Olive oil is a type of cooking oil that is made by pressing fresh olives. It usually has a dark green or golden hue, and as well as a buttery taste with pepper undertones. Some of the places where olive oil is produced include Spain, Greece, and Italy, and they supply different countries all over the world. Olive oil has been a staple of Mediterranean cuisine for many years.
Among the different types of cooking oils, olive oil is one of the healthiest. It’s because it contains a high amount of monosaturated fats that can help in lowering bad LDL cholesterol. Aside from that, it is also rich in omega-9 fatty acids, which can help in reducing blood pressure and improving heart health.
If you are looking into using olive oil for cooking and food preparation, but you want to know more information about it first, then you’re in the right place. Today, we are giving you a detailed guide to olive oil.
Different Types of Olive Oil
When you go to the grocery store, you will find different types of olive oil. There are those labeled with “virgin”, “extra virgin”, and “light”. But how do you think each of them differs from one another?
- Light Olive Oil
This type of olive oil is labeled “light” due to its lighter color and neutral flavor, and not because it has fewer calories or lower fat content. It is a refined oil that is produced using heat aftervirgin oil’s first pressing. It has a golden yellow color instead of deep green. It also has a higher smoke point compared to other types of olive oil, and you can keep it longer on the shelf. However, light olive oil contains fewer nutrients because of heat-pressing.
- Virgin Olive Oil
This type is the second highest quality of olive oil. It is just a step down in quality and price compared to extra virgin olive oil, but it is produced in the same manner. Virgin olive oil also has good flavor with minimal flaws.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This type of olive oil is the highest quality, and it is also the most expensive. It is made by grinding and pressing olives. It does not involve adding any chemicals, heat, or processes. Based on the International Olive Council or IOC, this type of olive oil contains a low presence of oleic acid or omega-9 fatty acid that is linked to good health. It is also darker compared to other low-quality oils, and it’s somewhere between golden yellow and dark green. Extra virgin olive oil also has a distinct olive flavor, and you should also taste a bit of spiciness in it. It has perfect flavor with no flaws.
Types of Olive Oil Processes
There are also different types of processes when it comes to making olive oil. Here they are:
- Refined: In this type of process, the olive oils undergo a second production after pressing. The process includes heat and chemicals. There are also other types of vegetable oils that are introduced into the mix, which results inlower-quality cooking oil.
- Unrefined:In this process, the olive oil is produced without any chemical or heat extraction process. This means that it produces higher quality olive oil. The olives and the resulting oil may be washed, filtered, and decanted, but no other ingredient is added to it.
- Cold–Pressed: This is the least refined and most natural olive oil process and production. It means that cold-pressed olive oils are higher in quality, and as well as in price.
Things to Consider When Buying or Cooking with Olive Oil
If you will be buying or using olive oil in cooking or preparing a particular dish, here are some of the things you might want to consider:
- Smoke Point: If you will be sautéing or frying, it is best to not use olive oil because it is susceptible to burning. You can just opt for canola oil instead.
- Flavor:In cooking dishes, a lighter and more neutral olive oil is better. If you are making sauces and finishing, you can opt for a richer olive oil to taste the depth of flavor.
- Price:Olive oil is known to be one of the most expensive among the other types of cooking oils. Therefore, you should not use it when are cooking with heat. Save your olive oil for finishing, like in making salads and other food preparation that does not require heat.
The Best Olive Oils You Can Buy
If you are looking for high-quality olive oil that you can use in preparing foods, here are some of the best ones we can recommend:
This is a 100% pure extra virgin olive oil that is cold-pressed, unfiltered, and sourced from small organic farmers in Greece. It is certified with a protected designation of origin seal, which guarantees that it’s original and pure. Since it is unfiltered, it means that you can get all of the olive oil’s beneficial nutrients and vitamins. It is ideal for cooking, salad dressing, and baking. Aside from that, you can also use it as a carrier oil base for your hair and skin products.
This is an imported, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil that is authentically crafted by Pompeian’s family of olive farmers and olive oil craftsmen. It has a robust flavor, making it perfect for pasta, marinades, and as well as salad dressings. Aside from that, it is also great for dipping and drizzling. This olive oil is made to help you eat and live well every day.
This extra virgin olive oil is brought to you by Whole Foods Market. It has a fruity aroma and mild flavor. It is cold-pressed and 100% Mediterranean blend, making it ideal for sauces, dressings, and for medium-heat sautéing and cooking. It is also tested for quality to meet the international olive oil standards. It is certified non-GMO, kosher, and vegan.
If you’re on a budget, you can opt for this extra virgin olive oil by Amazon Fresh. It features a Mediterranean blend from Spain. It is perfect for roasting, grilling, marinades, and salad dressings. This olive oil is certified USDA organic and OU kosher. It is sourced from the finest groves in Spain and Tunisia, where the olives are bathed by the Mediterranean sun.
This is a cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil that has a distinctly rich taste and fresh fragrant notes of olive. It is ideal to use for salad dressings, sauces, and gravies. You can also drizzle it over pasta, use it for marinating fish or vegetables, and as well as for sautéing. This olive oil is cholesterol-free, trans-fat-free, gluten-free, GMO-free, sugar-free, and sodium-free, making it a healthy option.
This extra virgin olive oil brings artisan excellence to your kitchen. It is derived from the best quality ingredients, making it great to add to any meal. This olive oil is cold-pressed, making it well-balanced, intense, and fruity in flavor. This will help you in making distinctive dishes. It is best used on salads, grilled meat, pasta, and cheese plate.
This is a cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil that is loaded with antioxidants and vitamin E, which are proven to give health benefits and protection in heart disease. It is perfect for salads, fish, poultry, meat, sauces, sandwiches, and pasta. Thisaward-winning olive oil utilizes world-class methods in their production. In fact, this olive oil has earned their company more than 20 prestigious awards.
This is a single-sourced, family estate, premium quality, and USDA organic extra virgin olive oil that comes from an organically certified family estate. The olives used were handpicked and are cold-pressed in a nearby state-of-the-art mill within 4 hours after harvesting. It is also an award-winning olive oil brand, including the 2018 Best Olive Oil award. It is a healthy and high-quality olive oil you can buy to make your dishes and snacks better.
The olives used in making this extra virgin olive oil are handpicked from a family olive grove in Kalamata, Greece. They are Koroneiki variety, which is considered to be the queen of olives, and one of the most preferred when it comes to making olive oil. It is single-sourced and never mixed or blended with other oils. You can use this oil for grilling, sautéing, dipping, dressings, marinades, pasta, seafood, and more.
This extra virgin olive oil is 100% non-blended and cold-pressed. It tastes like olives with hints of artichoke, tomato, and pepper. It is an extremely light oil that does not have an aftertaste, making it great for dipping. It also has low acidity, and it can be stored for up to 4 years. It is raw, unrefined, and unfiltered to preserve its flavors and nutrients, making it healthier and more delicious.
These are some of the best olive oils we can recommend. Olive oil can be expensive, but if you are looking for a healthier oil that you can use for cooking and food preparation, it is worth the price.