You need to really appreciate that all the different varieties of olive oil are each differentiated by the method of processing that they actually go through.
Virgin Olive Oil
Virgin olive oil is an oil that’s created by using physical methods only because chemical processes are not allowed to be used. The really good stuff is actually made up from olives that are 100% ripe and these olives are picked out and ground up into a paste using either millstones or steel drums.
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The only sorts of processing that virgin olive oil is allowed to go through is washing, decanting, centrifuging, and filtering. Nothing aside from these methods of processing are allowed to be used on oil that’s classed as being virgin.
Refined Olive Oil
Olive oil that’s classed as being refined is generally oil that is of very low quality because it’s olive oil that contains impurities in it. And in order for it to be safe for human consumption it has to go through the process of refining. This process usually involves using things like charcoal filters. The end result is that you’ll get an oil that has increased shelf life, but it’ll have no real taste to it.
Olive Pomace Oil
Olive pomace oil is essentially oil that’s been extracted out of the pressed remains leftover from the creation of virgin olive oil. To make this work and to get the maximum amount of oil, chemical solvents must be used. I’ll be honest and tell you that this isn’t actually a real oil and it’s not meant to be consumed. Rather it’s often used as an ingredient for many of the soaps you see in the supermarkets.
Blended Olive Oil
The one oil that you’ll want to totally avoid from now on is blended olive oil. The reason for this is that this oil is basically a mixture of a little bit of olive oil and some other low quality oil such as sunflower oil. And again while the end product will have an increased shelf life it will contain a heck of a lot more polyunsaturated fats and far less monounsaturated fats… so please avoid it from now on.
The one type of oil that most if not all people out there agree is the best quality is an oil that goes by the name ‘Extra Virgin Olive Oil. An oil will only be classed as being extra virgin by the International Olive Oil Council if it contains at the very most 0.8% acidity and come with a superior taste The really high quality extra virgin oils will go through the process of being unfiltered and cold pressed.
This will result in you getting an end product that has a lot deeper and richer flavors. Please also note that extra virgin olive oil also contains an incredible amount of polyphenols which are some of the most important antioxidants you can get into your body.
Factors To Look Out For When You’re Buying a New Olive Oil
You seriously need to appreciate that just because you come across an olive oil that’s been classed as being extra virgin, doesn’t actually make that oil great quality. If you happen to be in the supermarket and come across two different oils, one being from Greece or Italy and the other being locally produced then you’ll definitely want to go for the one that was locally produced. Extra virgin olive oil is very fragile by nature and that long journey across the ocean will result in the delicate flavors being destroyed which will result in you getting a bland bottle.
But you know what? The good news is that most grocery stores out there do stock at least one brand of locally produced olive oil and while it may cost a little more to get it, the price will be more than worth it once you get a taste If you’re out and about looking for a new olive oil to buy then you should treat it a bit like you would if you were out searching for a new bottle of wine, and really try to engage all of your senses.
The first thing you need to do is smell the oil and by doing so you should get a very nice and clean smell of olives mixed with grass and apples. In terms of sight, I wouldn’t rely on it too much because this is one thing that can be very easily manipulated. Rather I’d focus on the one thing that really and truly matters and that’s taste.
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To get a good idea of taste you should take about half a teaspoon of oil into your mouth and swirl it about in your mouth just like you would a fine wine. The very first taste you should get is of course that of olives but if you’ve got your hands on a really high quality oil then you should also get a taste of apples and fennel. However if you’re getting a bitter metallic taste in your mouth then it’s likely the oil is rancid.
The best way to really and truly get your hands on the best oils is to experiment with all the different varieties that you see on supermarket shelves. Yes, the journey is going to be a long one, but believe me it will be more than worth it once you do get your hands on something you love. But do remember that once you do find the right one you’re going to want to make sure that you’re using it in the right way.
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Regardless of how good the olive oil you’re using is you must never forget that you should never use it to sauté something. Rather you’re going to want to make sure that you cook your food with something like butter and then use your precious oil as a really high quality finisher. By doing this you’ll not waste a single drop and actually be able to enjoy the taste and nutritional benefits of the oil. So there you go guys, all the information you really need to not only help you find that perfect bottle of oil but also help you get into remarkable health.