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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

GENERAL

What are some of the best ways to cook with Kosterina?

Kosterina extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars are a cook’s best friend. Our extra virgin olive oils are produced to withstand high cooking temperatures (over450° F) and our balsamic vinegars add depth of flavor to any dish. Lastly, our EVOO dark chocolate has been known to make the best indulgent-but-healthy desserts and treats.You can find our treasure trove of Kosterina-crafted recipes and recommendationshere.

 

Are Kosterina products kosher?

Kosterina products are not certified kosher. However, extra virgin olive oil is a naturally kosher product.

 

Does Kosterina ship to locations outside of the United States?

At this time Kosterina only ships to locations within the continental US (excluding Hawaii and Alaska).

 

Does Kosterina offer gift messaging on orders?

Yes, we highly recommend our products as gifts! You can add gift messages to any order during checkout and your gift message will appear on the packing slip.

 

What is the best way to place a large order (i.e. event favors, multiple recipients)?

Kosterina Original Extra Virgin Olive Oil Minis are a fan-favorite wedding and party favor. They can be purchased in packs of 48.

If you are looking to purchase multiple bottles of any product for an event or you’d like to gift our products to multiple individuals, please reach out to our customer service team athello@kosterina.com. We are here to help bring your vision to life!

 

Which retailers carry Kosterina?

Kosterina is carried at retailers across the US, including Whole Foods Market, Erewhon, Crate + Barrel, and many small, specialty retailers. You can find Kosterina at a store near youhere.

OLIVE OIL FACTS

What does EVOO stand for?

“EVOO” stands for “Extra Virgin Olive Oil”, which is a regulated quality designation for olive oil.

 

How is extra virgin olive oil different from regular olive oil?

Extra Virgin olive oil comes from the very first press of the olive. “Virgin” Olive oil comes from the second press. “Pure” or regular old “olive oil” can be from the third or 4th press. In addition, extra virgin olive oils must have a polyphenol content of at least 55 mg/kg, as measured at the time of harvest. Kosterina EVOO has a polyphenol content of 300-500 mg/kg.We, of course, don’t recommend you consume anything except pure extra virgin olive oil!

 

Why are some olive oils called “early harvest”?

Kosterina EVOO is always harvested early. “Early Harvest” is a designation given to extra virgin olive oils that are harvested early in the season when the olives are still unripe (aka green!). Olives have the highest polyphenol content (and therefore health benefits) at the phase between green and darker skin, and therefore, an early harvest is key to making the best quality extra virgin olive oil.

Because they are unripe, olives harvested early yield less juice which means more olives are required to make a bottle of EVOO, which is why authentic EVOO tends to be healthier and more flavorful (...and more expensive).

 

Is it true that there is a lot of fraud in the olive oil market and how do you spot fraudulent extra virgin olive oil?

There is a lot offraud in the olive oil market, as many oils that read “extra virgin” on the label have been diluted with other refined oils and do not meet the necessary requirements (such as polyphenol content or acidity levels).Therefore, examine labels carefully to ensure you’re getting real extra virgin olive oil. It’s always a good idea to read ingredients lists and check for quality certification. Here are tips for spotting high quality EVOO while shopping:  

  • Always look for an opaque bottle/package. Translucent bottles let in light and light is enemy #1 to good olive oil.
  • Look for a harvest date on the bottle. You want to make sure you’re consuming fresh EVOO from the most recent harvest which (in the northern hemisphere) happens in between October and January. Olives that are harvested early have the richest flavor and the highest polyphenol content.
  • Read the bottle, looking for any reference to the source of the olives. Authentic, high-quality EVOO should be made from a single varietal of olives. Many olive oils that state olive oil as their ingredient, without any reference to a source, are usually made from a blend of olives, therefore, decreasing quality, taste and health benefits.
  • The best way to test an EVOO for high polyphenol (antioxidant) content is to taste it. We highlight how to test EVOO like an expertin this blog post.

