The Search for the Perfect Extra Virgin Olive Oil Ends Today

Extra virgin olive oil is a must-have for any Italian kitchen. Well, to be honest, no kitchen of any kind could be considered truly complete without a bottle of extra virgin olive oil handy to help with the preparation of fancy feasts as well as everyday meals. It’s true, home chefs of all calibers are plowing through the EVOO quickly. Why? It’s the go-to oil for healthy, light and tasty meals! Of course, there’s some back story and tips to know about getting the best Extra Virgin Olive Oil and no better source than the Italian food experts at Flora Foods, where we’ve made it our life’s work to know every single thing there is to know about olives and their oil. Let’s explore how to find the perfect EVOO for your family, and exactly why making the right choice is so important.

Tips, Tricks & Theories to Find the Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Why Choose Extra Virgin Olive Oil? Olive oil is a popular fat to cook with for a myriad of good reasons. Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that extra virgin olive oil is good for you. Monounsaturated fatty acids from the olive make EVOO a powerhouse of nutrients, not to mention flavor. These fatty acids, which are made up of mostly oleic and linoleic acids, contain polyphenols as well as vitamins E and K, making it a heart-healthy contribution to your overall diet.

Cooks love to use EVOO as a base or key ingredient for any recipe calling for oil because it’s healthy, yes. And, because it has a light flavor and a smoke point that is suitable for almost all types of cooking. The smoke point is an often confused aspect of the EVOO. Many cooks attribute a low smoke point to extra virgin olive oil, which simply means the point at which the oil starts to break down and burn. The truth is that EVOO is perfect for roasting in the oven and sautéing, pan-frying and stir-frying over medium to high heat at temps ranging from 250 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

What’s In A Name? Okay, so we’ve established that it’s good for you, but what is it exactly? Extra virgin olive oil is the term used for how the oil is extracted from the olive which involves cold pressing. It’s made from pure, cold-pressed olives. Other types of olive oil can be a blend that includes both cold-pressed and processed oils. This purity makes extra virgin olive oil is richer in the good things that we seek in olive oils such as antioxidants and vitamins.

Aren’t All Extra Virgin Olive Oils The Same? Stepping into the olive oil of the grocery store is enough to make your head spin. There are likely hundreds of varietals and price points that range from affordable to downright extravagant. So, how does one choose the right EVOO for everyday meals that offers flavor and all the healthy goodness? Here are a few rules of thumbs that will help you navigate the world of olive oil during your next shopping trip.

  • Check out the color. Extra virgin olive oils range in color from light yellow to deep gold or green. The deep green shade of oil is fresher and will contain more of the nutrients we are seeking. Dark yellow indicates older oils, while light yellow is a sign that the olive is highly processed.
  • Check out the smell. EVOO has a strong, distinctive smell: very earthy and grassy, and very pungent. If it has a mild and delicate scent, then don’t buy it again.
  • Check out the taste. The true test of quality comes down to taste. Cold-pressed EVOO will have a slightly bitter aftertaste due to the antioxidants contained in the oil.

Thinking Outside the Box with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Now that you’ve amped up your EVOO knowledge base, it’s time to get creative with your cooking that involves, of course, extra virgin olive oil! Most of us already know about sautéing, stir-frying and roasting, but have you tried these fun and tasty ways to use extra virgin oil?

  • Marinating For The Appetizer Win – Fresh olives, mushroom, artichokes and feta cheese can all be marinated in your extra virgin olive oil for a unique and tasty appetizer that your family and friends won’t soon forget. Make your marinade base with EVOO and ingredients that suit your taste like rosemary, garlic, lemon juice, fennel etc. Let your taste buds be your guide. This is a simple make-in-advance dish and is best served after one to three days of waiting.
  • Change The Face Of Your Mash – Make a simple weeknight mashed potato with four ingredients, potatoes, extra virgin olive oil, salt and garlic. It will be a refreshing change to an everyday side dish with the added bonus of being vegan.
  • Perfect For Baking Needs – EVOO is not a common go-to for bakers who are used to grabbing the vegetable oil and butter, but it can be a great sub – not to mention a way to add healthy fats and antioxidants to your cake or cupcake recipe.

Flora Fine Foods offers a wide variety of Italian foods, including high quality extra virgin olive oils for you to choose from – for a special occasion or everyday use. Our pure and organic extra virgin olive oils are imported straight from the fields of Italy for superior taste and excellence – guaranteed to elevate the enjoyment and healthiness of your next meal.

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