Frequently Asked Questions

All About Little Angel

Can I eat too much Little Angel olive oil?

We would sure like to think that the answer to this one is no!  The fact is that any olive oil, including Little Angel, is not a treatment that will offset poor eating habits and lack of exercise. Drenching a dinner of hamburgers and fries in olive oil would likely not be recommended by most nutritionists or doctors.

In most Mediterranean diets, fats constitute up to 30-40 percent of calories. So, if you are a small women consuming 2200 calories a day and 30% of your consumption was fat, you would get about 660 calories from fat. If all of the fat in your diet was from Little Angel olive oil (none of the foods contained fat to begin with) then you would be adding about 5 tablespoons of Little Angel olive oil each day.

In other words, you can eat too much of anything. The good news is Little Angel Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a healthy choice for you – even if you eat a little too much.

How many olives does it take to make one bottle of Little Angel olive oil?

The yield of olive oil from olives varies by variety and the conditions at harvest time. The yield for Little Angel is around 35 gallons per ton. This comes out to about 7.6 pounds of olives to make one 500 ml bottle of Little Angel Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil®.

OK, so can I use Little Angel olive oil to replace butter and margarine in my recipes?

Absolutely! Olive Oil can be used in place of butter or margarine in any recipe, such as on vegetables, rice, potatoes, in baking, on toast, just about anything!

Margarine/Butter to Little Angel Olive Oil Conversion Chart

butter/margarine             =       Little Angel olive oil
1 teaspoon             =       3/4 teaspoon
1 tablespoon             =       2 1/4 teaspoon
2 tablespoons             =       1 1/2 tablespoons
1/4 cup             =       3 tablespoons
1/3 cup             =       1/4 cup
1/2 cup =        1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
2/3 cup =        1/2 cup
3/4 cup =        1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon
1 cup =        3/4 cup
What are the benefits of the “Mediterranean Diet” Little Angel talks about so much?

Olive oil is an integral part of the Mediterranean diet which is characterized by sensible, flavorful portions and slower, more enjoyable eating. People who follow a Mediterranean cuisine have been shown to receive a truly remarkable variety of health benefits. Olive oil can quickly satisfy hunger and lead to fewer total calories ingested at mealtime. Even better, studies suggest that olive oil decreases rates of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

It is unclear if any single component of olive oil is responsible for these health benefits, or if it is a combination of olive oil and a diet high in vegetables, fruit and fish. Extra virgin olive oil is one of the few oils that can be eaten without chemical processing. Nearly every other vegetable oil has been detoxified and refined with steam and solvents. Fresh pressed olive oil, like Little Angel Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil® can be consumed immediately and retains all the natural and healthful flavors, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants of the ripe olive fruit from which it is made. Most doctors advocate lowering total fat and calories in your diet, and substituting butter, margarine and tropical oils with healthy fats like olive oil. So, this Mediterranean thing is our way of sharing health and life with you!

What does the term “First Cold Pressed mean on a bottle of Little Angel Greek EVOO?

Years ago the olive oil was actually “pressed” from the paste and the first pressing was said to be the best. Cold pressed refers to the temperatures during the extraction process. Today, these terms are used by producers on labeling to reaffirm that extra virgin olive oil is an unrefined, natural product that has undergone very little processing and will, therefore, retain its nutritional value. The paste used to make Little Angel is carefully warmed to a specific temperature for quality purposes. Under European Union regulation, our miller must certify that the milling temperature was kept under 27°C /80°F at all times as this control is deemed crucial to the quality of the olive oil. When higher temperatures (higher than 27°C / 80°F) are applied, the more volatile aromas are lost and the rate of oil oxidation is increased as such producing a lower quality oil. In addition, the health-giving content of the polyphenols, antioxidants, and vitamins present in the oil is reduced by higher temperatures. Little Angel cost more to make but the results are worth it to us. We think you’ll agree once you try it in your favorite dish!

What is the shelf life for Little Angel Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

Shelf life for all olive oil is a variable that depend on the olive variety used, the ripeness of the olives when pressed, the care taken in processing, filtering, and bottling. It also depends on how it is stored after it arrives to you and the bottle is opened, so it’s hard for us to “guarantee” a specific lifespan. The back label of all Little Angel bottles shows the harvest date which will always be around November of each year. We transport and bottle immediately after harvest and ship by the end of December. So our oil, if cared for, should retain its freshness for up to 2 years after the harvest date shown on the bottle. We recommend that Little Angel should be consumed within 8 to 10 weeks after opened. The fresher the olive oil, the more polyphenols and nutrients present and the healthier you become!

