It’s no secret that at D’Olivo we’re crazy about olive oil. This beautiful cooking oil is perfect for use in any kitchen on nearly any type of dish. It’s got a wonderful flavor and to top it all off it offers amazing health benefits.
While we could talk for hours about all the great things you can do to make olive oil your new go-to oil we decided to hit the basics and touch on the top things to know to help our readers gain a better understanding of olive oil.
Olive oil is an oil that comes from olive. There are a number of ways this oil can be harvested and each method gives an indication of the specific type of olive oil that will be produced.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – this is by far the purest, and highest quality of olive oil available on the market. Extra virgin olive oils are oils that are produced from the first cold pressing of the olives. This method ensures that the health benefits from the olives remains and that the oil itself isn’t damaged by exposure to high temperatures. This method of extraction also helps keep the acidity level of the oil very low.
Virgin Olive Oil – this type of oil is also extracted using a cold-press method. However, it’s not always from the first cold pressing. While it too is not damaged by exposure to heat during extraction, the acidity levels are higher making it a lower quality oil than those that fall into the extra virgin category.
Refined Olive Oils – these types of oils are not as pure as either extra virgin or virgin, despite what the label might indicated. In fact, many of these refined olive oils are bland in flavor and as a result are usually blended with other types of oils.
Olive oil has continued to rise in popularity internationally over the last several years. This is due in large part to its rich flavors, versatility in cooking and baking, as well as the nutritional and health benefits that it offers. Some of these health benefits include:
1. Rich in Healthy Fats
2. It Can Help Lower Blood Pressure
3. Packed with Beneficial Antioxidants
4. Helps Maintain Bone Health
5. Helps Prevent Obesity
Olive Oil is extremely versatile and can be used as a replacement for many different kinds of cooking fats from butter to vegetable oil. While there are many who claim that olive oil isn’t a good alternative due to its low smoke point, this is simply a myth about olive oil. In fact, high quality extra virgin olive oils are very safe to cook with, even at high temperatures.
Grilling – if you’re a grill-master then olive oil can be a great companion for your cooking adventures. Use it as a marinade for meat, brush it onto the vegetables you’re cooking, or simply top of your dishes at the end with a delicious olive oil.
Baking – it’s true that olive oil can make a great substitute for butter or vegetable oil when creating any baked good. We’ve got an excellent guide on how best to use olive oil in baking here – https://www.dolivotastingbar.com/baking-with-olive-oil/
Salad Dressing – our olive oils make the best salad dressings, especially when paired with our balsamic vinegars. There are dozens of combinations you can make that will provide fantastic flavor combinations.
Finishing Oils – finish off any dish, hot or cold, with an olive oil drizzle. Choose from a fused or infused flavored oil or try one of our traditional ultra-premium extra virgin oils for this.
Due to its popularity, olive oil has become susceptible to fraud. This is why it’s important that when you go to choose an olive oil you make sure that you’re getting a high quality one.
Read the Label
Because olive oil is an edible product you want to be sure that you’re getting the freshest olive oil out there. Check the label for harvest date or an expiration date. If you find this information, make sure you don’t buy an oil that’s more than a year old. Also, look for that extra virgin designation.
The surest way to tell if you’ve got a good olive oil is to taste it. The oil should taste clean, fresh and green like olives. If there are peppery notes that linger in your throat that is a good sign – it’s the polyphenols in the oil that give those notes to the oil.
Buy from a Trusted Retailer
Designated olive oil retailers like D’Olivo are the best place to buy quality olive oils. First, we source from the highly reputable supplier, Veronica Foods, who maintains the strictest quality standards which is what gives our oils the Ultra-Premium designation. Second, our employees are well-trained in the proper storage and packaging of our oils ensuring that customers don’t go home with an expired or tainted product. Finally, you can visit stores like ours to actually sample the olive oils you’re purchasing. You can pair oils with our delicious balsamic vinegars and make sure you’re taking home the products that will provide the most benefit to you in the kitchen.