Things You Should Know About Olive Oil
Olive oil is a staple in many kitchens worldwide, providing flavor and nutrition to dishes. It is made from the olive tree’s fruit and contains various health-promoting compounds.
This article will discuss what you need to know about olive oil, how it is made, the different types available, and considerations when purchasing.
What is Olive Oil?
Olive oil is a type of fat derived from olives, fruits from the olive tree, Olea europaea. It is a staple of the Mediterranean diet and is widely used in cooking, baking, and as a dressing or condiment.
Olive oil has been used in cooking for centuries as it has a low smoke point and contains various beneficial compounds.
How is Olive Oil Made?
Here’s a step-by-step overview of how olive oil is made:
1. Olives are first hand-picked or collected using a mechanical harvester.
2. The olives are then taken to the mill, cleaned, washed, and sorted.
3. In the mill, the olives are ground into a paste using large granite stones or stainless steel grinder, which helps to extract the oil.
4. The paste is then kneaded to release more of the olive oil and separate it from the other components of the olives.
5. Once this process is complete, the paste is placed into large containers or centrifuges, which spin at high speed and force out the remaining oil droplets.
6. The liquid is filtered, and the oil is separated from any remaining water, vegetable matter, or sediment particles.
7. Finally, the olive oil is placed into bottles or other containers and sent to stores for sale.
The process of making olive oil is centuries old and remains largely unchanged in many ways today. However, modern technology has helped to streamline the process and make it more efficient. The oil association standards regulate the production process to ensure safety and quality.
Types of Olive Oil
There are several different types of olive oil available on the market. Your choice of oil will depend on your cooking needs and budget.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is the highest quality, most expensive type. It is made from cold-pressed olives and has a strong flavor, making it ideal for salads, marinades, and dipping sauces.
- Refined Olive Oil
Refined olive oil is made from olives that have been mechanically or chemically processed to remove impurities. This type of oil does not have the same distinctive flavor as extra virgin olive oil but has a higher smoke point, making it better suited for cooking at high temperatures.
- Pomace Olive Oil
The pulp of olives left over after pressing can be used to make pomace olive oil. This type of oil is less expensive than extra virgin and refined olive oils but has a mild flavor. It is best used for baking, sautéing, and frying.
What Makes EVOO so sought-after?
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is one of the world’s most popular and sought-after cooking oils. Recent research revealed that it is the safest oil to use. It is made from pressing ripe olives, a process that doesn’t require any chemicals or heat for extraction. EVOO has a distinctive flavor and aroma and many beneficial health properties. It is also highly versatile and ideal for various dishes and cooking techniques.
What to Look for in EVOO
The key criteria for quality EVOO are a place of origin, freshness, and flavor.
Place of Origin
Knowing the geographical source of the olives from which the oil was made can help ensure you purchase an authentic and genuine product. The best EVOO will be labeled with the country or region of origin, so you can quickly identify it.
To ensure freshness, look for an oil that has recently been cold-pressed and bottled in glass containers. EVOO should have a harvest date and a “best by” date on the label.
Quality EVOO should have a rich, complex flavor that is fruity and slightly bitter with peppery overtones. It should be bright in color, clear and vibrant. Aroma is also essential; good EVOO will have an intense, herbal scent reminiscent of freshly cut grass or olives.
These criteria will help you find the highest quality EVOO available to enjoy its full flavor and nutritional benefits.
What are the Benefits of Olive Oil?
Olive oil is a healthy choice for cooking as it contains beneficial compounds not found in other types of oils.
- Rich in monounsaturated fats
Olive oil is high in monounsaturated fats, which are “good” fats that can help lower bad cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Studies have also shown that monounsaturated fats can help to reduce inflammation and improve blood sugar levels.
- Rich in antioxidants
Olive oil contains several beneficial compounds, such as polyphenols and tocopherols, which act as antioxidants that protect cells from damage.
- Rich in vitamins
Olive oil is a good source of vitamins E and K, which are important for healthy skin, bones, and eyesight.
Olive oil has been linked to a variety of health benefits, including:
Reduced risk of cancer
Studies have shown that consuming olive oil may lower the risk of certain types of cancer, such as breast and colorectal cancers.
- Improved heart health
There are studies that have also shown that olive oil may lower bad cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Lower blood pressure
Olive oil has been linked to reduced blood pressure, which helps reduce the risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.
