Olive oil is a symbol of Mediterranean diet. This oil has become incredibly famous all over the world, thanks to its flavour and its qualities, perfect for maintaining a healthy diet. Unfortunately, despite these virtues, its use is not completely widespread in all kitchens yet.
Olive oil fits with all kind of dishes and yes, you can heat it up. Olive oil is not only great to season your salads or even a simple slice of bread but also to cook all sort of hot dishes, infusing its particular flavour, texture and beneficial effects.
Why is it so good for our health? According to some medical research, the consumption of olive oil is especially positive for our heart, reducing the possibilities to suffer a heart attack. If the oil is virgin or extra virgin, these advantages just multiply. Canadian dietitian Rosie Schwartz praises the perfect chemical balance between Omega-3 and Omega-6 in virgin olive oil.
Consequently, not all oils are similar and it’s convenient to know the differences. The different quality between two oils usually comes from the treatment process of the olive. Traditionally, from best to least level, the categories are the following:
• Extra virgin olive oil. It maintains its maximum pureness, without additives or refining. Its sensorial qualities are determined by its grade of acidity, its index of peroxides and its organoleptic properties.
• Virgin olive oil. This olive follows the previous process but it suffers a sensory disorder at the final stage.
• Olive oil. It’s a mix of refined oils and virgin oils.
• Orujo olive oil. It’s a mix of orujo oil (waste of olive) and virgin olive oil. It’s not strictly considered an olive oil.
With more than thirty Designations of Origin, Spain contains more than a half of the world’s production and accumulates awards everywhere. Last year here in Canada, in the most prestigious olive oil competition, the SIAL Olive d’Or, Spain was the country which received the most prizes. So, when looking for some olive oil, make sure you get the best, OLIVE OIL FROM SPAIN.
Buy olive oil. Buy Spain. Buy health.
Picture: ICEX (Pix of Spain)