Foods and Wines

Things you need to know about Olive Oils…

Like wine, each olive oil is different. Its quality, its flavour and its aroma are based on the olive varieties, the climate, the soil, the way and the time of harvesting and its production process.

3 categories of olive oil are offered on the Canadian market:

–          Extra virgin olive oil,
–          Virgin olive oil,
–          Olive oil.

How to choose it, preserve it and enjoy it…

1. How to use Olive Oil

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Virgin Olive Oil Olive Oil
Drizzling
Marinades
Salad Dressings
Sauces
Stews
Some Pastries
Grilling (1)
Soups (3)
Drizzling
Marinades
Salad Dressings
Grilling (1)
Sautéing
Some Pastries
Stews
Soups (3)
Grilling
Frying
Sautéing
Salad Dressings (2)
Baking

(1) pour on grilled foods before serving
(2) use only as a base as it provides much less flavours
(3) not for finishing but for cooking

2. To Select an Olive Oil of superior category, its label must mention:

– Extra Virgin Olive Oil,
– Should have the harvest and/or a best before date, olive oil should be consumed within 24 months after being harvested but keep in mind that it never expires.
– It should be in a dark glass bottle or in packaging that protects it from light, best storage temperature is 17ºC.
– It must be stored away from direct heat

Although PDO/PGI labels are associated with high-quality olive oil, the ones that are not bearing this PDO label can be just as good or of even better quality. Keep in mind that PDO and PGI labels connect the olive oil to a geographical origin where the producers adhere to a strict guideline including the olive varieties allowed and the whole production process from harvesting to bottling. There are many prized EVOOs worldwide not bearing a PDO designation. There is plenty of non PDO of quality to suits your needs: monovarietal or blended (coupage), organic or conventional olive oils.

3. Extra virgin olive oil, Virgin olive oil and Olive oil do not improve over time as this fatty fruits juice evolves. To keep it intact, you must buy a quantity that you will use up quickly, keep it in a closed container, protect it from oxygen by making sure it is properly sealed and keep it away from sources of light and heat. Best recommendation is to buy olive oil from current year harvest.

4. Although it is ideal as a salad dressing or as an ingredient in sauces, it is also perfect for frying, thanks to its molecular propreties, as it can handle high temperatures (up to 180 ºC/360 ºF). Because of its quality, it is more resistant and retains its properties for longer; so you can reuse olive oil up to five times when frying.

Did we just say… Frying with Olive Oil? Of course you can! 

Olive oil is great for frying in small batches. Unlike other oils, it is able to withstand high temperatures without breaking down and forming a toxic compound. When fried at the proper temperature, the oil forms a protective crust around the food that helps maintain moisture inside the food. Therefore frying with olive oil is a much healthier and tastier option.

  Spanish Traditional Cooking Techniques: Frying in Olive Oil

Benefits for Everyone

In 2015, a study called PREDIMED, focused on demonstrating the fact that olive oil can help prevent different types of cardiovascular illnesses, surpassed expectations during a 12 year study.

The intake of Extra Virgin Olive Oil may act as a preventative measure in the development of numerous diseases. Olive oil is a natural fruit juice with healthy anti-oxidant components such as beta-carotene, polyphenols and phytosterols. It is also an important source of vitamins A, D, E, F and K. Overall vitamin E is a pro-vitamin that helps calcium absorption, and only 50 ml of EVOO will provide your daily need of this vitamin.

Olive oil has been shown to:

  • Provide a longer and healthier life,
  • Regulate the blood lipid values LDL vs HDL,
  • Decrease blood cholesterol,
  • Control Blood pressure,
  • Promote bones growth and mineralization,
  • Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects,
  • Reduce the risk of heart attack
  • Prevent diseases such as arteriosclerosis and thrombosis,
  • Slow down aging in cells and brain functions

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