About Olive Oil Jones

Painting by Eric Karpeles

Painting by Eric Karpeles


Our olive oil comes to us in 200kg barrels, all of it, of course, from the most recent harvest and ‘pressing’ (milling, extraction). After the ten-day crossing of the cold North Atlantic it has to be cleared through US Customs and the FDA at Port Elizabeth, NJ. Then it’s delivered to our warehouse in the South Bronx where it’s kept at a chilly 23 Centigrade (73.4 Fahrenheit).

We never pump this oil into a bottle until you order it. The result is olive oil as fresh as the day it was extracted. 

Our millers are instructed to not filter our oil. We prefer unfiltered olive oil for several reasons, all good. One is the most inconsequential — we are thrilled by cloudy oil. Filtering olive oil is but a cosmetic convention employed as a means to remove all organic material that may float, or that may gather on the bottom of a bottle. Filtering is a means of having olive oil that is clear. Apparently many people want clear olive oil. Most have never/will never encounter an unfiltered olive oil.

We don’t care if our beloved olive oil is clear.

We think clear oil has been robbed of its zest, its rusticity, a lot of vitamins, too. We prefer lots of things as unrefined as they can be. Can we say that unfiltered oil has more fragrance and therefore more flavor? Yes. Is this debatable? Yes. Again, we don’t care. We prefer unfiltered oils.

Our barrels of olive oil have ‘decanted’, which means most of the organic material has settled, and the result is a lot of our unfiltered oil will actually be pretty clear. No matter. It’s still unfiltered olive oil. Unfiltered olive oil is more natural than filtered. This thrills us.

Olive oil that is branded by the maker, and that has been exported in bottles and tins, has been cramped up in those bottles and tins for months or more. We say this is not a practice beneficial to the quality of the oil. We say these oils are stale. Tired. Oxidized. Waiting for you to buy them. However long it takes.

Olive Oil Jones olive oils (and vinegars), as a result of only having been bottled immediately before we ship it, are vastly fresher, NOT stale, NOT tired. They are living and breathing. Their fragrances billow. Their flavors run riot.

This is but one of the reasons our olive oils and vinegars are better than anything sold at retail and anything offered at online websites. We urge you to visit some of these websites. You will see, first, boring website design, very little information, and a lot of undistinguished olive oils being offered to you at outrageous prices PLUS shipping. Google them.

Life is short. Too short for erstwhile olive oil at ridiculous prices.

Another reason Olive Oil Jones olive oils are superior to any others is because they’re just vastly better olive oils. 

So. How did we come to start Olive Oil Jones?

Olive Oil Jones knows that even in big cities, even in quality shops, supermarkets and restaurants, the selection of olive oil available to you is dismal. The olive oil offered at retail is only what’s available through various importers and distributors, few of which offer anything remarkable.

I have been traveling for and importing olive oil from 100+ groves and mills, millers and estates for more than 20 years. I am fanatical about olive oil, the geographical domain of it, the fine people involved, the cultivars, the biz of olive oil, the use of olive oil at home in the kitchen and at the table. 

Until now my olive oils have been sold only at markets in New York City. My olive oil selection, informational signage and manner of presentation has been written and talked about far and wide. I have been the keynote speaker at the first three annual sessions of the New York International Olive Oil Competition. I have been greatly influenced and schooled by Dr. Gino Celletti who is one of, if not THE, pre-eminent olive oil experts in the world.

There you have it. Olive oils differ, the same as wines, cheeses, people… Some are best for this dish, that dish… we’ll have more on that later.

What’s cardinal is that the single most important foodstuff in your pantry is olive oil. That being the case, you belong to a cult called Olive Oil Jones.

- Steven Jenkins   July, 2018

I could eat bloody Elvis - if you put enough vinegar on him.
— Anthony Bourdain