The Classy Cruet's logo consisting of two olive oil bottles decorated with olive branchesThe Classy Cruet
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Who runs The Classy Cruet?
The Classy Cruet is run by Greg and Kaye Gerrald. Greg and Kaye are interested in a healthy lifestyle and diet due to their medical backgrounds. Greg graduated from USC School of Pharmacy and is a licensed pharmacist. He has worked in retail pharmacy for five years and has worked for a large pharmaceutical company for 30 years. Kaye is a native of Lexington County. She graduated from Brookland-Cayce High School, attended USC and graduated from MUSC with a BS in Medical Technology. She has worked for The American Red Cross, MUSC and several other hospitals with the most recent being Riley Children's Hospital where she worked in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology.
What is olive oil?
Olive oil is a fat obtained from the fruit of the Olea europaea (olive tree), a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean region, California and in the Southern Hemisphere, where whole olives are pressed to produce olive oil. The oil is used in cosmetics, medicine, cooking and soaps, and was also used as a fuel for traditional lamps. Although originating in the Mediterranean countries, today it is used worldwide. Greece has the highest olive oil intake per person in the world. Greeks consume, on average, 24 liters per-person-per-year, Spaniards and Italians consume about 15 and 13 liters-per-person-per year, respectively. The use of olive oils in the United States is growing, but on average, nowhere near the consumption of the Mediterranean populations.
What is Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is the highest quality and most expensive olive oil classification. It should have no defects and a flavor of fresh olives. Fresh EVOO is best if harvested in Oct in the northern hemisphere and in May in the southern hemisphere. Early fresh EVOO will have its best natural taste and highest nutritional value, demonstrated as the healthiest fat to consume with 73% monounsaturated fats. Over time, EVOO will oxidate with exposure to air by losing its flavor, taste and nutritional value, so it is best to store in stainless steel for up to 2 years or in dark green bottles for up to 9-12 months. Storage should also be away from heat or direct light.
In chemical terms extra virgin olive oil is described as having a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.8 grams per 100 grams and a peroxide value of less than 20 milliequivalent O2. The best premium EVOO will have free fatty acid as low as 0.1 - 0.2% which will have a low smoke point and can be used for cooking at temperatures up to 425 degrees. The first press EVOO must be produced entirely by mechanical means without the use of any solvents, and under temperatures that will not degrade the oil (less than 86°F, 30°C). In order for an oil to qualify as “extra virgin” the oil must also pass both an official chemical test in a laboratory and a sensory evaluation by a trained tasting panel recognized by the International Olive Council. The olive oil must be found to be free from defects while exhibiting some fruitiness.
Where do your olive oils come from?
The Classy Cruet olive oils are super premium extra virgin olive oils (EVOOs), harvested from expert growers from across the northern and southern hemisphere. EVOO intensity will be described mild, medium or robust. Our infused olive oils start with an mild or medium EVOO and then are infused with a natural herb, spice or fruit product.
What are the health benefits of olive oil?
Prevents cancer:
The phytonutrient in olive oil, oleocanthal, mimics the effect of ibuprofen in reducing inflammation, which can decrease the risk of breast cancer and its recurrence. Squalene and lignans are among the other olive oil components being studied for their possible effects on cancer.
Prevents heart disease:
Olive oil helps lower levels of blood cholesterol leading to heart disease.
Oxidative stress:
Olive oil, especially EVOO, is rich in antioxidants, especially vitamin E, long thought to minimize cancer risk. Among plant oils, olive oil is the highest in monounsaturated fat, which doesn't oxidize in the body, and it is low in polyunsaturated fat, the kind that does oxidize.
Blood pressure:
Recent studies indicate that regular consumption of olive oil can help decrease both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Prevents diabetes:
It has been demonstrated that a diet that is rich in olive oil, low in saturated fats, moderately rich in carbohydrates and soluble fiber from fruit, vegetables, pulses and grains is the most effective approach for diabetics. It helps lower 'bad' low-density lipoproteins while improving blood sugar control and enhances insulin sensitivity.
Reduce obesity levels:
Although high in calories, olive oil has shown to help reduce levels of obesity.
Rheumatoid Arthritis:
Although the reasons are still not fully clear, recent studies have proved that people with diets containing high levels of olive oil are less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis.
A high consumption of olive oil appears to improve bone mineralization and calcification. It helps calcium absorption and so plays an important role in aiding sufferers and in preventing the onset of Osteoporosis
What is balsamic vinegar?