Unlike wine, Unlike wine, extra virgin olive oil does NOT improve with age. As any olive oil gets older, it gradually breaks down, the acidity level begins to rise, and the flavor weakens. Extra virgin olive oil keeps better because it starts with a low acidity level. Little Angel Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil® should ideally be consumed within 18-24 months of the harvest date shown on our label.

What makes a good EVOO like Little Angel better than an inexpensive, ordinary olive oil?

A truly good extra virgin olive oil has vitality and character; it is alive – much like a good wine. It bears the aromas of the fresh vegetal world. In your mouth, the flavors blossom and then linger. In contrast, poor olive oils are a boring, inert experience – no smell, little to no flavor, and often a distinctly oily texture. If they are old, there may even be a slight but persistent rancid smell and flavor, like old peanuts or old oil paints.

An easy way to understand for yourself, is to compare two or more olive oils of different prices and qualities, side by side.

We have a great page on the Little Angel website all about how to taste olive oil.

Click here and check it out…

Why does Little Angel olive oil taste bitter?

If you really want to taste bitter, just taste a fresh olive picked right off a tree! Olives are bitter – and so is good olive oil. Bitterness, along with pungency and vegetal/fruit flavors are considered positive attributes in extra virgin olive oils, particularly when they are well balanced. It’s the good stuff – the polyphenols that make the olive bitter. When the oil is separated from the paste, the bitter substances are left behind in the fruit water and pulp

Extra virgin olive oils contain the flavors of the olive fruit (as we said above, tasting a raw olive is one of those experiences you would likely hope to never to repeat). Professional tasters often classify extra virgin olive oils as ‘one-cough, two-cough or three-cough’ oils. The good news is that oils like this make for amazing and flavorful condiments and ingredients. The strong flavors in Little Angel Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil® are evidence of a healthy amount of antioxidants and other healthy things. When an oil does not have these strong flavors, it is almost devoid of any antioxidants. These strong flavors are very good for your health and so is Little Angel!

Why is Little Angel Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a dark bottle?

It is really a matter of quality for both of us. Our dark glass protects the olive oil from the deteriorating effect of light. When you think about it, many health products are packaged in brown bottles or expensive dark green bottles like wine. Even the classic milk bottle has been retired in favor of an opaque carton. A few weeks of light exposure will accelerate the aging of olive oil if it is not protected. It is also a good idea to store your oil in a (dark, cool) cabinet rather than on the (bright, warm) counter top, to slow its aging. Little Angel olive oil is packaged to be protected so the freshness and healthful benefits will last.

All About Olives and Olive Oil

Are olives a vegetable or a fruit?

The term fruit can refer to any product of plant growth useful to humans or animals. However, the more specific definition is the “edible part of a plant developed from a flower, along with any accessory tissues”. Using this more specific definition, all fruits can be considered vegetables but not all vegetables can be considered fruit. Olives, plums, tomatoes, artichokes and cucumbers are fruit. Lettuce, potatoes, celery and beets are not reproductive parts of the plant developed from flowers so are considered vegetables. Interesting.

Can olive oil really prevent heart attacks?

Recent studies have looked at the fundamental process behind heart attacks – the development of blood clots which block the coronary arteries. Several studies in Mediterranean countries have shown that the incidence of heart disease is lower than would be expected by blood cholesterol levels. So, many conclude that this anomaly can be explained by the high amount of olive oil in the diet in this region. But what is it about olive oil that could serve to lower the incidence of heart attack?

Researchers at the Centre for Advanced Food Studies, The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Frederiksberg, Denmark decided to see if it was due to olive oil affecting the blood’s basic ability to form clots. Less effective clotting could mean a lower risk of heart attack. They compared the effects of virgin olive oil with those of rapeseed and sunflower oils on blood coagulation factor VII, which is a key factor in blood clot formation. Eighteen healthy young men were put on a diet enriched with olive oil, sunflower oil, or canola oil for a period of 3 weeks. Levels of Factor VII were significantly lower in those men who consumed olive oil compared to both the sunflower or canola oil. The study’s conclusion was that olive oil may lower the pro coagulant tendency of meals high in fats which could serve to contribute to a lower incidence of heart attacks in Mediterranean countries. Regardless, it’s a pretty tasty way to get healthier!

