Frequently Asked Questions

Sciabica is an Italian last name in which the “sci” makes the “sh” sound. In Italy, it would be pronounced with the accent on the first syllable: Shà-bee-ka However, here in the US it is pronounced with an accent on the second syllable: Sha-bèe-ka

Olive oil should be used every day because it reduces harmful LDL cholesterol while maintaining beneficial HDL. LDL cholesterol sticks in our arteries and causes blockages. Conversely, Jonathan Sciabica calls HDL cholesterol the “Roto-Rooter” for our system. HDL’s job is to flow through and remove the bad LDL, leading to lower risk of heart attack and heart disease. Extra Virgin olive oil retains all of the natural health benefits of the oil. Refined olive oils, such as “100% pure” may not have the effect on your health that EVOO offers. Since all of our oils are extra virgin, you can’t go wrong, though there is some evidence that shows stronger (fall harvest) olive oils have better antioxidant properties which have been correlated with reduced rates of cancer.

In a word, no. There are three terms that often have negative connotations that are not necessarily negative: Calories, Fat and Cholesterol. There are good sides to each of them.

Calories: Calories are essential because they give us energy; however, not all calories are created equal. 100 calories from fruit will burn off extremely fast, but 100 calories from saturated fat will take much more work. Olives are a fruit, and the oil from the olive is not nearly as “fattening” as the saturated and trans fats in fast food! The type of calorie is more important than the quantity. For instance, you can remove 500 calories of saturated fat and add 750 calories of fruits and vegetables and still lose weight! We believe that it is not possible to use too much olive oil 

Fat and Cholesterol: There are two types of Cholesterol, LDL and HDL. LDL is considered “bad” cholesterol and HDL is “good”. Having high cholesterol is not necessarily bad if it is high in “good” HDL. Saturated and Trans Fats have the “double whammy” effect of lowering good cholesterol and raising bad cholesterol. This is obviously bad, and should be avoided. Unsaturated fats do not have the negative effect of raising bad cholesterol, but not all are able to maintain good cholesterol. The Monounsaturated fats in olive oil have the opposite effect of Saturated and Trans Fats; they lower bad cholesterol and maintain good cholesterol. This significantly lowers the risk of blockage and heart disease.

There is also evidence to support the fact that Trans fats may raise the risk of Cancer, Diabetes, Obesity, Liver Dysfunction and Infertility.

The freezing process does NOT harm the olive oil. Yet, depending on how cold it gets, it may take up to a week to thaw!

No, olive oil keeps just fine in your cupboard at room temperature.

The three main concerns regarding olive oil are UV light, heat, and oxygen. If you do not open your bottle and keep it out of the light in your cupboard, the olive oil will be fine a year from now. After you open a bottle of Sciabica’s olive oil, we like to see you use it within three months.

If you've purchased a Bag-in-Box, you can use it over 6-9 months because the oil is not being exposed to oxygen.

“Dark glass” is one of the biggest olive oil myths. UV light is harmful to olive oil, not the visible spectrum. As an example of this, your car’s windshield is perfectly clear yet blocks 99% of UV light (which is why dashboards no longer fade and crack).

Though there are some studies that show dark glass is slightly better than clear glass over time, it is still not protecting the olive oil from UV light.

However, our in-house studies show that the label is a great UV blocker! So we designed a large wrap-around label, maximizing coverage of the bottle. Without a doubt, a clear bottle with a large label will significantly outlast a dark bottle with a small label (or screen printing).

The reason we continue to choose clear glass is because my grandfather always said, “dark glass is a good way to hide bad oil”. Our team is trained to determine if a bottle has been on the shelf too long just by looking at it. Over time the intensity of the color of the olive oil will fade. Clear glass allows us to better rotate stock out to ensure fresh olive oil on the grocery shelf. With a dark bottle, that’s not possible.

Of course, the absolute BEST solution is our bag-in-box which blocks 100% of the light and oxygen.

Generally lighter olive oils are used for cooking and baking, and stronger more robust olive oils for salads and bread dipping. There are 3 times that olives can be picked and pressed, beginning in September and going through April, divided into Fall, Winter and Spring Pressings. Fall pressing are much stronger in flavor than Winter pressings, while Spring are the lightest and sweetest which makes the Spring Pressings perfect for baking and the fall for salads, bread dipping and marinades. Yet, in the end, personal preference will determine which is right for you.