FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


We gathered common questions and answers about olive oil for you. Take a look! 

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


We gathered common questions and answers about olive oil for you. Take a look! 

WHAT IS EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL?

Extra virgin is the highest quality and most expensive olive oil classification.   

It should have no defects and a flavor of fresh olives. In chemical terms extra virgin olive oil is described as having a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.8 grams per 100 grams and a peroxide value of less than 20 milliequivalent O2. It must be produced entirely by mechanical means without the use of any solvents, and under temperatures that will not degrade the oil (less than 86°F, 30°C).

In order for an oil to qualify as “extra virgin” the oil must also pass both an official chemical test in a laboratory and a sensory evaluation by a trained tasting panel recognized by the International Olive Council.  The olive oil must be found to be free from defects while exhibiting some fruitiness.

Since extra virgin olive oil is simply pressed fruit juice without additives, the factors influencing its quality and taste include the varieties of olives used, theterroir and the countless decisions, production practices and the dedication of the producer.

Olive oil tasters describe the positive attributes using the following terms:

Fruity: Having pleasant spicy fruit flavors characteristic of fresh ripe or green olives. Ripe fruit yields oils that are milder, aromatic, buttery, and floral. Green fruit yields oils that are grassy, herbaceous, bitter, and pungent. Fruitiness also varies by the variety of olive.

Bitter: Creating a mostly pleasant acrid flavor sensation on the tongue.

Pungent: Creating a peppery sensation in the mouth and throat

COOKING WITH OLIVE OIL


Can I cook with olive oil? We end this discussion once and for all.

COOKING WITH OLIVE OIL


Can I cook with olive oil? We end this discussion once and for all.

One of the most common question coming from those who are new to the great olive oil experience is... CAN I COOK WITH OLIVE OIL? 
 

Olive oil can be a delicious, satisfying dip for artisan bread or as a foundation for pesto sauce, or as a taste-enhancer when drizzled over salads and roasted vegetables. Olive oil can also be used for recipes that call for sautéing, browning or stir-frying. Olive oil can be readily substituted in most main course dishes where margarine or butter is used. In olive oil producing countries, olive oil and butter/margarine are sometimes also used together to enhance each other's flavor in some recipes.

The conversion chart below (provided by the Olive Oil Times) is appropriate for most cake and pastry recipes where quantities are critical. Keep in mind, however, that it is not always a good idea to use liquid shortening (olive oil/vegetable oil) instead of solid shortening (butter/margarine). For instance, since cake frosting must stay solid at room temperature, butter and powdered sugar work nicely, but olive oil and powdered sugar don’t. 

You should also consider the taste factor. A mild tasting olive oil could be used in most cake and pastry recipes because cooking will get rid of the aromatic olive oil flavors. Uncooked confections such as cake frosting would taste more than a bit unusual if made with olive oil.


Butter                                          Olive Oil

1 teaspoon                                                                                 3/4 teaspoon
1 tablespoon                                                                              2  1/4 teaspoons
2 tablespoons                                                                   1 1/2 tablespoons
1/4 cup                                                                                      3 tablespoons 
1/3 cup                                                                            1/4 cup
1/2 cup                                                                                      1/4 cup +2 tbs 
2/3 cup                                                                                      1/2 cup 
3/4 cup                                                                                      1/2 cup + 1 tbs 
1 cup                                                                                  3/4 cup  


The goodness of fresh olive oil is well known as the right choice of a low-fat oil, but using it in cooking often raises the question: What nutritional value, if any, is lost as a result? The answer is none. Cooking with olive oil will not diminish its nutritional value. Olive oil, at 120 calories per tablespoon, is packed with monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants. 

Will olive oil lose its health benefits when heated? One myth is that heating olive oil will render the olive oil as saturated or trans-fatty. Olive oil is a monounsaturated oil and it is resistant to oxidation and hydrogenation. Monounsaturated oils are beneficial in that they do not have the artery-clogging effect of saturated fats. Monounsaturated oils also have an anti-inflammatory effect. They are good for arthritis, and they are healthy for the heart. Even expensive, delicate, extra-virgin olive oils can be cooked with no negative effect on their nutritional value.

There are only two caveats: flavor and smoking point.

The flavor of some enhanced olive oils can change when subjected to heat. In the cooking process, the heat may evaporate the alcohols and esters that give some types of olive oil their distinctive flavor. For that reason, use a milder olive oil for cooking.

As for “smoking point,” this refers to the temperature at which a cooking fat or oil begins to break down to glycerol and free fatty acids. In plain language, this is when the temperature reaches a point where the food starts to smoke. You know when frying is going beyond the “smoking point” when it starts to smell more like smoke than cooked food. Compounds in olive oil can stand up to heat as long as the oil is not heated past its smoking point.

What is the smoke point of olive oil / extra virgin olive oil? Olive oil has a low smoke point, so make sure you do not use olive oil for any recipe that calls for deep frying over a high heat. Plain olive oil will smoke less than virgin olive oils. The 250°F-325°F range is a safe guideline when heating food in olive oil. Smoke resulting from frying over high heat is never good, and olive oil decomposes under extreme heat. This results in dangerous molecules replacing natural antioxidants. The value of olive oil can be compromised, because, when overheated, the oil releases carcinogenic free radicals.

So the next time you think about cooking with olive oil, do not hesitate: Just remember not to turn up the heat too high.

All in all, the smoke point of good olive oil is high enough to fry food. Extra virgin olive oil’s smoke point is generally given as 410 degrees Fahrenheit, far above 250-350 degrees that covers most cooking. Try it for a healthy alternative. 

Here are a few ways to enjoy olive oil in your favorite dishes. You may also take a look at our blog for delicious recipes.
Sautee vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, and potatoes in olive oil, over a low heat.
Sprinkle fresh olive oil over cooked brown rice.
Mix oregano, thyme, or garlic to your fresh olive oil for a topping for cooked pasta.
Grilling steak, fish, or chicken? Brush on olive oil right before serving.

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?


We are glad you are still reading! Here are some more questions:

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?


We are glad you are still reading! Here are some more questions:

How long does olive oil last? 
Our olive oils have a harvest date and ‘Best if Used By’ date printed on the back label. Opening the bottle exposes the oil to air that can degrade the oil quality. Use your olive oil within a few months of opening.

How should olive oil be stored? 
Olive oil should be kept away from light and heat. Our oils are bottled in a dark glass to prevent exposure to light. It would be ideal to store unopened bottles in a dark cupboard or cool environment. Once you open a bottle, try to use it all within 1-2 months.

 What if my olive oil looks cloudy?
Sometimes in shipping, the oil is exposed to extreme cold, which clouds the oil. This is normal and will not impact the taste of the oil. If you notice ‘clouds’ in the bottom of your bottle, you are seeing small particles of the olive that are not removed during the milling process. This naturally occurs in fresh, high quality olive oil.

Can I store my olive oil in the refrigerator or freezer? 
We do not recommend storing your olive oil in the refrigerator or freezer. It does not extend the life of the olive oil and can make the oil cloudy. Refrigeration mellows the flavors of the olive oil.