What is EVOO olive oil? Extra virgin olive oil, or EVOO for short, is a type of olive oil that is made to strict standards. It is the highest quality olive oil available and has a host of health benefits.
EVOO is also one of the most popular oils in the world, due to its distinct flavor and many uses. In this article, we will discuss the many characteristics of EVOO and how you can use it in your kitchen!
What is Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
There are several different types of olive oil, however extra virgin olive oil is considered to be the best of all. In comparison to other vegetable oils, it is the least processed.
Throughout production, no chemicals or heat are used. This helps to preserve the antioxidants and other nutrients in the oil.
How is EVOO Made?
The first step in making extra virgin olive oil is to harvest the fresh olives. Next, during the extraction process, the fresh olives are poured into metal crushers, then transferred to a centrifuge to separate the oil from the paste. Finally, the fresh olive oil is bottled and shipped.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil vs Virgin Olive Oil
The International Olive Council makes the following classification of olive oil:
Extra-virgin olive oil has a limit for free fatty acid (FFA) of 0.8 grams per 100 grams. A low acidity level is ideal. This way it retains more of the antioxidants and nutrients such as monounsaturated fatty acids that are found in olives.
In addition, the maximum peroxide value for extra virgin olive oil is 20, and the best extra-virgin olive oils have a value of 12 or less. High peroxide levels can be a sign that the oil has been damaged by exposure to high temperatures.
You may see the terms first pressed or cold-pressed oil on some EVOO labels. In the past, olive oil was made in traditional vertical presses and the second press wasn’t as good quality as the first.
However, it doesn’t have a lot of meaning anymore, as most good olive oils are now made in centrifuges in a continuous process.
Virgin olive oil must have a free acidity, or oleic acid, of no more than 2 grams per 100 grams, according to the IOC standard. It is made from pure olives. There is also virgin olive oil that is deemed not fit for human consumption, which is known as designated lampante virgin olive oil.
Ordinary virgin olive oil has a free acidity, referred to as oleic acid, of no more than 3.3 grams per 100 grams.
Refined olive oil is obtained from virgin olive oils using a refining process which does not lead to alterations in the glyceridic structure. It has a free acidity, or oleic acid, of no more than 0.3 grams per 100 grams.
Standard or regular olive oil is a blend of virgin olive oils and refined olive oil, with a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of no more than 1 gram per 100 grams.
Where is EVOO Made?
Extra virgin olive oil is produced in many countries around the world. The top producers of EVOO are Italy, Greece, and Spain. Other notable producers include Morocco, Tunisia, Croatia, Turkey, Israel, Argentina, Montenegro, the United States and Portugal.
The climate and terrain in these countries are ideal for olive trees to thrive.
What Are The Benefits Of Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
The Mediterranean diet is renowned as being one of the healthiest in the world. This is largely thanks to consumption of pure olive oil, fresh fish and vegetables.
EVOO is a healthy alternative to other cooking oils. It is rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, which can help to lower cholesterol and protect against heart disease.
It is also a good source of vitamins E and K. Additionally, it can help to improve cognitive function and reduce inflammation.
Extra virgin olive oil is a great choice for cooking, as it has a high smoke point and does not release harmful toxins like some other oils can.
What Does EVOO Taste Like?
One of the most notable characteristics of EVOO is its flavor. It has a fruity, peppery taste that can enhance the flavor of many dishes.
You can actually do an olive oil tasting, just as you would do for wine. We experienced this at The Governor’s Olive Mill in Corfu. You first pour a small amount of oil into a wine glass or small cup, swirl it to release he aromas, then inhale, before slurping it around your mouth and swallowing.
What Can You Use EVOO For?
Extra virgin olive oil can be used in both savory and sweet dishes. It is a popular choice for dipping sauces. EVOO can also be used for baking and frying.
Here are some of our favorite ways to use EVOO in the kitchen:
- Use it in Italian breads like focaccia and pizza dough.
- Add it to salad dressings or marinades.
- Serve with fresh cheeses like mozzarella or burrata as a drizzling oil.
- Use it as a finishing oil for soups, pasta dishes, or salads.
- Cook with it on its own or in combination with other oils.
- Use it to make homemade mayonnaise, pesto, or hummus.
- Drizzle a small amount on top of gelato – bizarrely, it tastes good!
- Use it in baking instead of butter, by substituting three quarters of the butter with EVOO.
Other Creative Ways to Use Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- As a massage oil, mixed with a few drops of essential oil.
- To shine your shoes – just add a teaspoon of EVOO to a buffing cloth.
- As a home hair mask by warming a quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil and leaving on your hair for 15 minutes before shampooing out.
- To nourish dry lips if you’re out of chapstick. EVOO contains many hydrating compounds such as polyphenols.
- As sunburn lotion mixed with aloe vera gel. EVOO’s anti-inflammatory compounds will help your skin to heal.
- To remove make-up, simply pour a little extra virgin olive oil onto a cotton ball.
- For olive oil soap, which has anti-inflammatory properties.
- To polish furniture – extra virgin olive oil gives a lovely sheen.
- For pet care, to lubricate dry paws. You can also add one drop to pet food to give coats a true sheen.
- As a lubricant for hinges or tools.
Know of any other clever ways to use EVOO? Let us know in the comments!
What Shouldn’t You Use EVOO For?
EVOO’s smoke point is between 190 to 215 °C or 375 to 420 °F, so it’s not best suited to stir frying and cooking at very high temperatures. If you heat olive oil beyond its smoke point, the oil’s beneficial elements will lessen.
However, a study concluded that it’s safe to cook with EVOO at any heat, you just won’t get as many health benefits if the cooking temperature is too hot.
How to Store Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The best way to store EVOO is in a glass bottle in a cool, dark place. Sunlight and heat can cause the oil to spoil, so it’s important to store it in a place to keep it fresh and flavorful.
Some people choose to store their extra virgin olive oil in the fridge, but we don’t recommend this because the oil can become cloudy and thick when too cold. Make sure to use it within three months of opening the bottle.
How Long Does Unopened EVOO Last?
EVOO can last for up to two years if it is stored properly. However, once the bottle is opened, it should be used within a few months. This is because exposure to air can cause the oil to go bad. So, if you’re not planning on using all of the oil in one go, make sure to pour it into a smaller container so that there is less air exposure.
What Are The Signs That EVOO Has Gone Bad?
If your bottle of EVOO has been exposed to too much heat or light, it will start to turn rancid. This means that it will have a bitter taste and an unpleasant smell. If you notice either of these things, it’s best to throw the oil out.
Rancid EVOO can also cause gastrointestinal issues like nausea and vomiting, so it’s best to err on the side of caution.
Where to Buy the Best Olive Oil?
If you’re looking for a high-quality EVOO, be sure to buy from a reputable source. Although you can sometimes find good olive oil at the grocery store, it’s also worth purchasing online to ensure that you get the best quality of olive oil.
In California, for example, the California Olive Oil Council certifies locally grown, 100% extra virgin olive oil with the COOC seal on each bottle.
In Conclusion: What is Evoo?
That’s a lot of information to take in, but here are the basics to summarize what is EVOO. Extra virgin olive oil is a type of olive oil that has been extracted from olives without the use of heat or chemicals.
It’s the highest quality and most expensive type of olive oil on the market. In fact, EVOO is one of the most expensive foods in the world.
It’s produced in countries like Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal. Extra virgin olive oil is known for its many health benefits, which include reducing inflammation and helping to protect against cardiovascular diseases.
Read next: The Most Expensive Spices in the World
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