I heard olive oil can be useful around the house. Is that true?

Sure! Olive oil can be used for a wide variety of things (although we tend to favor it in our food most of all). You can use it as a beauty aid or for a lot of uses around the house like cleaning up paint, shining stainless steel, or fixing a squeaky hinge. We have a pages devoted to great uses for olive oil as a beauty secret or just around the house.

Is “light” olive oil healthier for me?

In the U.S., low-quality, often refined oil is sold using this designation. It refers, however, to the flavor rather than the caloric content. These light olive oils are often tasteless, odorless and colorless and are definitely not healthier than other olive oils. This designation is not allowed in olive oils from Europe.

As far as we are concerned at Little Angel, the only thing light about “light” olive oils lies with their lack of nutrients, quality, and flavor.

Is frying with Little Angel olive oil high in fat?

All foods can be divided into protein, carbohydrate or fat. All oils are considered fats and they all have the same amount of calories. It doesn’t matter whether it is peanut oil, flax-seed oil, canola or olive oil. They all have about 120 calories per tablespoon. The biggest problem comes from frying food instead of grilling, sautéing or steaming it. Try lightly sautéing or steaming meats or vegetables and then drizzling on the right amount of Little Angel olive oil at the table. Feel free to use it in your grilling and sautéing, just control the temperature so the oil doesn’t burn. Nothing bad will happen. It’s just that nothing good will happen, either. When the oil burns, all the great health-giving polyphenols and antioxidants begin to break down. That’s why you don’t see much frying in the Mediterranean diet.

If you are going to fry your foods, olive oil is actually one of the best oils to use. As with all oils, the smoke point depends on the age and quality, but 410 degrees F is the official figure. “The Joy of Cooking” by Irma Rombauer recommends frying at 365 degrees F for best results.

We have a page on the Little Angel website devoted to learning about cooking with Little Angel olive oil.

Click here and check it out…

Is olive oil healthier than butter or margarine?

Recent studies suggest margarine is worse than animal fats in its artery clogging potential. Doctors have known for some time that saturated fats, the ones that stay solid at room temperature, are not as good for you as unsaturated fats such as vegetable oils.

People enjoy spreading solid fats on their toast and bread rather than using liquid oils as the Mediterranean cultures have done with olive oil for centuries. To produce vegetable oils that stay solid at room temperature, the oils must be hydrogenated, a process whereby hydrogen gas is bubbled through the oil, “saturating” it with hydrogen. Both saturated animal fats (butter) and plant oils (margarine) have been shown to be unhealthy for the heart.

A tablespoon of ordinary butter contains twelve grams of fat, of which 8 grams (66%) are saturated fat. In addition, a serving of butter contains 33 mgs of cholesterol, while olive oil has none! Saturated fat and cholesterol have been linked to increased levels of low density lipoproteins (LDLs) the bad cholesterol. Thus, compared to butter, a serving of olive oil contains much less saturated fat (only 2 grams) and no cholesterol. The comparison with margarine is more difficult because the fat breakdown in margarine varies by manufacturer and ingredient. Margarine typically contains approximately 10 grams of fat per tablespoon.

The solution? Well, your best bet is to dip or drizzle some Little Angel Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil® on your food instead of spreading margarine.

Should I refrigerate my olive oil?

It isn’t recommended. Most extra virgin olive oils become cloudy and thick under refrigeration. And, as with wine, extended refrigeration can result in diminished aromas and muted flavors, even after the olive oil is returned to room temperature. This idea would come as a surprise to the ancient Greeks and Romans who traded olive oil throughout the Mediterranean centuries before the age of refrigeration. If properly stored out of the sun and heat, Little Angel Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil® should last 18 months to 2 years. So, use it and enjoy it but protect it, as well.

So, what exactly do the terms extra virgin and EVOO mean?

