Artisan Olive Oil: Here’s Why You’ll Fall in Love With It

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Have you ever heard of artisan olive oils? If you’re not familiar with those pretty specific and not so common type of high-quality olive oils, this post is for you.

If you’re a true olive oil lover, I think that you should try these oils as soon as possible, and I’m going to try to convince you to taste them. I’m sure you’ll adore that beautiful taste and flavor.

Key Takeaways:

  • Artisan olive oil is made with quality and taste in mind.
  • Artisan oils are typically produced in small family businesses, with limited availability.
  • It’s hard to find artisan olive oils in a typical store.
  • If you want to try the best of the best, artisan olive oil might be the choice for you.

What Is Artisan Olive Oil?

artisan olive oil

I’ll try to keep everything simple so you can understand everything more easily.

Artisan olive oil is a type of olive oil produced with careful attention to extreme quality and taste.

The whole point of making artisan olive oil is to:

  • Make it the traditional way and have the best quality possible.
  • Pay specific attention to the quality and taste of the oil.
  • Grow only specific olive varieties that pr have the best quality and taste.
  • Make smaller amounts of olive oil so you can achieve perfection.
  • Enjoy rich flavor and health benefits.
  • All artisan olive oils are extra virgin olive oils – the highest quality with the best taste and with the most polyphenols.

You won’t find large companies producing artisan olive oils because their ultimate goal is to generate as much profit, while producers of artisan olive oils want to create something unique and the best possible, even without enough ROI.

For instance, some of the best oils (official winners of olive oil competitions) are often artisan olive oils from small family-owned businesses. One such example is a Bilic EVOO from Croatia – they won a gold award on NYWorld 2023, and it’s extremely hard to find their olive oil, even inside Croatia.

The Process of Making Artisan Oils

The process of making olive oil isn’t actually different when it comes to artisan olive oils.

If you want to find out the full process of making olive oil, check out my guide on How Olive Oil is Made.

But artisan olive oils differ in a few key things:

  • Olive trees are always grown 100% organically.
  • The time of picking olives is extremely important, and olives are harvested when the fruit has the perfect Olive Maturity Index.
  • Harvesting is always done by hand to prevent any damage to the fruit.
  • As soon as harvesting is finished, olive oils are crushed and turned into the olive oil – mostly the same day to prevent any rotting or oxidation from happening at all.
  • Oil is bottled as soon as the extraction and filtration are finished to prevent oxygen from affecting the flavor.

The Use of Artisan Olive Oils

pouring olive oil on carrots

Because of their higher price and limited availability, not many people use artisan olive oils on a daily basis (including myself).

Artisan olive oils are mostly used:

  • For gourmet cooking, in 5-star restaurants or even Michelin-star restaurants.
  • By olive oil lovers who want to get the best of the best olive oils.
  • Inside families that make traditional, high-quality olive oils for their needs.

You won’t find an average person using artisan olive oils, and besides earlier mentioned price and availability, people actually don’t know a lot about artisan olive oils, which is the reason why I’m writing this post – I want to introduce artisan olive oils and their benefits to wider audience.

The Taste Difference

woman tasting olive oil

If you’re wondering if there’s any difference in taste between typical extra virgin olive oils and artisan olive oils, you’re on the right track.

There’s some difference, and while some people will love it, for others, it’ll be slightly too strong.

I thoroughly explained how olive oil should taste, so I won’t bother you with all the flavors and aromas you should experience, but here’s what you can expect from artisan olive oils:

  • Much stronger flavor, more grassy.
  • The taste is extremely strong with much more bitterness (due to the high amount of polyphenols).

If you love stronger olive oils, I’m sure you’ll like the taste of artisan olive oils.

But there’s also one key thing to consider. Since artisan olive oils are so specific, they will reflect the area where the olives are grown.

So, you’ll be able to spot the difference between Croatian artisan oils and Turkish artisan oils, for instance. That’s because the climate is different in both of these countries, and different olive varieties are grown.

In typical olive oils, where companies focus much more on earnings, you might not experience so much difference between oils.

Don’t get me wrong, mass-produced high-quality extra virgin olive oils can be indeed fantastic and flavorful, but it’s hard to maintain quality on such a large scale.

That’s the whole point of artisan olive oils, as I mentioned earlier.

Where To Buy Artisan Olive Oils

It may seem that artisan olive oils are pretty hard to find, but it’s not always like that.

If you want to find high-quality artisan olive oils, I suggest that you:

  • Find local, small olive growers near you. They typically make high-quality olive oil, much better than the ones you can buy in the store.
  • Check stores with organic food because they won’t sell anything that isn’t organic, and organic products are typically from smaller producers.
  • Search online for high-quality oils. It may be tough to find really high-quality ones, as many sellers won’t use “artisan” in their descriptions, but it’s easy to distinguish artisan from typical olive oils just by looking at how the oil has been made.
  • Sellers of artisan olive oils will try their best to show off everything: the growing process, harvesting and milling process, bottle will be full of information about the oil, etc.

From widely available high-quality artisan extra virgin olive oils, I prefer Italian Piro. It’s a small company that produces limited batches of olive oils, all of which are extremely high-quality because of how careful they are at each step in the process of making olive oil.

Why do I love them so much? Here are just a few things:

  • Olives are grown in their own groves, which have trees that are more than 300 years old.
  • They harvest all the olives manually by hand.
  • They follow specific procedures to keep the oil fresh in the bottle (there’s no oxygen in the bottle, the bottle is UV resistant, tinted glass, etc.).
  • They manually write the harvest date and number on each bottle.
  • Oil is fantastic, and plenty of awards prove it.
  • Their oil has 940mg/kg of polyphenols and 79% oleic acid, which is almost impossible to achieve.

The price is $52 per 500ml bottle, which I know is extremely expensive, but if you’re a true lover of olive oil and want to try something extraordinary, trust me, you’ll be amazed by the taste and flavors of this oil.

I know that you can get cheaper things on Amazon, but trust me, you can’t compare this olive oil to the average oil sold for $10-15 on Amazon.

If you want to buy Piro olive oil, check it here.

And if you have a friend or relative who is an olive oil lover, I suggest that you check out the Trio Brachia Varietal Olive Oil Gift Set, which contains three different artisan olive oils from Croatia.