What's the Difference Between Olive Oil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
Olive oil is one of the most widely used cooking oils in the United States today. One of the healthiest oils on the market, its versatility and popularity make it a popular choice among consumers – and there are plenty of options to choose from.
Olive oil, on the other hand, is not all created equal. In the market, there is a lot of mislabeling. Here's everything you need to know about the difference between extra virgin olive oil and olive oil.
What Is the Difference Between Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Olive Oil?
Today, olive oil is one of the most commonly used cooking oils in households. Its healthy versatility and popularity make it a top choice for consumers, and there are plenty of options to choose from.
Not all olive oil, however, is of equal quality. In the marketplace, there is a great deal of mislabeling. Here's everything you need to know about the differences between Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Virgin Olive Oil.. Olive Oil.
Learning the terminology used on labels will make selecting the best olive oil much easier. Choosing the best oil is determined by a number of factors:
How much flavor do you need? Is the olive oil's flavor essential to the recipe?
What kind of cooking do you intend to do? Are you going to use it as a salad dressing or to brown onions for a pasta dish? Understanding the terminology used in labeling: Knowing the different categories and terms makes it easier to make the best decision.
What is your financial plan? Because, yes, your budget will influence which olive oil you ultimately select for your daily needs. So, what's the difference between olive oil and extra virgin olive oil, also known as EVOO, and which is best for you? In an easy one-stop guide to olive oil, I'm here to break down the facts about each option. Let's get this party started!
What exactly is olive oil?
To make olive oil, olives go through a relatively simple process. The olives are first harvested, then crushed and mashed (pits and all) with a large stone or stainless steel rollers, followed by centrifugation to separate the liquids and solids.
The separated liquid is spun yet again to separate the oil from the fruit's water. In this process, no chemicals or heat are used. To put it another way, almost all olive oil starts out as extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil.
If a cold-pressed oil does not meet the requirements to be classified as extra virgin olive oil – for example, if it has a high acidity or lacks flavor – it is refined to remove unwanted impurities.
According to the American Olive Oil Producers Association, refining olive oil entails putting it through a neutralization process. They then use various chemicals, including bleaching and/or deodorization, before blending it with 5% or 15% extra virgin or virgin olive oil.
This method is said to give the oil a more neutral flavor, a lighter color, and help balance the acidity. Olive oil that has gone through this process is simply referred to as olive oil.
What makes extra virgin olive oil different from regular olive oil?
Let's talk about the properties of Extra Virgin Olive Oil now that we've covered the basics of olive oil and EVOO production. The most important thing to keep in mind about EVOO is that it is the purest form of olive oil available. Because it is not heat processed or bleached, all of the nutrients are preserved.
Extra virgin olive oil has been tested and rated to have the best acidity, flavor, and taste. Different organizations and agencies have different standards for classifying an EVOO, but they all measure the acidity percentage and use taste testers to find any inconsistencies.
Can you imagine being a taster for olive oil? An olive sommelier! Despite the fact that the olive oil industry is strict and scrutinizes its product. It is not sufficient to simply select an Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Oil of lower quality may be labeled as follows:
- Virgin \sRefined \sPomace \sLight
Before adding any brand of olive oil to your shopping cart, make sure to read the label.
What's the Difference Between Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Virgin Olive Oil?
Extra virgin olive oil has a lower maximum acidity of 0.8 percent and no defects, whereas virgin olive oil can have an acidity of up to 2.0 percent and a median of defects of zero to 2.5 in a trained panel tasting. In general, this means that extra virgin olive oil tastes better and is actually healthier than virgin olive oil. As a result, virgin olive oil is preferable to simple olive oil, light olive oil, or any other chemically refined oil.
What Are the Different Olive Oil Grades?
Aside from extra virgin olive oil, which is the purest type of olive oil available, there are three other grades of olive oil available on supermarket shelves in the United States. (source)
Olive Oil: A deceptive term for a low-quality olive oil. Degumming, neutralization, bleaching, and/or deodorization are all likely processes that have been used to refine it. After that, the refined oil is mixed with 5% to 15% extra virgin or virgin olive oil.
Pure Olive Oil is a blend of oil from the second pressing, which has been cold-pressed and treated with heat and chemicals. Because no other oils (such as canola oil) have been added, it is considered "pure," but it is of lower quality than extra virgin, virgin, or simply olive oil.
