What Makes My Olive Oil “Extra Virgin”?

What Makes My Olive Oil “Extra Virgin”?

Published by Joanna Mastoras - Marketing Director on 6th Oct 2016

A lot of research was conducted to look into this very important issue. By a lot of research, I mean lots of fervent keyboard typing and subsequent computer eye strain followed by intense highlighting and follow-up questioning. But, it was all worth it! We have now discovered what exactly differentiates regular olive oil from the vastly superior extra virgin olive oil that would not be caught dead in the same room as boring old regular olive oil. It’s just so…regular. Now what exactly is it that makes extra virgin olive oil so high maintenance? Alright, let’s get into all the nitty gritty details. Ready? Here we go.

According to the I.O.O.C (International Olive Oil Council) extra virgin olive oil should be derived only from virgin oil productions and may contain no more than 0.8 percent acidity. Also, no chemicals should be used during the extraction process and it must be cold-pressed, meaning that no heat over a certain temperature can be used during processing. In other words, extra virgin olive oil is an unrefined oil that is undoubtedly the highest quality olive oil you can buy. Olive oil can only be labeled as “extra virgin” after having met very specific standards. These standards ensure that the oil retains its true olive taste and contains a lower level of oleic acid (no more than one percent!) than other olive oils. Another added benefit is that extra virgin olive oil maintains more of the natural vitamins and minerals found in olives. Let us not forget taste as well! Extra virgin olive oil typically has a superior flavor and aroma and can be used as a salad dressing or bread dipping. It usually has a rich golden-green color. One important thing to note however is that E.V.O.O is extremely sensitive and can easily deteriorate when exposed to high temperatures or even light. There are currently four U.S.D.A grades for olive oil with the highest quality bearing the name “U.S. Fancy” or “U.S. Grade A”. Fancy indeed.

So there it is! Now you can successfully impress your friends at your next dinner party with your superior knowledge about extra virgin olive oil. You are just one step away from becoming a full-on olive oil connoisseur. All you have to do now is pick up a bottle of high-quality extra virgin olive oil and see for yourself! You’re welcome. Now what do we have to do to be invited to an International Olive Oil Council taste-testing session?

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