Not All Olive Oil is Created Equal

idyll olive oil
Some interesting facts about Olive oil that you may not be aware of.

  • In the United States olive oil is graded differently from the rest of the world as they are not part of the International Olive Oil Council which defines the standards and monitors production of olive oil in most countries around the world.
  • Thi means that the IOOC grades do not apply in the US which has four grades of Olive oil – Fancy, Choice, Standard and Substandard. The quality is determined according to acidity, absence of defects, odor and flavor.
  • Extra virgin may appear on labels for any grade of oil so it is no guarantee of the quality of oil you are buying in the US.
  • Olives need to be ground within a day or two of being picked to avoid oxidation.

So it pays to buy quality olive oil such as the  IDYLL – Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Sparta Greece  which has been certified Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), a EU label for a product unique to its location.

This olive oil is made from olives that have been hand picked. It has a smooth, fresh and grassy flavour with a peppery finish. It is high in polyphenols and oleic acid.

How Long Does Olive Oil Keep?

  • Olive oil can go rancid so keep in a cool place and ensure that it is sealed properly.
  • A good olive oil should last between 12-18 months however it is best used within 3 months.

For more information about olive oil why not read our post on: What you need to know about Olive Oil

What You Need To Know About Olive Oil

Black Truffle Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The Magic That Is Olive Oil

Homer called it “liquid gold”. Its mystical glow illuminated history.

Olive oil has been more than mere food to the peoples of the Mediterranean: it has been medicinal, magical, an endless source of fascination and wonder and the fountain of great wealth and power.

The olive tree is known as a symbol of abundance, glory and peace. Its leafy branches have been used to crown the victorious in friendly games and bloody war, and the oil of its fruit has anointed the noblest of heads throughout history.

Olive crowns and olive branches are emblems of benediction and purification that were ritually offered to deities and powerful figures: some were even found in Tutankhamen’s tomb.

Today we value extra-virgin olive oil for its nutritional and healthful virtues. It is the most digestible of the edible fats: it helps to assimilate vitamins A, D and K; it contains so-called essential acids that cannot be produced by our own bodies and slows down the aging process.

It is also valued for its culinary virtues and sensory properties of: flavor, bouquet, and color.

What is olive oil?

Olive oil is a fat extracted from olives. It is used in cooking to enhance the flavor of foods, as a dressing, and as an oil for sautéing and frying. It is also used as a moisturizer and in soaps. Olive oil is considered to be a healthy fat because of its high content of monounsaturated fat in the form of oleic fatty acid and polyphenols.

How is Olive Oil made?

Olive oil is made from pressing or crushing tree ripened olives. It can undergo a variety of different processes but at its simplest, the olives are picked, the leaves, stems and any dirt are removed and the olives are ground into a paste. A press then separates the oil from the paste and the oil is bottled.

Extra Virgin Olive oil is probably the only oil that can be eaten as soon as it has been pressed from the fruit and the oil retains the flavor, aroma and vitamins that it contained when it was in the raw state of being an olive on the tree.

Types of Olive Oil

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Is the oil that is extracted from the first pressing of the olives. This type of oil undergoes the least amount of processing and therefore has the richest flavor and aroma. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is generally considered to be the

best and is therefore the most expensive. No refined oil is added to this oil.

Olive Oil of the Month Club
Olive Oil of the Month club

Virgin

Is the oil extracted from the second pressing of the olives. It is slightly more acidic than extra virgin. The taste is good but not as flavorsome as extra virgin olive oil. No refined oil is added to this oil.

Pure

Is generally a blend of refined olive oil with a mix of either extra virgin or virgin oil.

Olive oil

Is a blend of refined oil and virgin oil and generally lacks a strong flavor.

There are other types of olive oil such as Olive-pomace oil which is a poor quality blend of refined pomace olive oil and possibly some virgin oil. It is made from the pips and ground flesh after the pressing and although is fit for consumption it may not be called olive oil. Olive pomace oil is often used in soap or for industrial purposes.
Check out the labels when you are buying Olive oil. If the label doesn’t state “virgin” then you are buying a lower grade produce. “100% Pure Olive Oil” is often the lowest quality available for purchase.

Where the label states “Made from refined olive oils” it generally means that although the essence of the olives were captured, the taste and acidity were chemically produced.

Don’t be taken in with a label that states “Light olive oil”. What this really means is that the product is a refined olive oil, not that it has a lower fat content. All Olive oil has a standard 120 calories per tablespoon (34 J/ml).