Extra Virgin Olive Oil 101: What Makes It So Special?
At Nuvo, we love all things olive oil!
Today, we're diving into one of the most popular questions people have about this versatile and healthy oil: What makes extra virgin olive oil so special?
If you've ever browsed the olive oil aisle at your local grocery store, you've likely seen a variety of olive oil types, from virgin to light to extra virgin.
But what sets extra virgin olive oil apart from the rest, and why should you consider making it a staple in your kitchen?
In this post, we'll explore the unique qualities of extra virgin olive oil, from its production process to its nutritional benefits to its superior taste.
Whether you're a seasoned home cook or a curious beginner, we hope this post will help you appreciate just what makes extra virgin olive oil so special.
So let's get started!
Extra virgin olive oil is made from the first cold pressing of olives, without any chemical refining or heat treatment.
This means that the oil retains its natural flavors, nutrients, and antioxidants, making it the healthiest and most flavorful type of olive oil available.
In order to qualify as extra virgin, olive oil must meet strict production standards and pass a sensory evaluation by a trained panel of tasters.
The oil must have a low acidity level, no off flavors or aromas, and a fruity, slightly bitter taste with a peppery finish.
This unique taste profile comes from the presence of polyphenols and other beneficial compounds in the oil.
One of the key benefits of using extra virgin olive oil is its nutritional profile.
- It's rich in monounsaturated fats, which can help lower bad cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- It also contains antioxidants like vitamin E and phenolic compounds, which can help reduce inflammation in the body and protect against oxidative stress.
But perhaps the best reason to use extra virgin olive oil is simply its taste.
When used in cooking or as a finishing oil, it adds a deliciously fruity and complex flavor to any dish.
You can use it to make salad dressings, drizzle it over roasted vegetables, or use it to fry eggs or sauté garlic and onions. The possibilities are endless!
So, what are some of the best Extra Virgin Olive Oils to try?
One great way to find high-quality oils is to look for award-winning brands.
For example, at the 2023 New York International Olive Oil Competition, here are some of the brands named the best in the world:
- Entimio Italiano from Italy,
- Goya Unico from Spain,
- Eleon Gold Label, Greece
- and yours truly, Nuvo Olive Oil from USA
By seeking out these top-rated oils, you can ensure that you're getting the best of the best when it comes to extra virgin olive oil. Or try the homegrown ones as well!
In summary, extra virgin olive oil is a truly special ingredient that offers numerous health benefits and unparalleled flavor.
By understanding what makes it different from other olive oils and seeking out the best brands, you can elevate your cooking and enjoy all that this amazing oil has to offer.
At Nuvo, we're proud to produce some of the highest-quality extra virgin olive oils around.
Our oils have won international competitions and are beloved by customers for their taste and nutritional benefits.
We invite you to check out our online shop and explore our selection of award-winning oils. Whether you're a seasoned chef or just getting started in the kitchen, we know you'll love our olive oils as much as we do!