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Olivelle: The Art of Flavor:

The motto of the Olivelle company is “The Art of Flavor”, as they strive to offer premium, consistently high quality products - inspiring the home cook to create delicious, healthy, easy meals for family and friends.  Its founder, Brie Thompson, is the 12th person in the world to achieve the status of certified olive oil taster (the equivalent of a sommelier for wine).  She can taste olive oil and recognize its nuances - such as quality, region of origin, and any defects.  Olivelle works exclusively with small single estate farmers who aspire to produce quality products instead of mass production volume.  These farmers practice good land management (farming in rich soils, not tilling the land, and planting trees at least 8 feet apart).  They also follow proper harvesting practices:  only harvesting as many olives as can be pressed the same day, minimizing oxidation.   

What is Olive Oil:

Olive oil is a “fruit juice” which is produced by the pressing of olives.  It is harvested once a year:  in the fall in the Northern Hemisphere, and in the spring in the Southern Hemisphere.  While there are multiple grades of olive oil, Olivelle sells only the highest grade - Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Due to a large variance of quality even within the Extra Virgin Olive Oil category, Olivelle ensures to deliver the best product by purchasing oil with a free acidity between 0.1% and 0.3%.  In addition, all oil is personally tasted by Brie before being approved to be sold.  High quality EVOO is used as the base for Olivelle’s infused flavors.  This oil has a mild, fresh garden flavor that does not compete with the added flavorings.  

Olive oil is a heart healthy fat high in monounsaturated fat with high levels of vitamins A, D, and E and is also high in polyphenols (antioxidants) which reduce free radicals that can cause disease in the body.  Olive oil is a functional food, that is a food that is rich in polyphenols.  A functional food is one that, beyond its basic nutritional properties, is scientifically demonstrated to have the ability to positively affect one or more of the physiological functions of the body.  It will help preserve or improve the state of health and/or reduce the risk of developing diseases related to diet.  Research from multiple sources suggests that olive oil reduces the chance of heart disease, increases the level of good cholesterol (HDL), lowers the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), and contributes to lowering blood pressure.

Olive oil flavor is affected by soil conditions, the surrounding vegetation, weather and climate, olive variety, and the olive ripeness before pressing.  The press date is extremely important in the flavor of the oil.  For example, oil pressed in September will have a bolder, fresher, more robust flavor.  In addition, it will have a longer shelf life.  Pressing olives later in the season has the benefit of yielding more oil as the olives are riper.


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