 

What are the health benefits of olive oil?

Olive oil has been proven to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and raise HDL (good cholesterol) levels when used to replace saturated fat such as butter. It also contains beta carotene, vitamins A, E, D and K, plus many more healthful nutrients. Research shows these nutrients have beneficial effects on almost every bodily function.

Extra virgin olive oil has the lowest oxidation rate of cooking oils, meaning it is able to maintain its molecular structure when heat is applied. Oxidation promotes free radicals, chemicals that are highly reactive and damage cells. Some of this damage may lead to cancer and other disease states.

Extra virgin olive oil is also one of the best sources of antioxidants, which protect cells from damage and oxidation. Extra virgin olive oil also has an amazing skin- and body-protecting polyphenols called hydroxytyrosol. Studies show that hydroxytyrosol has among the greatest free-radical absorbing capacities.

 

What are polyphenols?

Polyphenols are a group of naturally occurring plant-based chemicals found in a variety of fruits, nuts, seeds and spices - including olives. Like other antioxidants, polyphenols are proven to fight against aging-related diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol, as well ascertain types of cancer. In addition to the anti-aging properties of polyphenols, they contain strong anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, it’sthought that two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil a day is enough to provide these anti-inflammatory benefits.You can read more on our blog posthere.

 

How long is it safe to use olive oil after opening?

Since EVOO is, quite literally, a fruit juice, it is recommended that a bottle be consumed within 3 months of opening for maximum quality, taste and health benefits (Since EVOO has so many uses and benefits, we usually finish ours well before 3 months!).That being said, our EVOO is still safe to consume after 3 months. It will just be less fresh, tasty or health-benefiting.  

 

How should olive oil be stored?

In a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and never in the fridge. We recommend storing your beautiful, opened Kosterina bottles on your countertop in your kitchen (and your back ups in the pantry!).

OUR PRODUCT

EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

When is Kosterina EVOO harvested?

Kosterina EVOO is harvested early in the season (November or December) in Greece. The EVOO is then brought to the US, packaged and available for sale by March.This year’s harvest began in December 2020 and ended in January 2021. The EVOO from this harvest will be available for sale until February 2022.

 

What varietal of olives is Kosterina EVOO made from?

Kosterina EVOO is always made from a single crop of early harvest Koroneiki olives - the most popular (and we believe the best) varietal in Greece.

 

What is the polyphenol count of Kosterina EVOO?

Kosterina EVOO is a high-polyphenol extra virgin olive oil. Our Organic Everyday EVOO has a polyphenol count of at least 300 mg/kg as measured at the time of harvest, and our Original Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a polyphenol count of at least 400 mg/kg as measured at the time of harvest.

 

How are Kosterina polyphenol counts measured?

Kosterina has a chemical analysis done by a third party as soon as the harvest is complete each year. We use the Folin-ciocalteu method for phenol testing.

 

What is the acidity profile of Kosterina EVOO?

The acidity level of Kosterina Original Extra Virgin Olive Oil is .17%. The acidity level of Kosterina Organic Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil is .29%.For reference, in order to be deemed “extra virgin,” an olive oil must have an acidity level below .80%.

 

What is the smoke point of Kosterina EVOO?

The smoke point of all Kosterina extra virgin olive oils is over 450° F, making it an excellent choice for grilling, roasting, baking, frying, or cooking at most high temperatures. You can read more on the science of cooking with olive oilhere.

 

What is the flavor profile of Kosterina EVOO?

The flavor profile for Kosterina Original Extra Virgin Olive Oil is green tomato, artichoke, and banana.

For reference, quality EVOO should smell like fresh grass, fruit, or vegetables and reveal more fruit and vegetable flavors as you swirl it around your mouth and taste it. High-polyphenol EVOO should also have a peppery sensation at the back of your throat when you swallow it.

 

What does the “best by” date on Kosterina EVOO bottles mean?

