Shelf Life

NOLA Blends strives to offer the freshest quality products to our customers. To help you understand our minimum shelf-life structure, we would like to explain the factors involved in establishing the parameters for the various products we offer. Please keep in mind that the shelf-life is based upon proper storage and handling.

Balsamic Vinegar

Unflavored balsamic vinegars have an almost unlimited shelf-life. Due to the requirement for having expiration dates for food products, our supplier guarantees upwards to 3 years from date of production. We take into consideration transit times, our inventory movement and processing times and can confidently offer a guarantee of 24 months from the time you purchase from NOLA Blends.

Why is there a discoloring in my white balsamic? What is Mother in Vinegar?  

We add no preservatives to our vinegars.  They are 100% natural.  As a result, you may notice the development of a white stringy substance in the bottom of the bottle.  This mass is called “mother of vinegar” and will naturally occur in vinegar products over time.  It is mostly cellulose, a natural carbohydrate, which is the fiber found in the juice or wine used to make the vinegar.  Vinegar containing a “mother” is not harmful or spoiled.  If you find it objectionable, “mother” can be removed by filtering with cheesecloth or a coffee filter.

Infused Balsamic Vinegar

Although we use the same base balsamic which has a healthy shelf-life, the infusions do alter the expected life. Based upon the shelf-life offered by the base balsamic and the infusion, NOLA Blends can offer a 12 month shelf-life from date of purchase.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Olive oil has a 24 month shelf-life from the time it is produced and can go even beyond that if stored and handled properly. The lead time from crushing to the oils arriving to our facility can vary depending upon how long it takes for the producer to release it (in many instances, the producer lets the oil settle for a couple months), the transit time for it to arrive at our facility and the holding period for us to have the oil tested. The testing we do is to ensure that the oil matches the Certificate of Analysis of the approved pre-shipment sample we receive from the producer. Even though we buy from trusted suppliers, there has been much controversy regarding the integrity of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for our peace of mind and our customers, we have it tested again upon receipt.

Flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oil

A lot number of Extra Virgin Olive Oil is selected to produce the Flavored EVOO that Is created in-house. That lot number is used throughout the season for that flavor until it is finished. At that time another lot number may be selected, typically from the same crop year depending on the time the selection is required. So it is possible that you would see the same lot with multiple months in between. It is similar to the Varietal EVOO’s, the same harvest is available and sold throughout the season. The infusions do alter the expected life. Based upon the shelf-life NOLA Blends can offer a 12 month shelf-life from date of purchase.

Balsamic

Is there added sugar to your Balsamic?

NO! The sweetness of our balsamic is due to the high amount of concentrated grape must in our product. The more grape must, the thicker and sweeter it becomes.

What makes your Balsamic so thick?

Our special quality of grape must give the finished goods a thicker consistency This balsamic is made exclusively for us in Italy and to our specification. It contains a minimum of 80% high quality must and wine vinegar that is aged a minimum of 10 years. The resultant product is naturally thick and sweet. 

What type of barrel is the Balsamic aged in?

Slovanian Oak.

 

Olive Oil

What are the health benefits of EVOO?

Here are some health benefits as follows:

  • • The best form of dietary fat you can use
  • • All natural - no chemical processing to make it edible
  • • Lowers cholesterol – High in anti-oxidants and monounsaturated fat
  • • Contains no cholesterol
  • • Has anti-cancer properties.  High in antioxidants
  • • Excellent source of Co-Q 10
  • • Small amount before meals lowers appetite.
  • • Tastes great.  You will want to eat more healthy salads. 

Can I Cook with EVOO?

  • Of course, just watch your cooking temperature and try not to exceed 325-350 degrees.  If you overheat Extra Virgin Olive Oil it will burn and ruin your dish. As you can imagine, there are many acceptable cooking uses for EVOO.  Just watch how much is used by professional chefs on the food channels.  Here is a guideline for using EVOO in the kitchen.  We will start with the most basic and work up the heat scale to deep frying.

  • Raw:  For using it raw, only the best olive oil will do (100% EVOO).  It is great for drizzling over salads, or dipping with fresh bread.   Also great drizzled in soups or over pasta, and as a finishing oil.

  • Sautéing:  The term sautéing is French and refers to the constant motion of food in the pan.  When using Olive Oil for sautéing, pour the oil in the pan and bring the temperature up.  When the oil is heated, add the food and stir, making sure the food and oil does not burn. Baking:  Olive Oil is a healthy substitution for butter and has been used by the Italians in baking for many years.  Often, customers like to use the lighter oils (Manzanillo) or nut flavored oils (Walnut) for use in desserts. For non-dessert baking, Olive Oil can also be used.  Depending upon the temperature of the items you are baking and your preferred flavor characteristics, the recommended oil will vary.

  • Pan Frying:  EVOO can successfully be used in pan frying vegetables, eggs, seafood and thin slices of meat.  The key is to watch your temperature, and limit the use to only those times where the Extra Virgin Olive Oils flavor is desired.  Keep in mind, excessive heat and too long at high temperature will kill the exquisite flavor of The Olive Tap’s premium quality olive oil.
  • Deep Frying:  In general, EVOO is not recommended for deep frying.  It is best to use Pure Olive Oil or Refined Oil. 

What are the typical ratios of oil to vinegar?

For marinades we recommend 1 part oil to 1 part vinegar.  For vinaigrettes, use 2 or 3 parts oil to one part vinegar. 

Can I substitute olive oil for butter? 

Yes, and this is much healthier for you.  Olive oil is high in heart healthy monounsaturated fat, and is rich in cancer fighting anti-oxidants.  Flavored olive oils and walnut oil will add great taste to baked foods and other dishes.  Because butter has water and milk solids in addition to fat, we reduce the total amount of measured fat by 25%.  In critical recipes, you might need to add back a little bit of water or other liquid.  In general, using 75% olive oil of the recipes suggested butter will serve you well

Butter/EVOO conversion… Use this chart to convert the quantity of butter called for in a recipe to the required quantity of olive oil.

Butter Olive Oil
1 teaspoon 3/4 teaspoon
2 teaspoons 1-1/2 teaspoons
1 tablespoon 2-1/4 teaspoons
2 tablespoons 1-1/2 tablespoons
1/4 cup 3 tablespoons
1/3 cup 1/4 cup
1/2 cup 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons
2/3 cup 1/2 cup

Gluten Free? MSG? Kosher? NON-GMO?

Are your products Gluten Free? 

Yes, our products are 100% guaranteed gluten free.  Our Balsamic Vinegars do not contain gluten or any gluten containing additives.

Are the Flavored Balsamic Vinegars MSG free?

Yes, all of our infusions are MSG free.

Polyphenols?

Polyphenols - known to be anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and an anticoagulant. They help to reduce and neutralize free radicals and repair the damage that have been caused to cell membranes from cigarette smoke, pollution, alcohol, and the sun.