Cloudy, unfiltered olive oil is beautiful. And if you're in Heraklion, Lucca or Seville and the oil you're pouring over your food was made last week just down the street, you're lucky. For the rest of us, unfiltered that unfiltered oil comes with some hidden costs.

Every year at the NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition we receive hundreds of unfiltered oils among the entries. This year for the first time we will compile statistics based on the producers' descriptions of their milling processes that will shed light on how the award success rate of unfiltered oils compares with that of filtered oils. Stay tuned for those results.

The removal of wastewater and sediments allow for flavors to be sharper. Filtered olive oil gains in elegance.

There are some producers who consider the bits of floating olive pulp particles to be integral to an oil's character. Who among us hasn't been captivated by the rich, cloudy, golden light through an unfiltered extra virgin olive oil?

But like most decisions facing millers, eschewing the step of passing the oil through a filter prior to bottling comes with a set of consequences that vary depending on some factors.

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