The “best by” date on Kosterina EVOO bottles is by no means an expiration date, but rather a frame of reference for when EVOO should be consumed for maximum fresh flavor and health benefits.Our “best by” dates are marked for 2 years after harvest.

 

Is Kosterina EVOO organic?

Kosterina Organic Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil is certified organic.

Kosterina Original Extra Virgin Olive Oil (and all of our flavored olive oils, which use the Original as their base EVOO), are produced using organic farming methods but are not yet certified as organic. We do not use herbicides, pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. We have applied for our organic certification and expect to receive it in 2022.

 

What is the difference between the Everyday EVOO and Original EVOO?

Kosterina Original EVOO is highly aromatic and intensely flavorful - a testament to its high polyphenol content of +400 mg/kg. It is ideal for drizzling, dipping, and finishing – anytime temperature is not applied, in order to experience the full extent of its robust flavor.

The Organic Everyday EVOO has a more mild flavor that will not overpower your food, a slightly lower polyphenol content of +300 mg/kg, and an incredible price point for the quality. It is perfect for using liberally when cooking any meal.

In summary, our blue bottle lives next to your stove and our white bottle lives on your kitchen table. Read morehere.

 

Is Kosterina EVOO safe for skin?

Absolutely! There is a long history of the effectiveness of EVOO and its benefits for the skin. Cleopatra famously would use olive oil for her skin care rituals. And dermatologists andstudies agree: EVOO does wonders for your skin (and hair!). Not only is it great for hydration and glow, but it's packed with antioxidant properties like squalene that protect your skin from free radicals, environmental damage and more.Of course, we encourage you to defer to your dermatologist when in doubt. And you can read more about this topichere.

BALSAMIC VINEGAR

Where is Kosterina balsamic vinegar made?

Kosterina balsamic vinegar is made in Modena, Italy. Like Champagne, balsamic vinegar is a protected product; in order to be deemed authentic balsamic vinegar, it must be made in Modena, Italy.

 

What grape(s) is Kosterina balsamic vinegar made from?

Kosterina balsamic vinegar is made from Trebbiano and Lambrusco grapes.

 

How long has Kosterina balsamic vinegar been aged?

Kosterina balsamic vinegar is aged for 6 years in oak barrels that are 30 years old.

 

What are the health benefits of balsamic vinegar?

Like extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar is high in antioxidants.

 

Does balsamic vinegar need to be refrigerated?

No - it is recommended that balsamic vinegar be stored in a cool, dry place and never in the refrigerator.

 

What is the shelf life of balsamic vinegar?

If stored in a cool, dry place, balsamic vinegars are usually safe to consume for up to 3 years.

 

Is sugar added to Kosterina balsamic vinegar?

No sugar is added–the sugar content all comes naturally from the fermented grapes.

EVOO DARK CHOCOLATE

Why does Kosterina EVOO Dark Chocolate contain extra virgin olive oil?

Because when polyphenol-rich olive oil is combined with antioxidant-rich dark chocolate, the antioxidant properties are amplified in one smooth, heart-healthy treat (the perfect win-win situation ;).

 

Where is the cacao in your EVOO Dark Chocolate sourced from?

Our organic cacao is sourced from South America

 

What is the cacao content of Kosterina EVOO Dark Chocolate?

The cacao content of our organic cacao is 70%.

 

What is the sugar content of Kosterina EVOO Dark Chocolate bars?

Kosterina EVOO Dark Chocolate Bars have 9g of sugar per serving and are formulated with coconut sugar (no refined sugar).

 

Is Kosterina EVOO Dark Chocolate keto or paleo friendly?

Kosterina EVOO dark chocolate bars are not keto friendly but are paleo friendly.

 

Does Kosterina EVOO Dark Chocolate contain nuts?

All Kosterina EVOO Dark Chocolate bars are produced in a facility that processes nuts.Three of our EVOO Dark Chocolate bars contain nuts: Almond Butter & Vanilla (almonds), Cashew Quinoa (cashews, and Nuts, Cinnamon, & Honey (pistachios, almonds, walnuts, pecans).

