Benefits of Olive Oil

by | Food

What is EVOO you may be asking me. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the first cold press, meaning there is no heat involved during extraction, and the oil is of highest quality:  below 1% acidity. A producer uses fresh olives in good condition.  The olives are then crushed by mechanical means without the use of any solvents, and under temperatures that will not degrade the oil.   EVOO does not have a long shelf life.  Even in optimal storage conditions, the oil will degrade over time so it is best to enjoy it before the typical two year shelf life. EVOO can taste fruity like the taste of fresh ripe or green olives.  Ripe olives yield milder aromatic, buttery or floral tasting oils.  Green (unripe) olives yield pungent, bitter herbaceous or grassy tasting oils. When we refer to bitter and pungent, those are actually good things in olive oil.  Bitter comes from fresh olives and you’ll notice a sort of pleasant acrid flavour sensation.  Pungent is like a peppery sensation in your mouth or throat and denotes an abundance of nutrients in good, fresh EVOO. The health benefits of Olive Oil are amazing.  Olive oil has been found to be effective in preventing some diseases and improving other conditions such as:
  • cancer
  • heart disease
  • liver disease
  • high blood pressure
  • diabetes
  • obesity
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • osteoporosis
I use fresh EVOO in most of my cooking.  In salads, for sautéing vegetables, over steamed vegetables, and even just for dipping bread with a bit of good balsamic vinegar.  This is one thing that my kitchen is never without. I frequent my local Olive Oil Store where they seasonally bring in fresh EVOO from all over the world.  You walk down the aisle and you’ll see little vats full of oil from Spain, Italy, Greece, Australia, to name a few, depending on the time of year.  Each region has characteristic flavours resulting from where the olives were grown (soil conditions) and climate. What you must always know when buying good EVOO:
  • the Harvest/Crush date
  • the Chemistry of the Oil (Acidity, Polyphenols, Oleic Acid & Peroxide Value)
If you haven’t tried out buying olive oil from a shop like this, I highly recommend it.  If you are unfamiliar with the process, initially the tastes can be a bit overwhelming but I assure you that you will develop a taste and a preference for certain oils then you too will find yourself craving some good EVOO.  Be sure to look up your local stores and try them out.  Check out a couple here in my area: Let me know what you think.  

 Christina’s Bruschetta

  • 3 medium sized ripe tomatoes
  • 1 large garlic clove minced
  • 1/4 cup EVOO (or more, as per taste)
  • Handful of fresh basil chopped semi-fine
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
Cut tomatoes in half and scoop out seeds, then dice remaining tomato. Mix together all ingredients then let sit in fridge for about a half hour for flavours to meld. Serve over fresh or toasted baguette slices. Bon appétit!! For further information, check out: https://www.oliveoiltimes.com https://www.olivethisandmore.com/process http://www.tommueller.co/extravirginigy I would love to hear from you. Send me a note, leave me a comment.  

Christina xo

 

Good olive oil, good butter, milk – they give food taste and depth and a richness that you cant reproduce with low-fat ingredients.

Nigella Lawson