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Stew Leonard's has rolled out three signature extra virgin olive oils under its own brand name. The product, which debuted Friday and comes in 25.4-fluid-ounce (750-milliliter) bottles, is made from olives grown on family-owned groves such Mediterranean countries as Spain and Italy, the specialty grocer said.
The line consists of:
--Stew Leonard's 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which is made from three varieties of olives grown in southern Italy, Coratina, Ogliarola and Gentile, and retails for $7.99.
--Stew Leonard's 100% Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which features Picual, Hojiblanca, and Picudo olives from the Andalusia region of Spain and retails for $7.99.
--Stew Leonard's 100% Mediterranean Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which blends olives from Greece, Spain, Italy, and Tunisia and retails for $6.99.
"During my visits to wineries in Italy, Spain, and Greece, I noticed that the first thing they poured for us after their wine was their olive oil," noted Stew Leonard Jr., president and c.e.o. of the Norwalk, Conn.-based grocer, which operates four locations in Connecticut and New York,. "Almost every winery we visited grew olives on their land and made their own olive oil, each having their own distinct flavor. Practically every dish is finished with a drizzle of this liquid gold. That is why we are introducing three regional olive oils, because just as customers would try different wines, they can now experiment with using these distinct extra virgin olive oils in their dishes."
Stew Leonard's said the olive oil has a higher amount of monounsaturated fatty acids (which can help lower "bad" cholesterol while raising the "good" kind) than any other cooking oil, is free of trans fats, and low in saturated fat.