Olive Vitality: fresh olive oil and vinegar on tap

WINE HAS SOMMELIERS, AND BEER HAS Cicerones, or certified beer experts. Olive oil has its own elite certification program, and a local has just been certified—which is unique in the foothills.

Jeanette Campbell Angell, who owns Olive Vitality in downtown Grass Valley with her husband Matthew, just completed the intense training and testing to earn certification as an expert olive oil evaluator by the oldest and most respected olive oil school in the world.

The National Organization of Olive Oil Tasters in Rome (ONAOO) is the No. 1 world- wide school of olive-oil tasting. “ONAOO was set up to teach people to recognize bad and good qualities of an olive oil, so the consumer may be guided,” it states.

Now in its second year, Olive Vitality, at 126 Mill Street, also offers fresh, extra-virgin olive oils and aged balsamic vinegars. The Angell’s are passionate about pure, extra virgin olive oil—and educating people about its properties and health benefits.

All oils and vinegars are bottled on demand, to ensure freshness. They are poured from Italian-made, stainless steel fustis into UV protected dark glass bottles to maintain quality.

Olive Vitality has high standards. Each olive oil in their collection posts crucial product information including: crush date, polyphenol (antioxidant) level, free fatty acid, oleic acid, country of origin, tasting notes and more.

Though olive oil consumption is growing, the quality of the oil consumed recently has been a concern.
“Nearly two-thirds of oils on supermarket shelves are falsely labeled as extra-virgin grade (based on three studies done by the UC Davis Olive Oil Center),” according to the California Olive Oil Council.
As a result, having a local with Jeanette Angell’s credentials is a real benefit to consumers.

Olive Vitality also has begun teaching “Olive Oil 101” classes. The class focuses on understanding the differences between olive oils, how to choose a high quality olive oil and introductory olive oil chemistry. The store also offers tastings that pair olive oils and vinegars with food.

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