In this article, you will learn a lot of interesting information about olive oil.
When, in the 19th century, Oscar Wilde slipped a small decorative sunflower, still outlandish in Europe, into his jacket buttonhole, the olive tree has been valued by Europeans for the second millennium as a source of irreplaceable vegetable fat.
From Egypt and Asia Minor, olive oil came to Spain and Greece, then conquered Italy and France. At different times it served as a measure of value, medicine, but it has always remained synonymous with health and vitality. And today in the Mediterranean, olive oil is treated with great respect, as a symbol of the earth, with which only the vine can compete in these latitudes.
Olive oil: how to choose and how to store
- How not to be mistaken when choosing olive oil
- How manufacturers puzzle us
- Storing olive oil
There are no uniform standards for the taste and color of olive oil. It can be bright yellow, greenish and dark gold. The color is determined by the variety of olives, their degree of maturity. Both the taste of the oil and the smell depend on olives: fruit or aroma of tart herbs.
How not to be mistaken when choosing olive oil
All matters related to table olives (and olive oil) are in charge of the International Olive Council worldwide. In countries adopting Council standards, labels must contain uniform markings. This marking will guide us.
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Extra-virgin olive oil (Extra-natural olive oil) – made exclusively from natural oil, acidity is in the range of 0.8%, the taste is defined as “great”.
Are you surprised by the definition of “extra-natural olive oil is made from … oil”? It’s quite simple: the manufacturer and the exporter are different faces. The exporter receives the oil from producers in barrels and bottles it. Bottles often contain mixtures of oils. But these mixtures are of one generally accepted standard, mixing quality is not damaged. Biological indicators are averaged, lead to normative ones.
Virgin olive oil (Natural olive oil) is made exclusively from natural oil, acidity does not exceed 2%, taste is defined as “good”.
In general, these are all types suitable for salads. The rest of the information will please only our curiosity, but not our stomach and health.
Pure olive oil and Olive oil (Pure Olive Oil and Olive Oil) – an oil that is a mixture of refined and natural oils, the upper acidity limit is 1.5%. No strong smell.
Olive-pomace oil (Olive pomace oil) is a refined pomace oil, it is possible to mix with natural oil. It is rarely sold in retail, it is more often used in the culinary industry and food companies for baking. It cannot be called olive oil in the classical presentation and expectation, but such oil is good for food.
Let’s write one more name that does not require translation. Suddenly such oil comes across in a hardware store, let’s be aware:
Lampante oil (Lamp oil) is an olive oil used for industrial purposes.
How manufacturers puzzle us
Now we’re getting to what we might encounter in supermarkets and grocery stores. Olive oil suppliers can puzzle us with these labels:
100% Pure Olive Oil (100% pure olive oil). This means: low-grade product, because quality oil is labeled virgin (natural).
Made from refined olive oils (made from refined olive oils). Nothing wrong! The taste and acidity of this oil have been tested chemically, but this oil has lost the biological value of a natural oil and is suitable for frying and baking.
Light olive oil (light olive oil) is not a classification for olive oils. There is no “light oil” certification; no reference book can tell you about the composition of such oil. This can be, for example, a mixture of olive oil with any other vegetable oil.
From hand-picked olives (from handpicked olives) – this is very good, because only fully ripe fruits are picked by hand, giving a good oil yield. And the best quality oil is produced from them.
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First cold press (first cold pressing). This is already an advertising slogan, no more informative than “Does not contain cholesterol!” In order for the finished product to be called “cold pressed” oil, there is a European rule that the process temperature must not exceed + 27 ° C. In southern Italy and northern Africa, even the ambient temperature during the spin cycle is above 27 ° C. And in the cold regions of Italy, the harvest is harvested in November, the fruits endure the cool night, and they need to be heated. There is no international definition of cold pressed. It is believed that +35 ° C is the ideal temperature for cold pressing, but it has not been documented. In addition, the first cold spin is also the last!
Finding the origin of the oil on the label is not an easy task… The oil can be a mixture of oils produced in different countries. Most often, only the country of packaging is visible. According to Italian law, the manufacturer must be on the label. According to Spanish standards, this is not at all necessary. But we already know the main thing: we need Extra Virgin olive oil.
Examples of premium olive oil labeling:
- Extra virgin olive oil, not filtered Extra Virgin Unfiltered Olive Oil (English).
- Extra virgin olive oil Extra Virgin Olive Oil (English).
- Extra virgin olive oil Olio d’oliva l’extravergine (ital.).
- The oil spilled in Spain can only show Extra virgin…
The Italian and Spanish labels are very important to us, as these countries account for 60% of the world’s oil production. They are followed by Greece, oil from other suppliers does not exceed 8% of the total.
Storing olive oil
Within 6 months from the date of production, the oil is ideal for fresh consumption: dressing salads and cold dishes. It retains its original aroma and taste. For the next six months, the oil is quite suitable for stewing and frying, but the aroma will already be lost.
It is advisable to purchase the oil supplied in dark glass bottles: Plastic bottles are attacked by the acids contained in the oil, and the oil itself decomposes when exposed to light.
Olive oil is less oxidized than other vegetable oils. It is more stable than sunflower. Open Extra Virgin Oil should not be refrigerated, just consume it within 1 month.
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A slight hint of bitterness can be attributed to olive oil, it is a matter of the variety and ripeness of the olives. But rancidity indicates the formation of harmful polymer compounds. If the purchased oil is noticeably bitter and tastes like a synthetic polymer (plastic), it should be returned to the seller. And storage at home do not stretch for long. Oil packaged in metal containers must be extremely fresh. Better to pick up bottled, standing in a secluded dark place in the shopping arcade.published by econet.ru.
Victoria Karpukhina “Big Encyclopedia of Spices, Condiments and Spices”
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