A Beginner’s Guide to Olive Oil April 24 2015
There are so many different kinds of olive oil out there it is easy to get confused. How do you know which type is best for you?
Here is a short guide to give you a better understanding of olive oil.
Olive oil is the fat obtained from an olive. It is traditionally used for cooking but is also found in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and soaps. Olive trees are typically grown in the Mediterranean and olive oil is often associated with this region.
All production begins by crushing the olives in to a paste. The paste is then mixed and finally the oil is separated from the watery matter and fruit pulp. This is traditionally done using a press but more modern producers use centrifugation.
Cold Press/Cold Extraction- the oil was not heated over a certain temperature during processing. This allows the oil to retain more nutrients.
First Cold Press/First Cold Extraction- The fruit of the olive was crushed exactly one time to make the oil.
Olive Oil Grades
Extra-Virgin- Comes from virgin oil production only, meaning the oil was produced by mechanical means, no chemicals were involved. It has a superior taste & some fruitiness. 80% of Extra Virgin Olive Oil is produced in Greece and it accounts for approximately 10% of all olive oil production.
Virgin- Also from virgin oil production but of a slightly lower quality. There is more acidity but still has a good taste.
Refined- Made by refining virgin olive oils with a high acidity. May be refined with chemicals. Most refined oils have a small amount of Virgin Oil added for flavor.
Organic- No chemicals were used to treat the olive trees or their fruit throughout the growing process.
There are hundreds of different varieties of olive trees resulting in numerous types of olives. These olives have different looks and can also vary on size, oil content and ripening time. All of these factors contribute to the flavor of an olive oil. Many say the varietal and maturity of the olive have the strongest effect on the taste of the olive oil.
FIVE olive oil is produced from Koroneki Olives. These olive characteristically have a deliciously robust flavor with a pleasant peppery zing on the finish. This is an obvious choice for FIVE Olive Oil since Koroneki trees have grown for over 3000 years in Greece.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil- Heating this oil over a certain temperature will compromise the flavor. We recommend serving an olive oil of this variety by drizzling over meats, fish, salads and bread.
Virgin – Cooking at temperatures below 375F. Also good for drizzling on vegetables, fish and meats.
Refined- Use in cooking at higher temperatures. If you want to cook above 400F canola or vegetable oil is better suited.
The collection from FIVE Olive Oils is of the highest quality. The oils are best enjoyed drizzled over your favorite dishes after they are finished cooking or over raw vegetables. As the weather warms up, we will have access to even more delicious ingredients that will be the perfect pairing for FIVE Olive Oils. Shop FIVE Olive Oil Here!
I’m looking forward to another beautiful spring weekend and perhaps another picnic in the park. I won’t forget to pack my FIVE Olive Oil!