A new look at cooking and home decorating...with an attempt to add more greens to the plate, more vegetarian options & hopefully lots of new ideas to explore

Saturday, August 18, 2007

All about Olive Oil

There are many questions with regards to olive oil. What is extra virgin? What should you cook with? Hopefully this will answer some questions.

In Europe Extra Virgin oil is extracted in cold conditions – The lack of heat helps to maintain the spicy and fruity smells and tastes of the olives, as well as a lower amount of acid in the final product

Regular olive oil- There is heat used in this process of extraction and sometimes olive oil is a blend of extra virgin and olive oil so you will get some fruity tastes with the longer shelf life of a regular olive oil

Is it a fruit? – Yes. It is a fruit grown on trees

What about color? Well, in taste testing oils color should matter little- test for taste instead. The color can depend on the variety of olives harvested as well as the time of harvest. Olives harvested early and green will produce a darker, greener olive oil. Black olives harvested later may give a lighter golden color. There may be some nuances in flavor; the early harvest greener olive oils can be a bit fruitier in flavor.

Storing oil- Olive oil should be stored in cool dark places and will typically last about 15 months.
Is all olive oil Italian? - No, Olive oil comes from a lot of Mediterranean areas, Italy, Greece, Spain, France.

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