Olive Oil, Light or Extra Light: This is the lowest grade of olive oil available. Light olive oil, contrary to its name, is not lower in calories; however, it is lighter in color (quite considerably, in fact). These oils are frequently blended with vegetable oil to give them a more neutral flavor and a higher smoke point.
According to an article written for the FoodPrint program by the non-profit Grace Communications Foundations, olive oil in its best and purest form has unrivaled health benefits. Extra virgin olive oil is high in antioxidants, healthy fats, and anti-inflammatory nutrients, and including it in your daily diet can help you improve your heart and brain health.
Extra virgin olive oil that has been refined loses all of its health benefits.
What is the Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil to Buy?
Always keep an eye on the label. Keep an eye out for dates. According to experts, the harvest date is usually indicated by a dark-colored box on the label. There is no time limit on this offer. Extra virgin olive oil has a two-year shelf life if stored properly.
Seek out additional information. The more information about the harvest date, grade, expiration date, and when and where the olives were harvested and processed on the label, the better. Look for certifications and seals that are genuine. While claimed certifications aren't always reliable, seals like those issued by the California Olive Oil Association are among the most stringent.
Don't be stingy with your money. Unfortunately, if something is cheap, it is probably not what it claims to be. When in doubt, buy directly from the manufacturer. Invest your time researching a producer and buying directly from a producer you trust online rather than studying the labels of every bottle on the supermarket shelf.
Another way to find high-quality olive oil is to avoid big-box stores and chains at all costs, opting instead for smaller specialty stores that stock products from smaller, more dependable producers.
Let's put all the processing jargon aside and look at all the delicious ways to use olive oil in your cooking!
Olive oil is far superior to canola or vegetable oil blends in terms of flavor and quality, as well as for your health. Olive oil has a robust, nutty, peppery flavor that will often impart this delicious flavor to your recipe, depending on the purity you use.
Remember that extra virgin olive oil has a lower smoke point than refined olive oil (between 365 and 405 degrees F) (470 degrees F). These smoke points differ depending on the producer and the process. Still, it's best to cook with olive oil at lower temperatures to avoid burning the fat, which not only ruins the flavor but also negates all of the oil's health benefits.
Olive oil, with the exception of deep frying, is a good rule of thumb for almost any type of cooking. You can use it to bake, rub down and marinate meat, sauté, or toss a salad with it.
Start with our easy tomato salad recipe, which features the well-known olive oil flavor in a six-ingredient vinaigrette that makes this dish both delicious and simple.
Do you want to experience the quintessential Mediterranean flavor in all of its glory, where only the best olive oil will suffice? It's all about the quality of the ingredients in this Caprese salad, all four of them!
Want to try a recipe where the flavor of the olive oil takes a back seat to the health benefits?
Try our roasted broccoli and carrot soup, which is both healthy and delicious. Before roasting, the broccoli florets are drizzled with olive oil to keep the dish low in calories without sacrificing flavor.
Want to learn about different culinary cultures but don't want to use lard in your cooking? Then look no further than my recipe for Mexican mole sauce. You could also try a healthier version of shrimp etouffee. Both recipes allow you to replace the lard with extra virgin olive oil, giving you the best of both worlds: flavorful and healthy! It doesn't have to be difficult or glamorous—perhaps all you want to know is how to make the most perfect and fluffy quinoa to serve alongside your savory main course.
And, believe it or not, EVOO can be paired with the sweeter aspects of life! To blend all of the flavors together and add some extra nutritional elements, this fresh, summery watermelon gazpacho calls for 4 tablespoons of the best quality olive oil you can find. Other Uses Around the House
Apart from cooking, what are some of the other known uses of olive oil?
Olive oil can be found in a variety of health and beauty products. Remember those anti-inflammatories, healthy fats, and antioxidants? These properties work wonders in promoting healthy skin and hair! Olive oil can also be used to oil wood butcher blocks and cutting boards, as well as to polish wood furniture. All of those good fats protect the wood from moisture and restore its luster.
Do you suffer from cracked skin or dry hands? Olive oil can be rubbed into your cuticles and hands to relieve itching and promote moisture. With all of extra virgin olive oil's health benefits, there are no limits to how this delicious oil can be used.
We are huge fans of extra virgin olive oil, if you didn't already know. We can't wait for you to find the right bottle to lovingly house on your pantry shelf and use every day, with its vast cooking versatility, powerful health benefits, and added bonus of everyday household use.
We have no doubt that once you find an extra virgin olive oil that you trust, your world of recipes will open up to the endless cooking possibilities and health benefits that extra virgin olive oil provides.