What is Extra Virgin olive oil?
Extra virgin olive oil refers to virgin olive oil that meets the high standards of production and quality, as determined by the International Olive Council (IOC). EVOO is the highest quality and most flavorful olive oil you can buy.
Technically, “extra virgin” is a grade of olive oil, usually indicating the highest quality oil that is distinguished by its naturally low levels of free oleic acid. To qualify as “extra virgin,” an olive oil must have a free acid count of less than one percent.
The experts recommend extra virgin olive oil as the best olive oil, since it’s the highest quality option on the market. Extra virgin olive oil is processed differently than other types of olive oil, like virgin and refined varieties.
What is the difference between olive oil and extra virgin olive oil?
The difference between extra virgin and olive oil is that regular olive oil is heated to extract the oil and refined while extra virgin olive oil is cold-pressed and left unrefined. Extra virgin olive oil is usually stronger in flavor and darker in color than regular olive oil.
What do you use extra virgin olive oil for?
Use EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) in salads of all kinds can benefit from a good olive oil and a spritz of vinegar.
- Top steamed or roasted vegetables
- Use for sautéing vegetables or meats
- Finish roasted or grilled meats with a drizzle
- Use in Italian breads like pizza crust, focaccia and olive bread
- Drizzle over fresh vegetables
Is it better to cook with olive oil or extra virgin olive oil?
Typically, olive oil is a safer bet when cooking because of the higher smoke point and neutral flavor, and extra-virgin olive oil is ideal for a flavorful dressing, a dip for bread, or a last minute pour over a cooked piece of meat.
Aside from high-quality extra virgin olive oil being well suited for deep frying, it’s also a great way to impart flavor and keep it healthier.
Remember that the healthiest oils are those that are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, such as vegetable oil and olive oil. These types of fats can help lower your risk of heart disease when used instead of saturated fats.