First, olive oil is considered “extra virgin” when it has been produced by a simple pressing of the olives. Other grades like “virgin olive oil” and “olive oil” means that the olive oil is extracted from the olives by mechanical means or produced using chemicals and other processes to extract the oil from the olives. Second, extra virgin must meet certain laboratory tests on things like acidity, levels of peroxide, and other criteria. Finally, extra virgin olive oil must taste like olives and it can’t have any negative tastes that professionals refer to as “organoleptic defects.”

Many readily available vegetable oils – canola, safflower, peanut, etc – even non-virgin olive oil – are chemically dissolved out of the plant material, and then the solvent is boiled off. Unless the label on a vegetable or nut oil indicates that it has been expelled or expressed (and the price confirms this expensive method), you can assume it has gone through chemical processing.

Now, back to extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). This means that the virgin olive oil has passed chemical tests for purity and taste tests to assure the absence of spoilage flavors. You should be able to count on getting a healthy, tasty olive oil, possessing the flavors of the olive fruit. EVOO must have a certified acidity of less than .8% with some of the best EVOO offerings having less than .3% acidity. Because of these stringent standards, EVOO accounts for less than 10% of oil in many producing countries. Little Angel’s 2014 harvest was tested at .27% acidity. We are very proud parents!

Some fun facts about olive oil!

EVOO is a real word. It was added to the dictionary in 2007.

It takes about 10+ pounds of olives to make one quart of olive oil.

One liter of olive oil is produced from the pressing of seven liters of olives.

On average, the world consumes approximately 2.25 million tons of olive oil each year.

The annual consumption of olive oil in the United States increased from 30 million gallons to nearly 70 million gallons a year in the last two decades.

Greece has by far the largest per capita consumption of olive oil worldwide, over 6 gallons per person per year!

During the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, the old tradition of crowning Olympians with olive sprays was brought back to life. Over 2,550 olive branches were utilized to revive this tradition.

An olive tree can live hundreds, even thousands, of years.  The older an olive tree is, the broader and more gnarled its trunk appears. Kinda like us.

If you take a look at your local market, you’ll see olives in a rainbow of colors, from green to brown to purple to black, with flavors just as diverse. But all olives actually start out the same color: green.

It takes an average of 3-5 yrs for an olive tree to bear fruit. A function of cultivar, ‘Arbequina’ and ‘Koroneiki’ fruit at an early age (about 3 yrs). Other cultivars do not make fruit until they are 5-12 yrs old.

Baked goods will actually last longer when you substitute olive oil for butter. It is the vitamin E and polyphenols that causes this longer shelf life.

The flags of seven nations, four U.S. states, and the United Nations themselves all feature an olive branch.

 

Somebody told me that frying with olive oil is bad. Is that true?

Truth be told, even delicate extra virgin oils, such as Little Angel, can take the heat without sacrificing one bit of nutrition. This myth has been kicking around ever since olive oil became known as one of the “good” fats: Cook with premium extra virgin olive oil and you heat away the healthful properties. This is simply not true!

First of all, heart-healthy mono-unsaturated fats aren’t necessarily unfavorably altered by heat. They can certainly survive a sauté intact. Now, research is showing that other plant-based compounds—the elements that likely give olive oils their complex flavor profiles as well as other healthful properties—can also stand up to standard cooking procedures. In fact, they are surprisingly stable, as long as the oil isn’t heated past its smoking point, which for extra-virgin olive oil is pretty high—about 405°F. So, fry and enjoy!

Someone told me that unfiltered olive oil is better. Is that true?

This idea seems to spring from opinions and comparisons about wine. The suspended particles in unfiltered olive oils may, at first, give flavor that is missing in filtered oils, but these very particles serve to threaten the life of the oil with advanced spoilage. The sediment in the olive oil contains microbes that decompose the bits of olive flesh and produce off-flavors called ‘fusty,’ ‘musty’ and ‘winey’ by olive oil experts. Filtering removes the risk of this type of spoilage, and is a standard practice for most producers attentive to quality. At Little Angel, our oil is carefully filtered just before the bottling process to ensure the quality of our oil when it gets to you.

What exactly is a monocultivar olive oil?

Any olive oil made from a single variety of olive, such as Amfissis or Koroneiki is referred to as a monocultivar olive oil. Little Angel is a monocultivar extra virgin olive oil made from 100% Koroneiki olives harvested in the southwestern part of Greece just on the Ionian Sea coast.

What should I look for when tasting olive oils?