 

How is Kosterina EVOO Dark Chocolate shipped?

Year round, Kosterina EVOO Dark Chocolate is shipped on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays in order to minimize time in a warm truck. The chocolate is always shipped in heavy, corrugated cardboard boxes to protect from breakage.

In the warmer months, however, our chocolate is shipped on ice via 2-day shipping in order to help prevent melting. An additional shipping charge is applied.

OLIVE OIL CAKE 

How should the Kosterina Olive Oil Cake be served?

Our cakes are best enjoyed at room temperature with fresh powdered sugar sifted on top.Florence Fabricant of the New York Times enjoys her cake with a scoop of sorbet.

 

How many people does one Kosterina Olive Oil Cake serve?

Approximately 8 people.

 

How long does Kosterina Olive Oil Cake stay fresh?

Cakes will remain fresh for about 4 days from ship date without refrigeration. After 4 days, we recommend refrigerating. Once in the refrigerator, the cake will remain fresh for another 5-7 days.Cakes can also be frozen and enjoyed, once thawed, 2-3 weeks after the initial freeze.

 

How should Kosterina Olive Oil Cake be stored?

Kosterina Olive Oil Cake can be stored covered at room temperature for 4 days, in the refrigerator for 5-7 days, or in the freezer for 2-3 weeks.

 

What is the availability of Kosterina Olive Oil Cake?

Kosterina Olive Oil Cakes are baked fresh every Wednesday, in small batches, at Kosterina’s very own bakery facility.

 

How is Kosterina Olive Oil Cake shipped?

Kosterina Olive Oil cake is shipped via UPS and guaranteed to arrive within 2 days of your chosen shipment date to ensure freshness. The cake is sealed and packed in a cake box placed within a heavy, corrugated cardboard box to ensure the cake does not get damaged.

Due to the perishable nature of this item, a $12 shipping charge will apply to all orders in the Northeast, and a $15 shipping charge will apply to all other orders.

 

Can Kosterina Olive Oil Cake orders be combined with orders of other Kosterina products?

Not at this time. Our Olive Oil Cakes ship directly from our baking facility, so it cannot be combined in one shipment with other Kosterina products.

SHIPPING & RETURNS

Where does Kosterina ship?

Kosterina ships to the lower 48 states.

 

How soon after placing an order will it ship?

Any orders that do not contain our EVOO Dark Chocolate or Olive Oil Cake will ship 1-2 business days after the order is placed.Chocolate orders will ship the first Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday following the day the order is placed. Cake orders will ship on the date selected at checkout.

*Please note that we are experiencing shipping delays at this time given macro supply chain constraints.*

 

What shipping method does Kosterina use?

Kosterina ships all orders via UPS.

 

Where does Kosterina ship from?

Kosterina orders ship from Connecticut, with the exception of cake orders, which ship from New York.

 

What is the shipping cost?

  • Shipping is free for all orders under $75 (excluding olive oil cake and EVOO dark chocolate in the summer)
  • Orders under $75 are subject to a $8.99 shipping charge
  • Chocolate ordersin the summer are subject to a $15 shipping charge
  • Cake orders are subject to a $12-15 shipping charge, depending on your location

 

How are breakables like EVOO and balsamic vinegars shipped?

Kosterina EVOO and balsamic vinegars are bottled in heavy glass bottles, so we ship all orders in heavy, corrugated cardboard boxes, similar to a wine delivery box, to protect the bottles.  

 

What is Kosterina’s return policy?

We want all our customers to be happy. If, for whatever reason, you are not, please reach out tohello@kosterina.com.  

FIND US IN STORE

Which retailers carry Kosterina?

Kosterina is carried at retailers across the US, including Whole Foods Market, Erewhon, Crate + Barrel, and many small, specialty retailers. You can find Kosterina at a store near youhere.

 

Don't see your question here? Drop us a line at hello@kosterina.com.

Pre-Orders cannot be combined with regular orders