How to Cook With Olive Oil
When cooking with olive oil, it’s important to understand the different temperatures at which it can be used. Olive oil has a low smoke point, so it should not be used for high-heat cooking, such as baking and frying.
Below are steps to follow when cooking with this oil.
Step 1: Heat at least 1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil in a pan on low or medium heat.
Step 2: Allow the oil to heat for approximately 40 seconds or until it looks shiny when moved around in the pan.
Step 3: If cooking on medium or medium-low heat, the oil should not smoke.
Step 4: If it does smoke, reduce the heat or switch to a thicker pan.
Step 5: Add food to the pan once the oil is heated and cook as usual.
Olive oil is perfect for sautéing, roasting, and low-heat cooking because these methods don’t require as much heat.
What Should You Consider Before Purchasing Olive Oil?
When purchasing olive oil, it is important to consider the source, quality, price, and storage tips.
- Source of Olive Oil
Buying olive oil from reputable sources, such as stores specializing in olive oils or directly from the producer, is important. It is also important to look for extra virgin or organic certifications.
- Quality and Price
It is important to consider both quality and price when purchasing olive oil. Quality can vary depending on the olive oil’s source, processing methods, and storage conditions.
It may be worth paying more for higher-quality olive oil as it will have a better flavor and nutritional profile.
- Storage Tips
It is important to store olive oil in a cool, dry place away from light and heat. Olive oil should also be stored in an airtight container to prevent oxidation. It should also be used within 12 months of purchase.
- Always go for Extra Virgin Oil
Extra virgin olive oil offers the highest quality and the most health benefits. It is also the least processed and retains its natural flavor and nutritional profile. Always go for extra virgin if you can afford it.
Is there an American olive oil?
Yes, there is American-made olive oil. The United State’s growing population creates high-quality extra virgin olive oils from California, Arizona, Texas, and other states. While the Mediterranean region still produces most of the world’s olive oil supply, U.S.-made olive oil is gaining attention for its unique flavor profile and health benefits.
How Long Does Olive Oil Last?
Olive oil is generally considered a pantry staple and can last 18-24 months when stored properly. It should be kept in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and heat. If it is stored at room temperature, the shelf life of olive oil can be shortened to 8-10 months.
Melina international trading provides premium extra virgin olive oil of the highest quality. Our Extra Virgin Olive Oil is cold-pressed and unrefined, extracted from hand-picked olives, and bottled within hours of harvest. It is perfect for salads, marinades, and cooking. Have a look at some of our selections below.
Organic Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil is an incredibly flavorful and healthy oil made from the best olives from the famous olive groves of Greece. It has a very fruity and smooth taste without any bitterness. This unrefined oil means all its natural nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants remain intact.
Calabrian Chili Oil is the perfect addition if you’re looking for a bold and vibrant flavor for your next culinary adventure. It’s made from a blend of Calabrian chili peppers, giving it a unique and intense flavor. You’ll experience a slightly sweet and fruity taste on the front end while the back end packs a powerful and warming sensation.
We have various wholesale and bulk options available for businesses looking for quality olive oil at reasonable prices. Our selection includes:
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Olive Pomace Oil
- Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- GMO-Free Sunflower Oil
- Custom Blends
- Kosher Oils
Our wholesale and bulk olive oil is perfect for businesses such as restaurants, catering companies, food venues, specialty stores, and more. With our reliable supply and competitive prices, we have something for everyone.
Up To You!
Olive oil is an incredibly versatile and healthy cooking option for those who would love cooking oil with less cholesterol. It is among the oils with many nutritional and health benefits and comes in several different varieties. You can find the oil that best suits your needs with the right information. Always buy olive oil from reliable sources, and consider both quality and price when buying it.
With that in mind, you can enjoy the health benefits of olive oil without compromising on flavor. If you’re looking for the highest quality cooking oil, always go for extra virgin. Your health and taste buds will thank you.
Start exploring the health and culinary benefits of olive oil today! Shop for high-quality extra virgin olive oil now.
At Melina International Trading, we proudly offer the highest quality extra virgin olive oil. We never compromise on quality; our goal is to deliver only the best. Our olive oil is carefully hand-picked and cold-pressed from the finest olives to maintain maximum flavor and health benefits.
Contact us today to find out more.