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Extra Virgin Olive Oil Explained

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Explained

What is EVOO?

The familiar greenish oil is a staple in Mediterranean cuisine. However, due to its many uses and taste today, olive oil has spread worldwide. You can use it for shiny tresses and delicious dinners. There’s almost nothing a jar of olive oil can’t do. However, due to its popularity, many types of olive oils have flooded the market. So let’s look at the most refined oil the olives have to offer- extra virgin olive oil.

How is Olive Oil made?

Fresh olives plucked at the perfect time in season are then crushed to create the ideal Olive Oil. This is the extra virgin olive oil that is touted as the healthiest oil in the world.

However, much like wines, a grade-A extra virgin Olive oil isn’t something so easy to find. The extra virgin olive oil’s taste, quality, and purity depend on soil conditions, climate, harvesting techniques, fermentation, and more.

Olive oils are at their finest, the fresher they are. Unfortunately, the oil tends to get rancid the longer it’s kept, and thus a fresh bottle is tough to come by. The bottles lining shelves at your nearest supermarket are nowhere close to what an authentic extra virgin olive oil is meant to taste like. Bottles sold at retail markets or boutique stores rarely depend on a sommelier and seldom care about dates. In addition, most oils have some preservative to maintain the oil fresh, which damages the aromas and zest of the Oils.

What is Extra Virgin Olive Oil? Why It’s Better

Flavors and Dishes

The flavour profile will also depend on what stage of Olive’s lifespan it was turned into oil.

Olives harvested early on are known for their leafy, grassy taste. They are known to remind tasters of fresh green vegetables like crunchy bell peppers. Due to its vegetal flavour, this oil pairs great with vegetables, fish, and raw, crunchy salads.

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When ripe olives are harvested, the essence changes completely. These olives produce oils that are fruity and nutty. They can also be slightly bitter or have spiciness to them that green olives don’t have. Due to its robust taste profile, this Olive Oil goes best with fish, especially seared fish, roasted or baked vegetables and interestingly enough, some deserts. Tarts, Gelatos, and even cakes cooked with this oil can unexpectedly lift the taste. Plus, it can always be drizzled over a good cheese and fruit platter.

The third type belongs to fermented black olives. The earthy, bitter, chocolaty flavour is best with meat, Smokey flavours, and spicy fares.

Where to find?

Some of the world’s best Olive oils are prepared in Italy, Spain, Turkey, Greece, Croatia, and across the pond in California. In most of these places, the production of Olive oil goes back centuries. In Greece, the oil’s use has been traced back to Ancient Greece. So olive oil tells the story of Europe, and its taste harks back to its ancient traditions and brings you a piece of the Mediterranean home.

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