Let me introduce you to one of my most loved ingredients, Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO).

I am thinking of creating a small series about this passion of mine and share all the secrets behind it which I recently found out at a professional testing course held in Florence. If you are interested, let me know here.

Meanwhile, here’s a short introduction to my favourite fruit juice, Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

In the Italian tradition, EVOO is present in every dish, from the antipasti to the dessert. Because extra virgin olive oil is something special,

it is deemed as liquid gold, cream of the crop, the best of the best.

But what exactly is extra virgin olive oil and how can you distinguish it from others?

Extra virgin olive oil is, as I said, actually a fruit juice that comes solely from the pressing of the olives with mechanical means alone – no chemicals added. All the other oils that you can find in the market come from seeds and mostly extracted with chemicals like hexane.

EVOO flavours are determined by the olive’s variety, ripeness, climate and soil type, crop maintenance, handling and the milling process. There are so many factors that can make this wonder oil Good or Bad.

What Makes Extra Virgin Olive Oil the Best Among the Best?

freshly-picked olives

From the olive mill called “Frantoio” in Italian, also a name of a varietal of olives, ONLY three fruit juices  can come out by law:

  1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  2. Virgin Olive Oil (that you can’t find in the shops)
  3. Lampante Oil (not edible so it must be processed at a refinery)

The difference between the three above lies in their chemical composition. The acidity of EVOO goes between 0.1% to 0.8%; VOO between 0.8% to max 2%; while Lampante, named from the oil used in ancient times in lamps for lighting has an acidity of over 2%.

But the “Olive Oils” that I find commonly in shops and supermarkets, what are they? You could ask? Those are filled with processed products of refined Lampante oil to which have been added some Virgin Olive oil, giving them some colour and flavour.

So if I have to give a suggestion, always use Extra Virgin Olive Oil which should have a flawless taste that is distinguished by fruitiness, bitterness and pepperiness. If you want to learn more about how to distinguish between these three oils,  let me know here.

Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

EVOO is proven to reduce bad cholesterol, boost the immune system, help prevent cancer, heart diseases and high blood pressure.

And it’s ideal for cooking and frying too! Its point of smoke is at 215°C, well above the perfect temperature for frying (180°C) and still it will keep a great amount of the food’s nutritional content. This is because it forms a crust that protects the food from soaking up too much oil and even enriches its flavour.

Imagine serving highly nutritious, very tasty food to your family? You’ll have loved ones that will not only love your cooking but stay healthy, too.

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