Dash of Thyme carries one of the broadest selections of olive oils from around the globe. Creating an Olive Oil is very similar to creating wine. The fruit is subject to the weather of the area that it is grown in. Once it is harvested, our supplier, Veronica Foods, will have each oil comprehensively tested for extremely important factors such as FFA (free fatty acids) and peroxide levels. Both are considered indicators of freshness and quality. Veronica Foods will buy only from producers and never from middlemen. Not only does our supplier know the specific region where the olives are grown, they know the exact farm, farmer and mill that produces the olive oil they purchase. At a time when there is a river of adulterated and substandard olive oil flooding the market, traceability is extremely important.
Here is some more detailed information from Veronica Foods about the quality of our oils and balsamcis:
Northern & Southern Hemisphere Harvest Olive Oils
When determining the overall quality and relative value of olive oil, where the olive oil is produced tends to be the most overrated and overemphasized variable. Other far more important variables such as ripeness at harvest, span of time between harvest and milling, temperature used for extraction, and storage methods, if not done correctly, render the location of the grove meaningless.
To us, fresh trumps everything, including where the oil was produced, both from a sensory (organoleptic) standpoint and perhaps even more importantly, from a health and nutrition stand point. Unlike many of our competitors, before we make a purchase, we have each oil comprehensively tested for extremely important factors such as, FFA (free fatty acids) and peroxide levels. Both are considered indicators of freshness and quality. As an olive oil begins to age or decompose, the level of each of these compounds will rise. In terms of olive oil, less is better, so it’s desirable to purchase oil containing the lowest values of each of these compounds.
In addition, we look for oils with significantly higher levels of Polyphenol and Oleic Acid. In this case, higher is better. Polyphenol and Oleic Acid are naturally occurring compounds found in all extra virgin olive oil. Both have been proven to be very powerful antioxidants. Polyphenol intake is associated with lower incidence of cancer and coronary heart disease. In addition, to the health benefits, oil high in Phenols, are generally more robust and stay fresh longer. There is also conclusive evidence, that Oleic Acid can cut a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer by 46 percent.
We only buy from producers and never from middlemen. Not only do we know the specific region where the olives are grown, we know the exact farm, farmer and mill that produced the olive oil we purchase. At a time when there is a river of adulterated and substandard olive oil flooding the market, traceability is extremely important! (Veronica Foods literature)
Due to our reputation and the volume of vinegars we purchase, we have been designated by our supplier as their exclusive distributor of these amazing vinegars here in the USA.
Our dark condimento is of the highest quality and is made in Modena, Italy from cooked, high quality caramelized grape must from Tebbiano and on occasion, Lambrusco grapes. The grape must in our condimento is cooked over an open wood fire, just as actual DOP Traditional Balsamic grape must is. It is cooked down to the same consistency, density and dry solid extracts. Our dark condimento is aged using the Solera method, which means that it goes through a succession of different types of very old, fired wood barrels, each of which previously contained residual amounts of older balsamic dating back as far as 18 years, and in some cases 25 years. It is topped off as it moves from barrel to smaller barrel, based on the Solera method, with younger cooked grape must as it naturally evaporates.
Our white balsamics are made with white wine vinegar and grape must (fresh pressed juice with seeds and skins). They have not been caramelized over an open wood fire in copper kettles, as our dark condimento has been. White balsamic is aged up to 12 years, in new wood barrels which have not been fired on the inside. Our white balsamics tend to be milder and less sweet.