Pasolivo olive oil stood out from the crowd this past weekend at the 11th Downtown Main Street Association’s Olive Festival in Paso Robles, California, and it’s no wonder. The local company’s “California Blend” recently won a Gold Award at the esteemed New York International Olive Oil Competition. The family-run company attributes the brand’s success to making California Olive Oil Council (COOC) certification a top priority.
The COOC standards are stringent, but worth it, according to Pasolivo. Strict harvest rules present an initial criteria for acceptance, but the real test is measured in the laboratory and by a panel of certified tasters. Pasolivo’s general manager, Cheryl Wieczorek, recently told The Tribune, “People are really becoming concerned about where their food comes from; we’re encouraging (olive oil producers) to join the COOC. It really protects the consumer.”
So what earns Pasolivo the all-mighty stamp of approval? It’s in the freshness. With 6,000 olive trees and their own on-site mill, the handpicked, organically-grown fruit doesn’t have to travel far for production. The olives are processed no more than three hours after harvesting.
To craft their unique blends Pasolivo harvests twelve varieties of olives, including Frantoio, Leccino, Pendolino, Lucca, Moraiolo, Mission, Manzanillo, Sevillano and Ascolano. Specialty oils infused with basil, lemon, lime, tangerine and rosemary have become popular with domestic consumers.