Everybody loves a good olive oil – but very few people have a clear idea of what that actually is …
What we do and how we do it. And why.
At arteFakt we work in close and lasting partnerships with olive oil producers in Italy, Greece and Spain to produce and market supreme qualities of extra virgin olive oils.
While doing so we work hard to not only revolutionize the process of making olive oil, but also the way we think about it.
Here is why: Olive oil is the only oil produced in large quantities that is essentially a fruit juice. It is not ground from seeds or the stone of the fruit, but the pure juice without any additives. Furthermore olive oil is won from a variety of olives that probably goes well into the hundreds (there are around 1500 varieties of olives known). Since fruits take on much more and more complex aromas than seeds, and due to the abundance of varieties, olive oil come in countless different tastes and characteristics – comparable to wine.
But there is a catch: Not many people know that yet. Not even in the business itself, where it is completely normal for an olive grower on a village in southern europe to never have tasted any oil beyond the regional produce. There is no education, no „olive school“ to go to anywhere in europe, and the market is dominated by industrial scale corporations who really have no interest to school consumers in being able to tell good oil from bad, since, well, most of the oil sold under the label „extra virgin“ in supermarkets simply is not good (some of it isn’t even „extra virgin“. Fraud is a huge problem, and olive oil continues to be the most corrupt market for an agricultural product in the history of europe).
– creating a reliable relationship with carefully selected producers. We pay them what there product is worth, which is much more than they would get in the marketplace“, so they do not have to sacrifice quality, e.g. the expensive hand picking.
– educating our producers. Every year we do training with experts like biochemists, sensoric experts or engineers, people most olive growers and oil millers usually never meet. We love and respect tradition, but sometimes it just means: Nothing has ever been improved. In olive oil (as it used to be in wine some decades ago), many beliefs are outdated and sometimes simply run contrary to science. We’d rather go with science.
– educating consumers. To keep the culinary and cultural wealth of good olive oil, to keep the business and the landscape, the communities and beauty of it, european olive oil in general needs to become much better than it is today, or it will be pushed aside by new world competition. In order to do so, demand for really good oil and the willingness to pay for it need to increase drastically. We believe that more people need to be able to judge the quality of there oil – so we show them how.
Sustainability in business
We buy directly from our producers and sell directly to customers (mostly via mail), because that is the only way we know to pay prices that cover the costs of growing and processing with regard to quality over quantity, and give a living income to producers, while keeping consumer prices at a realistic level. We want extra virgin olive oil to be used and consumed regularly. Good quality food is not a luxury, but a necessity.
This way the prices of our extra virgin olive oils are in a range between 15 and 30 euros per litre (italian oils are the most expensive because the price for labour in italy is higher than in spain or greece, where much of the hand picking et al is done by traveling farm hands from africa or eastern europe).
Extra Virgin Olive Oils
All our oils are produced from the variety that is typical for the region, in some cases where the local oil is traditionally a blend of two or more varieties grown side by side and mixed directly we do that as well (a famous example is the oil from tuscany, where practically every village has some kind of own mixture). The variety of olive or olives (and their ratio) is stated on the container, as well as the producer, the time of the harvest and a lot more. We also publish the results of the laboratory and sensoric tests. Should you want any more information, just contact us. Since extra virgin oil is by definition a fresh, living product is does never get better over time. Our olive oils stay fresh for two years if you keep contact with oxygen, light, moisture and heat to a minimum (i.e. don’t leave the lid open and not store the container right next to the oven), but there is really no use to store more than you need for a year – there is fresh new oil coming in spring! Outside of a clearly marked sale we only ever sell last winters harvest.
We also have one low price oil designated for frying that is our only mixture of different oils.
You find all of our Extra Virgin Olive Oils here (in german).
Naturally Aromatized Olive Oils
We also have a range of olive oils that are combined with the aromas of fruits or herbs. We call them „naturally aromatized“, because they are not scented or mixed after processing, but are processed together. For example: The „orange oil“ is processed in the olive mill with fresh whole oranges at a ratio of roughly 100:15 (the ratio is slightly adjusted every year after first tests regarding the harvests taste). Since every solid or moist part of the fruit is shed in the process in the centrifuge, the oil stays as fresh as the extra virgin oils while keeping the distinct aromas of the fresh fruit and herbs. Try it, it’s really delicious!
You find all of our Naturally Aromatized Olive Oils here (in german).
If you have any questions regarding our oils, shipping or anything else, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org