There is something special about extra virgin olive oil. Amateur cooks know this. Professional chefs know this. Even the ancient Greeks knew this. But what is it about EVOO that makes it so compelling? Well, let’s dive into that question.
What is EVOO?
Extra virgin olive oil is the oil extracted from fresh olives using a mechanical process without the use of excessive heat or any type of additives or solvents. It must be fruity, have no sensory defects whatsoever, and have acceptably low free acidity.
Is it Tested?
Yes. EVOO must meet stringent flavour and chemical standards to earn the label. To qualify as “extra virgin” the oil must have no flavour defects and contain low free acidity. The testing process for freshly pressed oil determines what is suitable for the extra virgin designation and which goes to lower grades.
Fresh is Best
Using fresh, healthy olives is key to making (and enjoying) extra virgin olive oil. Fresh olive oil tastes similar to olives at the time of harvest. That’s when all of the olive’s flavours and fatty acids are at their peak quality, making for a more enjoyable tasting experience. These characteristics are preserved by minimizing the amount of time between olive harvesting and crushing for oil extraction.
Keeping Your Olive Oil Fresh
Since olive oil is technically a fruit juice, consuming it as quickly as possible is in your best interest. The components of olive oil will slowly break down over time, causing it to lose its hallmark flavour and develop off-notes. Limiting your oil’s exposure to light, air, and heat will slow this process and preserve its flavour. So, store your EVOO in a dark, cool place like a cabinet and make sure the bottle is sealed well.
The Taste of Quality
All the care put into production and testing ensures your EVOO is packed full of antioxidants and desirable flavours. Evoolution is the final step of the journey that ensures your olive oil tastes good. But what exactly is a good-tasting olive oil?
In brief, here are some notes to look for in your olive oil:
- Grassy – fresh-cut lawn
- Herbaceous – aromatic herbs like rosemary, thyme, basil
- Fruity – pears, apples, banana, melon, peach
- Bitter – perceived on the sides and back of the mouth
- Peppery – pungent sensation in the throat
The True Test
The presence of these flavours is a true test of the olive oil’s quality. Heat, extraction solvents, and poor handling of the olives during processing will strip these flavours away leaving a bland and unpalatable oil.
EVOO – The Gold Standard
Extra virgin olive oil is rightly regarded as the gold standard of olive oils. It is of the best quality. It has the best flavour. And it has the health benefits that make EVOO a winning part of a healthy diet. To learn more, visit your local Evoolution and taste your way through all the EVOO varietals we have to offer. We look forward to your visit!