If you like to use olive oil regularly, whether it is only for salads or cooking with it, in this article we have gathered everything you need to know about olive oil in brief (as far as we can)
HOW IS OLIVE OIL MADE?
We all know that olive oil is made from olives, obviously. But not from any olives, but from special varieties of olive olives that are different from the table olives we are used to putting on the table next to the salad. Olive oil production has a deep history in the Mediterranean region, where many generations of olive growers have passed on their secrets to future generations for centuries.
Before turning into olive oil, the olives must be maintained under certain conditions and temperatures and thus mature for several years. Special care for the olive crop is a meticulous process that requires a lot of pruning. Olive oil production is a matter of both quality and quantity – at least ten kilograms of olives are needed to make just one liter of olive oil.
The olives are picked – sometimes by hand – and transported to the processing plant. Usually, the processing is done quickly, after the harvest, in order to avoid damage to the olives and to maintain their quality. The leaves, twigs and stems are removed and the olives are washed before being crushed by stainless steel rolls and ground into a paste.
This is followed by malaxation, a process in which water is stirred slowly into the olive paste. The mixture is then stirred for another 20 to 40 minutes – long enough to give the oil more flavor, but not long enough to expose it to harmful free radicals in the air
The olive paste is placed on mats, further pressed and then passed through a centrifuge to filter out any solid residue from the paste. Water and oil are extracted from the centrifuge to be released later. The oil is then refined, bleached and/or deodorized based on the manufacturer’s traditions, preferences and special recipes. After this final stage of production, the oil is stored in stainless steel containers at 65 * F (18.3333) until bottled and shipped.
From there, it finds its way to a store near you and then to your kitchen!
TYPES OF OLIVE OIL
We have seen that the process of creating olive oil is not so simple, and now it remains to consider the available varieties of olive oil. The production process is different for everyone.
Extra virgin olive oil.
As for olive oil, extra virgin olive oil is the best of the best! If you insist on using olive oil, let it be the so-called cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is made from olives that have the least rot, because they were crushed shortly after harvest and in this sense are as fresh as possible. To prove its undeniable taste qualities and dozens of health benefits, extra virgin olive oil must pass a taste test with a jury before being placed on the market to ensure that it tastes the best.
Virgin olive oil
One step down, both in terms of taste and health qualities of an extra virgin is virgin olive oil. Olives in virgin olive oil usually sit longer between harvesting and shredding, so they have a higher acidity content. Virgin olive oil is ideal for cooking, baking, frying and sauces, but is not recommended for dressing or finishing dishes, as it does not have the taste of extra virgin olive oil.
As you might guess, standard feed olive oil is another step down from virgin olive oil and two steps below extra virgin olive oil. Standard olive oil is bleached, neutralized and deodorized during refining and should really only be used when sautéing, baking and frying at a medium temperature, as the aroma will not change.
Salad olive oil
This is a lower quality olive oil compared to the previous types listed. In salad olive oil, extra virgin olive oil is mixed with other highly refined oils. Depending on the mixing ratio, the quality of the salad olive oil is determined, and the higher the percentage of extra virgin, the better the quality of the mix.
Olive oil (helper)
After pressing the olives, the hard pulp that is left is known as the cake, which can then be turned into oil. Chemical solvents are used in its production, so if you see “olive oil” on the label, keep in mind that it is olive oil for cooking and other types of heat treatment. Not suitable for raw consumption.
The health benefits of olive oil are undeniable. Olive oil is called “liquid gold” precisely because of its incredible irreplaceable health qualities.
Olive oil is a natural immunostimulant and has invaluable antioxidant properties.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF OLIVE OIL
OILOlive oil is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
It is a source of antioxidants that can reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Reduces inflammation throughout the body. Experts believe that chronic inflammation contributes to conditions ranging from cancer and heart disease to type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.
Olive oil has been shown to help prevent strokes and prevent heart disease.
Although it is fat, olive oil is not associated with weight gain or obesity, which makes it a great alternative to butter, oil and other oils for consumption and cooking.
It has antibacterial properties that can help fight bacteria in the stomach.
HOW TO BUY THE BEST OLIVE OIL?
Among the huge variety on the market comes the question that affects us the most as consumers of olive oil – how to find out which olive oil to buy amongst all the variety on the market. After all, we all want to buy the best, right ?!
How to choose the right olive oil to use in dishes for you and your family? If you include olive oil in your diet because of its healthy properties (and delicious taste, of course), you will certainly want to make sure that you choose a high-quality product.
Even if you do not see the liquid from the dark glass of the bottle, keep in mind the following features:
Watch for dates before you buy. Do not buy olive oil with a production date over 12 months from the current date. Olive oil has a delicate texture and does not mature over time like wine, on the contrary – its taste and health qualities deteriorate. If the stay is accompanied by direct exposure to sunlight and heat, this further impairs its properties. And there is no way to be sure that this is not the case with the selected olive oil. Therefore, the sooner the olive oil is produced, the higher the quality.
Clear glass bottles are an indicator of improper storage of olive oil, even if they have a beautiful label. Light can be very harmful to olive oil, so if it is offered in a clear bottle, the quality of the olive oil is probably already compromised.
HOW TO STORE OLIVE OIL PROPERLY?
Once you have chosen your brand of olive oil and purchased a bottle of it, you will need to store it properly so that the liquid stays fresh. Unlike wine and cheese, olive oil does not improve over time and its quality will decline if you do not take care of it.
Store your olive oil in a cool, dark environment to protect it from light and heat, as both are its enemies. Do not leave the open bottle of olive oil for too long, as this way the olive oil loses its useful properties.
Notes on cooking with olive oil!
Nutrition experts and representatives of the culinary guild are still debating the usefulness of olive oil, which has undergone heat treatment to a level of evaporation (smoking).
The point of smoking olive oil – which is just a fantastic term for the temperature at which any cooking fat stops shining and starts smoking. It is worth noting that fats and oils with higher smoke points have usually been subjected to industrial-level refining processes such as bleaching, filtration and high-temperature heating. Fats and oils with lower smoke points had lower interventions.
In recent years, there has been some concern that heating olive oil to its point of smoke – somewhere between 162 ° and 190 ° – may release harmful compounds into cooked food. This, of course, sounds dangerous, but in fact it is very rare to completely reach the point of the smoke of olive oil when working with it, because usually even when I go frying with it, it is hot enough for frying, long before the point of smoke.
We advise you to use extra virgin olive oil for direct consumption and choose virgin or ordinary olive oil for cooking.
As you read above, extra virgin olive oil is usually the best you can find on the market. If the olive oil is SUNNY OLIVES, this is certainly the best you can find on the market. See the types of olive oil with the brand SUNNY OLIVES here.