Brightleaf Square Durham, NC 27701

Balsamic Vinegar A sweet and tangy aromatic vinegar made from the must* of white Trebbiano grapes and aged in various wood barrels. Think wine- the more aged, the better. Trebbiano is a white grape, generally used in making balsamics. It typically has a high yield and great acidity. *Must is the freshly pressed juice of the grape containing skins, seeds, and stems. The solid portion of the must is called pomace;  it typically makes up 7–23% of the total weight of the must. This is the first product used to create balsamic vinegar.  Use balsamic vinegar to make your own salad dressings, pour over cheeses and fruits, dress your veggies and proteins, deglaze your pan for a simple pan sauce, flavor your mixed drinks or lemonade and teas, jazz up yogurt or ice cream. Mix into your mayonnaise or sour cream for custom spreads!

Condimento  This is a quality labeling term used for Balsamic Vinegars, meaning the balsamic was made using the  highest quality and traditional methods of balsamic production without supervision by the Consortium. This term allows the product to be sold in larger than 100ml bottles.

Solera Method  A process for aging  balsamic vinegar. The product is passed through 5 to 9 barrels made from various woods (cherry, chestnut, ash, and more), providing flavor and in some cases, color. In balsamic vinegar making, each consecutive barrel must have residual amounts of aged balsamic left inside to continue the process. Solera means literally "on the ground" in Spanish, and it refers to the lower level of the set of barrels used in the process; the liquid is transferred from barrel to barrel, top to bottom, the oldest mixtures being in the barrel right "on the ground".

Cold Pressed  After the olive fruit is harvested, within 3-4 hours,  they are pressed at a cool/ room temperature in order to maintain their integrity and freshness. Typically this yields a smaller quantity, but higher quality end-product. Continual heating and re-heating of the olives after crushing lends to diminished benefits, as the olive oil degrades.

Extra Virgin  Olive oil that is made from the first pressing of highest-quality olives. It is a grading scale. You can think of it simply like the USDA grading of meats. Extra virgin olive oil is like USDA Prime versus a lower quality "pure" or "virgin" olive oil like USDA Select.

Ultra Premium Ultra Premium (UP) is a new category of olive oil grading that distinguishes the highest quality olive oil in the world. The UP standard was created in response to the inferior oils currently being sold in the grocery store and help consumers understand the differences between low-and high-quality oils.

Hemisphere Sourcing  Our olive oils are sourced from both Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The Northern  Hemisphere includes countries like Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy and the US (California), and they harvest and crush in the months of October and November.  The Southern Hemisphere may include Australia, Chile, Argentina and South Africa, with their harvest coming in May and June. We strive to provide the freshest oils possible at Bull City Olive Oil, and "go with the seasons", so to speak. During our fall months, we will be carrying Southern Hemisphere oils and in the Spring, we'll switch to Northern Hemisphere.

Mild  A term describing the lowest level of flavor intensity of olive oil. These oils will be delicate and smooth, yet bright with floral or fruity notes. Grassy flavors blend with notes of green banana or green apple peel. Great for fish or eggs and salad dressing or hummus.

Medium  A term describing the mid-level of flavor intensity of olive oil. Being a nice "middle of the road" intensity, you can use these oils for any cooking application or raw use, such as finishing oils for pastas or a salad dressing. They are grassy and some what fruity with a small peppery kick from the antioxidants.

Robust  A term describing the highest level of flavor intensity of olive oil. You'll find our  robust UP EVOO to be high in antioxidants,  giving the oil that highly desirable bitter and peppery finish. Perfect for sauteing, roasting or a simple finish to your bruschetta or crostini.

Free Fatty Acids  The lower the FFA, the better. We have set the ceiling for our Ultra Premium EVOO's at  < .08%.  The higher the FFA the greater the indication of  damaged fruit, overripeness at time of harvest, insect infestation, overheating during production or too much of a delay between harvest and crush. 

Oleic Acid  A monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid found in olive oil. Olive oil is generally higher in oleic acid than other vegetable fats. The range found in extra virgin olive oil is between 55-85%. Think of oleic acid as the defender, fighting off oxidation.

Peroxide Value / Oxidation A very low peroxide value is desirable. Unsaturated free fatty acids react with oxygen and form peroxides, which create a series of chain reactions that generate volatile substances responsible for a typical musty/rancid oil smell. These reactions are accelerated by high temperature, light, and oxygen exposure. This reveals a low quality oil that likely used heat to extract oil from the olive fruit.

Polyphenols A class of antioxidants found in a variety of foods. Polyphenols such as Oleuropein, Oleocanthal, and hydroxytyrosol impart intensity connected with pepper, bitterness and other desirable flavor characteristics. Recent studies indicate that these potent phenols are responsible for many of the health benefits associated with consuming fresh, high quality extra virgin olive oil. Phenols in olive oil decrease over time or when exposed to heat, oxygen and light. Consuming fresh, well made olive oil with high polyphenol content is crucial when looking to obtain the maximum health benefit commonly associated with consuming extra virgin olive oil. 

Fused or Agrumato olive oil is created by crushing ripe sound olives with whole fresh fruits, herbs or vegetables. For example, in the winter, citrus fruit is picked at the peak of ripeness, split in half and then thrown in with the olives. The olives and fruit are then crushed simultaneously. This process allows the essential oils from the citrus peel to mingle with the oil from the olives.

Infused olive oil means that the flavor has been added after the oil was made. All of BCOO infused olive oils are paired with complementary natural essences, including  spices, fruits and herbs.  .