early summer, we switch to products from the Southern Hemisphere, including Australia, Argentina and Chile.
  • We allow sampling of all olive oil and balsamic vinegar products to ensure you can find a flavor right for you!

What is Balsamic Vinegar?

Our natural, additive-free balsamic vinegars are are made from pressed grapes that are fermented in copper pots before they are boiled down and then stored in barrels for 12-to-18 years. The longer they are left to ferment, the more intense the flavour becomes and the thicker it gets. In store we have both white and dark balsamic vinegar, while dark balsamic tends to be sweeter whereas white balsamic is more tart than its counterpart.

Historically, vinegars have been used for their astringent and disinfectant properties, as well as being used as a flavouring and preservative in prepared food. Balsamic vinegar, however, has a wealth of benefits beyond those early uses of vinegar.

The health benefits of balsamic vinegar are expansive because they contain antioxidants, as well as Iron, Potassium and Manganese and are low in calories and sugar. A single tablespoon serving has only about 5-to-15 calories, contains a negligible amount of fat, and less than three grams of carbohydrates. Researchers have also discovered that balsamic vinegars can help to reduce hardening of the arteries, aid the absorption of minerals for better bone health, improve insulin sensitivity, as well as stabilize blood pressure and cholesterol levels.