Thanks to the evolution of the normative system, it is not enough anymore to own an olive grove or an oil mill in order to be able to sell oil; one needs to have a point of sale. Furthermore, the oil needs to be bottled in containers with 5l capacity or less, and must be properly labeled. To achieve this, the Mazzarrini family decided to do two things. Firstly, to bottle their oil personally, establishing two bottling lines, for glass and cans respectively, which may be used on behalf of private third parties, a bit like a proper oil mill. Secondly, to set up a point of sale in order to able to sell not only their own oil, but a selection of typical foodstuffs, including pasta, wine, sheep cheeses, cured meats and honey. Some may affectionately call such a point of sale a “factory outlet”, but we have dubbed it “Delizie del Buongustaio” (“Gourmand’s Delights”). Most just call it the “bottega”. The official brand remains that of “Frantoio Mazzarrini” (the Mazzarrini Oil Mill).
The Mazzarrini family never lacked in extra virgin olive oil. This has brought them to use it unrestrainedly. Which, according to both ancient wisdom and modern scientific research, isn’t as wrong as it sounds. If anything, it’s the ratio between utility and quantity. What do I mean with “ratio”? I mean that extra virgin olive oil is a sponge for scents and flavours. Besides, it adds it’s very own unique, inimitable flavour. Oil, after all, is not just oil. Every region, if not every producer, has their own specific oil. Oils may be similar, but there will never be identical oils. Furthermore, extra virgin olive oil is the best extractor of certain lipid soluble substances essential to human health, and is exceptionally resistant to high tempertures. I’m talking about frying, of course. In fact, extra virgin olive oil begins degrading at a temperature of around 220°C ( ~ 428°F), called smoke point. In addition if cleaned carefully with a simple colander, it can be used up to 10 times to continue frying. These properties derive from the fact that extra virgin olive oil is not purely oleic acid, but a rich mixture of natural fatty acids. Additionally, it contains an abundance of antioxidant substances, which not only contribute to its longevity, but are a central aspect of its flavour. In fact, they are responsible for its characteristic bitter, spicy and astringent taste. So, you see, there are fundamental defferences to other kinds of oil, which, while in themselves healthy, must be used raw. All this notwithstanding, the phrase written on the labels, “to be kept in a cool and dry place, away from light and heat sources”, is mandatory, even though that is the exact opposite of a kitchen! But you shouldn’t be afraid, extra virgin oil stays fresh for at least year (counting from the harvesting of the olives), thanks to the aforementioned properties. The durability decreases with the quality of the olives and if the oil is completely frozen. Frozen oil sinks to the bottom of the bottle, and as long as the frozen crystals are covered by oil, the oil doesn’t lose its properties. This changes if the oil is frozen in its entirety, which causes air to suffuse the entire volume of the oil. When thawed, the oil molecules oxidize with easily and quickly, causing premature spoiling. Some may say “I don’t care, oil is fat, fats are unhealthy, I won’t eat oil.” SO what about butter, or lard? So coming back to what I said in the beginning: all kinds of fat are fat, but every one of them has beneficial properties, if not essential for human physiology, one only has to pay attention to proportions.