It’s all in the process—the best olive oil in the world

By Amy Sherman

If wines from the most renowned vineyards can be distinguished as Grand Cru, why can’t superior olive oil be recognized in the same way? This is the question that prompted the founders of Oliviers and Co. to start their company back in 1996, in Mane, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. After all, extra-virgin olive oil is one of the world’s most magnificent treasures, and the heart of Mediterranean cuisine.

Today, with an online store and more than 65 boutiques around the world, O&CO. offers an unmatched selection of superior oils, plus vinegars, truffles, seasonings, sweets, and even skincare. The variety is broad, but the focus is consistent: incredibly high quality products that taste amazing.

To achieve this goal, O&CO. maintains the strictest guidelines and selection criteria. All of their olives are harvested by hand when still green, then immediately transported to the mill, processed below 77 degrees Fahrenheit, and packaged inside cool tins that keep out light and heat—the two great enemies of olive oil. The final product is even stamped with a “harvest date,” so you know exactly when those precious olives were plucked from Mediterranean trees.

A best seller, their Everyday Olive Oil is intended as an all-purpose oil for virtually anything—you can use it for sautéing, roasting, making marinades, or even frying, thanks to its high smoke point. This Spanish oil is made from 100 percent arbequina olives, known for being highly aromatic and fruity with notes of artichoke and buttery almonds. Your salad dressings and pesto will thank you.

The pride of Pablo Barrios, Spain, the Reserva de Guadalupe is made from a masterful blend of picuda and hojiblanca olives that comes from a grove of 200,000 trees that luxuriate in 300 days of sunshine. You’ll notice beautiful grassy notes with hints of black currant buds, a citrus element, and a strong almond finish. And the Mantinea e Avia is a limited edition oil produced by farmers from the cooperative of Mantinea & Avia, one of the oldest in Greece, established back in 1924. Made from 100 percent koroneiki olives from Kalamata, it’s a must for lovers of sun-kissed Greek flavors—roasted red and green peppers, zucchini, and eggplant—and is perfect for Greek dishes like moussaka, not to mention Greek salads, grilled meats, and feta cheese.

Because olives are harvested late in the year, the newest harvest oils are just about to hit our shores—get ready for the launch of Oliviers & Co.’s new harvest of Grand Cru olive oils, coming soon.

Word on the Street

  • Fortune magazine recommends O&CO’s Finca de Penarrubia, noting its “delicate and soft taste.”
  • Woman’s Day raves about their “incredible selection of olive oil.”
  • Everyday Rachael Ray picked the gourmet ketchup as a “fave” for its “smoky, spicy twist.”
  • O&CO’s sauces were featured on Oprah’s gift finders.

Dressed for the occasion

Sure, extra-virgin olive oil is a must for salad, but there are plenty of other great uses for it, too. Try using it:
  • In place of butter in mashed potatoes
  • Drizzled on vanilla frozen yogurt with a pinch of sea salt
  • On crostini with ricotta and fresh herbs
  • With hummus or tzatziki
  • To finish beef carpaccio or tartare