What are organic foods?

In 1995, The U.S. National Organic Standards Board developed the official definition for organic “Organic agriculture is an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony”.

In layperson terms organic means that food products are cultivated and produced according to strict guidelines and production standards, without the use of chemical pesticides or synthetic fertilizers with respect for the sustainability of the earth and the environment.

Regulated by federal law, overseen by United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA), National Organic Program (NOP); producers must be certified by an accredited certified state, non-profit or private agencies that have been approved by (USDA).

Why are Villa Gabriella products organic certified?

Simply stated, organics are better for people and the environment. Food forms the building blocks of our bodies and our health, soil forms the basis for healthy food. Healthy soil grows quality food and quality food means better health & overall wellness. Organic food is not a passing fad, it is a path to a healthier and more sustainable life.

We believe in delicious tasting products that are also healthy for you. People do not need to give up good taste in order to eat healthily, both can thrive together.Our philosophy is a commitment to sustainability; we believe organic quality foods are better for consumers and our environment. We also believe knowing where a product comes from and how it is made enhances the pleasure you receive from it.

What is the difference between Virgin and Extra Virgin olive oil?

Acidity is the most influential factor in the final grading of an oil. The current limit for an Extra Virgin is 0.8 % (0.8 g per 100g) . If the acidity level is above 0.8% but is less than .2% (.2 g per 100g) then it qualifies as Virgin olive oil. This elevated acidity level is due to the timing of the producer’s harvest. In general, Extra Virgin olive oil is made from younger olives and Virgin olive oil from more mature olives.

Flavor – Extra Virgin olive oils are generally more delicate to the taste with a pronounced array of fruity, grassy, nutty or peppery notes. Virgin oils usually offer deeper earthier characteristics, with strong, pronounced olive flavors.

Viscosity – The feel or slip of Virgin oil, whether it is on your hands or in your mouth, will be much denser. The same quality can be observed by watching it drop from ones fingertip or swirling it around in a bowl.

Cost – Each year when a producer has completed the harvesting and processing of the olives into oil, only a small fraction of the year’s yield will be classified as Extra Virgin. As a result, Extra Virgin has a higher price than more abundant Virgin oil.

Can I cook or fry with Villa Gabriella Organic Extra Virgin Olive oil?

When frying with olive oil it is important to note the smoke point-the temperature at which the oil will literally smoke while the flavors and health benefits of the oil begin to diminish. Do not heat Villa Gabriella Organic Extra Virgin olive oil above 350 degrees Fahrenheit. We recommend sautéing or finishing a dish, after cooking or frying.

Can I keep Villa Gabriella Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the refrigerator?

You should not store olive oil in your refrigerator. The oil will congeal and will need to thaw to room temperature  prior to using. Altering the oils physical state significantly shortens its’ shelf life. Although it has great sink appeal, keep Villa Gabriella Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil away from its’ three enemies – light, heat and oxygen. Olive oil is best kept tightly closed in a cool, dark place, such as a pantry or a cupboard.

How long does Villa Gabriella Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil last?

An old saying “new oil, old wine” refers to the nutritional benefits of olive oil which are at their peak on the day of production.  As oil ages, it slowly loses its flavor and nutritional value. The deterioration process is accelerated by exposure to light, heat and air.  If stored properly, on average, Villa Gabriella Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil lasts 2 years after the oil’s manufacturing date.

How do I use Villa Gabriella Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

Our oil has a subtle, complex and delicious flavour that makes even the most basic dish something special. Perfect for every day enjoyment; savour it in its simplest form adding only a little sea salt or fresh black pepper with bread. An excellent dressing, mix it together Villa Gabriella Organic Balsamic Vinegar on fresh fruits and salads. Over medium heat sauté vegetables, drizzle it on baked pizza or flat bread, finish it on fish or meat. It also makes an excellent addition to pasta and rice dishes. 

How is Villa Gabriella Organic Balsamic Vinegar made?

Organic Lambrusco and Trebbiano Italian grapes are carefully selected, cleaned and crushed. The freshly pressed juice is then slowly simmered to avoid carmelization or burning of the natural sugars in the grape juice. The result is a reduction called cooked must or “mosto cotto”. The must is then aged in a series of wooden casks in successively smaller sizes- cherry, ash, chestnut, mulberry, oak  and walnut. The result is a rich dark liquid layered with complex yet balanced flavors of natural sweet & sour elements from the soil, the grapes and hints from the different woods.

No artificial colors, caramels, thickeners or sweeteners are added to stimulate flavors or sweetness.

What does IGP-Indicazione Geographica Protetta mean?

IGP stands for a Protected Geographical Indication. A geographical indication is a certification used to identify a product as originating from a specific area of a particular country, region or locality where its distinctive quality, reputation or other characteristics are linked to its geographical origin. In our case, the seal certifies Villa Gabriella Organic Balsamic Vinegar hails from the Modena region of Italy where the aging and production process follows the historic Modenese method and requirements.

How do I use Villa Gabriella Organic Balsamic Vinegar?

Villa Gabriella Organic Balsamic Vinegar pairs perfectly with Villa Gabriella Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil for salad dressings, dipping sauce for vegetables and bread, condiment and marinades. Extremely versatile, use it at the end of cooking to finish rice and pasta dishes. Mix with mayonnaise, sour cream or yogurt for a sandwich spread. Use Villa Gabriella Organic Balsamic Vinegar to finish and flavor chicken, fish or meat. Perfectly suited for fruit and cheese pairings, drizzle it on citrus fruits, raspberries, strawberries or pears, your favourite aged or fresh cheese.