There is much to think about when tasting olive oil. There are even specific terms that you can use to describe the details of the taste and sensory experience.

We have an entire page on the Little Angel website devoted to learning all about the tasting process.

Click here and check it out…

What the heck are polyphenols?

Polyphenols are a special class of antioxidants found in a variety of foods – red wine, green tea, chocolate, and olive oil, to name a few. Doctors and nutritionist are widely singing the praises of antioxidants for their ability to combat aging and many related health conditions. Recent studies indicate that the oil-soluble polyphenols, such as those found in olive oil, are very potent – and the research is just beginning.

Really, the full goodness of olive oil comes from its polyphenol content, which depends to a great degree on the quality of the oil. Generally, the polyphenol content of olive oils starts around 50 mg/kilogram and goes up to 250 mg/kilogram for truly special extra virgin olive oils. You’ll taste the polyphenols in Little Angel. We promise.

Why does olive oil change color over time?

Our fresh oil

When Little Angel Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil® comes out of the press it is a brilliant emerald green color. The rich chlorophyll and carotenoid pigments from the Koroneiki olives we use creates the color. During production and bottling, Little Angel is kept in nitrogen-filled tanks called INOX tanks to avoid any exposure to air (see more about how we process here).

Once the bottle is opened, all olive oil undergoes many changes. Oxidation from the air in the bottle, auto-oxidation and exposure to heat and light drive and accelerate these changes. Olive oil usually lightens in color as pigments are used up by oxidation. As the oil in the bottle ages it will lighten in color and the flavor can continue to mellow. Little Angel is packaged to minimize these effects and if you store it properly, it will maintain its health-giving properties and flavors for 18 months to 2 years!

Shopping with Little Angel

How do you calculate shipping costs?

We offer FREE SHIPPING on retail orders over $49 to a single continental US address. Retail orders up to $50 ship for the lowest possible rate depending upon the weight and size of your order. We offer shipping options with both USPS and FedEx at checkout. We always strive to keep your shipping costs to a minimum and, if we can find a better shipping rate for your purchase than what was quoted at checkout, we will notify you and will gladly refund any excess shipping costs back to you. We are in the olive oil business and not the shipping business. We will never make money on shipping – we promise! Purchases are ground shipped from Miami, FL. All orders that are received by 11:00 am Eastern Time will go out the same day! Please allow 5 to 7 business days to receive your order (but it’s usually less). Rates will differ for Alaska, Hawaii and Canada.

So, what countries do you ship to?

Currently, Little Angel is in North America and much of the Caribbean. We will do our best to get Little Angel to anywhere in the world but we cannot guarantee that our shipping costs will be competitive the farther away from the US you live. Just let us know where you want your Little Angel products shipped to and we’ll do our best to get it to you with the least expense possible.

So, what do I need to know to place my order with Little Angel?

We have worked hard to make things as simple as possible for our guests. Just make your selection of Little Angel products and add them to your shopping cart. When you are ready to checkout, just click on the Checkout link and follow the prompts. We accept all major credit cards as well as Paypal. We do not accept COD orders and all applicable sales tax and shipping costs will be added to your final total at checkout. Nothing to it!

What if I have a problem with my order from Little Angel?

Well, we sure hope this never happens and we would like to believe it won’t. Nevertheless, we stand behind our products 100% and we want our guests to be 100% satisfied. So, if there turns out to be a problem, you can let us know and we will do everything in our power to make it right.

To help us out, please inspect your package as soon as you receive it from us. Let us know about any problems within 48 hours of receipt. We will do everything possible to re-route orders for timely delivery but cannot be responsible for damaged or compromised product due to the following:

  • Delayed deliveries due to weather or other “Acts of God”
  • Incorrect addresses
  • Unopened shipments (all boxes are clearly marked “Little Angel”)
  • Gift shipments sent to recipients who are out of town or otherwise unavailable to receive their shipment. Please notify recipient of the pending arrival of goods.
What is the return policy at Little Angel?

We want you to shop with confidence at Little Angel. If you are dissatisfied with your order for any reason, you may return it within 14 days, in its original packaging, for a refund or equivalent exchange. If there are any concerns regarding your order, we will gladly address them just as soon as we hear from you. Just contact us at sales@littleangeloliveoil.com and tell us how we can help.