Having a well-stocked pantry has become a necessity this past year. Whether you’re cooking for one or making a last-minute meal for your family, having a wide selection of cooking ingredients is an essential start to a preparing a fantastic meal.

Colavita is a family owned and operated business that spans three generations, with 50+ years of experience distributing its products around the world. Its reputation has become a benchmark for Italian quality products worldwide. From  versatile and healthy extra virgin olive oil to their assortment of dried pastas and tomatoes, it’s easy to make their pantry staples the star of your kitchen adventures!

“Quality and tradition is very important to us, and will always continue to be,” Giovanni Colavita, current CEO of Colavita® USA says. “My family and I still continue this tradition of producing extra virgin olive oil and other specialty food products using the same knowledge and expertise handed down from our ancestors.”

Colavita’s passion for quality is evident in the taste. Their olives are harvested at the point of maturity and pressed immediately afterward. Colavita pasta is made from 100% durum wheat and uses certified mountain spring water, “Acqua del Molise”. Their Pomezia location serves as Colavita headquarters, and is the second largest olive oil bottling facility in Italy, both in terms of production and storage. Pomezia sources certified olive oils, which are freshly pressed from throughout the EU, to craft the blended extra virgin olive oils.

Italians realize that food feeds our souls as well as our bodies. Home-cooked meals are a way to connect with family and friends and Colavita aims to bring this family tradition to your kitchen with their products and Mediterranean Diet-inspired recipes. Their motto is, good food equals good health.

Olive trees have been on Earth for about 40 million years. They are “evergreen” trees which grow year-round and regenerate new olive fruit one time per year. The trees can start bearing fruit as young as three years old and live for hundreds of years. There are over 800 million olive trees worldwide and plantings increase each year due to rising Olive Oil demand.

The age-old process of extracting the oil from the olives is comprised of separate stages: the crushing stage, the kneading or mixing stage, and the extraction stage. They are then crushed into a paste which is done by either rolling large round stones over them or with modern mechanical steel grinders or hammers. The olive paste is then delicately remixed in order to begin extraction. The final stage is the oil extraction, which serves to separate the three different components of the olive paste: the oil, the water and the solids (crushed pits, skin and pulp).

Types of Olive Oil

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the highest standard of olive oil with a maximum acidity level of 1% . It has a full-bodied olive fruit taste and pleasant spicy characteristic typical of freshly pressed oil from harvest ripe olives.

Virgin Olive Oil is typically slightly darker in color and has a higher acidity level ranging between 1 to 4%. It is a lower quality oil due to the pressing of some over-ripe or bruised olives in the extraction mix.

100% or Pure Olive Oil is an olive oil that has undergone heat and chemical refining to remove impurities and then blended with Virgin Olive Oil to add some olive color and mild flavour.

Olive Pomace Oil is produced from refining the depleted olive paste left from the extraction process. This refined oil is then blended with Virgin Olive Oil to provide back some olive flavor.

The difference between filtered and unfiltered oils

Extra virgin olive oil may be consumed either in a filtered or unfiltered state. Filtration is the process by which the microscopic bits of the fruit of the olive are removed from the oil. Unfiltered oil will be cloudy until it settles to the bottom. Some consider unfiltered oil superior because of the added flavor from the fruit, while others say it shortens the oil’s shelf life. Ultimately, it is a matter of personal preference.

Are all extra virgin olive oils the same?

Extra Virgin olive oils are not all the same. Like wines, extra virgin olive oils can vary dramatically in taste, depending upon the type and quality of the fruit that is pressed, the time of harvest, the weather during the growing season, and the region from which the olives were produced.

Connoisseurs generally use the following adjectives in appraising extra virgin olive oils: mild, semi-fruity and fruity depending on the flavor of the olive that can be detected. Further, some oils, such as the finer oils from Tuscany and Southern Italy, have a peppery finish that many appreciate.

Not sure which olive oil is best for your needs? Read this blog post to help you make that decision.

A Few of Colavita’s Premium Italian Pantry Staples include:

·       Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil

·       Colavita Aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena

·       Colavita Crushed Tomatoes

·       Colavita Spaghetti Pasta

Pick up your cooking essentials today, then try one of these suggested recipes.

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About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.