Traditional balsamic vinegar originates from Modena, Italy, where families have been using the same techniques for generations. Balsamic vinegar is made from pressing and fermenting grapes. It ages in wooden barrels for years, sometimes decades. The longer it ferments, the more intense the flavor becomes and the thicker it gets. Balsamic vinegar has an array of health benefits, but you should not use to treat any type of medical ailment.
Balsamic vinegar adds lots of flavor to any dish, without packing in too many calories. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, balsamic vinegar provides a minimal 5 calories per teaspoon. This is far less than a 1-teaspoon serving of olive oil which has 45 calories. Swapping out oil or fatty dressing for balsamic vinegar shaves a significant number of calories from your diet, making it a healthier alternative.
Where do your balsamic vinegars come from?
The Class Cruet balsamic vinegars are naturally made by our Italian sommelier in Modena,Italy. Our Traditional balsamic vinegar is the base for most of our dark balsamics while the white balsamics begin with our Balsamico Bianco. Dark and white balsamics are then instilled with fruit, herbs or spices to make fantastic robust flavors.
Crafted in Modena, Italy by Aceto Varvello and inspired by rare lots of 18 Year Balsamico Tradizionale di Reggio Emilia, our Traditional 18 Year dark balsamic has everything you would expect in a world-class balsamic: the perfect balance and structure of sweet and sour, notes of prune and caramel with a creamy texture that extends into a long finish. Made with an exceptionally high percentage of Italian Lambrusco, Sangiovese and Trebbiano grapes that are slowly cooked to create the highest quality grape must base. The must is then combined with barrel-aged Sangiovese wine vinegar to start the acetification process. The result is the most premium example of an extremely high-quality balsamic condimento that pairs well with almost every olive oil in our store.
Our newest dark balsamic, Estilo 'Affinato' di Modena dark balsamic vinegar condimento, has the highest density of any vinegar we carry. Made from the highest quality Trebbiano grape must, this product is super thick and complex, layering flavor throughout. Boasting a 1.36 density and 5% acidity, the vinegar possesses a balance of sweet and sour with perfect harmony and texture. With no thickeners or additives, this product is meant to compete with 25 yr.aged vinegar but at a new level of excellence.
Balsamico Bianco is our highest quality white condimento found in any tasting room. Producer and Sommelier, Davide Varvello tastes and hand selects the best quality Pinot Grigio grape must to make this unflavored white balsamic vinegar. The brightness and structure of the grape must is perfectly balanced with high quality, high residual alcohol Pinot Grigio wine vinegar to bring the wine aromas through the must. Use it to brighten and sweeten butter-based sauces or to provide an unobtrusive and untinted foundation for delicate vinaigrettes.
What are the health benefits of balsamic vinegars?
Antioxidant properties:
Oxidation reactions taking place in the human body to produce energy, conduce to formation of cell damaging free radicals as natural by-products. Free radicals damage cell membranes and manifest themselves in terms of premature aging, hardening of arterial walls and cancer. Antioxidants from balsamic vinegar destroy these free radicals and prevent cells from being destroyed.
Prevents cancer:
The grapes from which balsamic vinegar is formed is known to contain a bioflavonoid called quercetin, which has antioxidant properties. Along with vitamin C, this antioxidant strengthens the immune system to fight cancer and other infectious diseases and inflammations. Balsamic vinegar also contains polyphenols which are anticancer agents.
Reduces risk of heart attacks:
Balsamic vinegar is low in saturated fat and is believed to reduce cholesterol. Moreover, since it is low in sodium, it enhances heart health and reduces high blood pressure.
Controls diabetes:
Research reveals that consumption of at least 5 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar a day enhances insulin sensitivity. The greater the insulin sensitivity, the better the diabetes control.
Natural pain reliever:
In ancient times, folk healers used this vinegar to relieve people of their body pain. Moreover, they also used balsamic vinegar to treat wounds and infections. The anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties in the vinegar healed wounds.
Assists digestion:
The polyphenols in balsamic vinegar stimulate the activity of pepsin enzyme in the body. Pepsin is a digestive enzyme, which helps break proteins into smaller units (amino acids). Moreover, these polyphenols also assist the intestine in absorbing amino acids expeditiously. Efficient amino acid absorption enables the body to utilize it for cell building, repair and other body maintenance work. Thus, balsamic vinegar aids the digestion process.