Outside of Fairway, many olive oils are labeled as “first cold pressed,” but that doesn’t mean anything anymore. These days olives are hardly ever crushed, or pressed, except in tiny mills that still have old equipment — and even in those instances, it’s typically for old times’ sake, or for tourists!
Olive millers used to use granite cones to grind the olives into a paste that would then be pressed for its oil. But this isn’t seen much anymore, because the old process is costly, not to mention it’s a harsh and wasteful way to extract olive oil from olives. Nowadays, a process called “continuous cold extraction” is used instead. Olives are loaded into and rapidly spun inside a cylindrical, bladed hopper that chops the olives’ flesh while simultaneously centrifuging the oil and water away from the olives.
All of Fairway’s olive oils are extra virgin, and are the product of continuous cold extraction, with a couple of exceptions, including some French exclusive oils and our organic Luque in the half-liter bottle. So don’t put stock in the the phrase “first cold pressed.” We’re just telling you the truth. Anybody who tells you anything else doesn’t know what they’re talking about.
How will this information change the way you shop for olive oil?