Hi friends! Christina here. I’d like to better introduce you to my favorite product and obsession: 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil! Since I began my journey in this industry, I have developed such a deep respect and passion for this delicious golden fruit juice. So much so that I am continually furthering my education and expertise. I am currently taking a course in Spain around food pairing and cooking techniques with the different flavor profiles of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. SOOOO FUN! Can’t wait to share what I learn with you all. The more I learn, the more I love it. Not just for its supreme flavor and what it adds to my food but for its supreme health benefits and what it has done for my body. So, here is a quick rundown on why!
Olive oil is the liquid fat obtained from olives. It is literally, olive juice. No solvents. No chemicals. Just olives. Once the oil is extracted, it is sent off to a lab for chemical testing as well as a sensory panel for taste test to verify quality. To be deemed Extra Virgin, it must pass both tests. This means there are zero defects found in the oil, that it has nothing added to it AND that it tastes good. If there are marginal defects, it is Virgin olive oil, and if there are significant defects, it is Lampante and not fit for human consumption. This often becomes Refined olive oil which has zero special health benefit to it (although it is still high in monounsaturated fats and is way better for you than soy or canola oil). Despite this simplicity, the task of selecting an oil for many consumers can feel daunting, given the array of certifications, seals, and prices on seemingly identical bottles. Unfortunately, much of what lines grocery store shelves is not actually 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil, contrary to the labeling. Check out this link to the UC Davis study that discovered almost 70% failed to be what the label proclaimed, particularly regarding imported oils. The study showed that frequently the oil had been adultered (i.e. other oils are added such as corn, soy or canola, or it is refined oil with added chemicals to make it present like an extra virgin olive oil) or it was just plain rancid and poor quality. It is important to note, that olive oil should be consumed within 2 years of its harvest for maximum freshness and health benefit.
Now let’s get to some of the amazing health benefits that Extra Virgin Olive Oil offers.
“Published studies show that no other food comes close to Extra Virgin Olive Oil for the prevention and treatment of chronic disease.” Associate Professor Mary Flynn, Brown University.
Thanks to its status as a spotlight food in the Mediterranean diet, which consistently is the top diet for health and longevity in the world, and thanks to extensive research on its unique phytonutrient composition, olive oil has become a legendary culinary oil with difficult to match health benefits. A main reason? The amount of polyphenols. Polyphenols have been shown to function as both antioxidants and as anti-inflammatory nutrients in the body. The very number and variety of polyphenols in olive oil helps explain the unique health benefits of this culinary oil. Because of the high polyphenol levels, as little as 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per day have been shown to be associated with significant anti-inflammatory benefits.
Oh, and I must address the always asked question … should you cook with extra virgin olive oil?? YES!!! It is the most stable oil to cook with! A good, fresh 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil can cook up to 460’F based on the most recent studies. Due to its high levels of anti-oxidants, olive oil retains its health benefits and structure far longer than other oils. So, fry away!
These are just a few of the magical properties of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. To recap, Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the fresh fruit juice of an olive, pure and simple. Our goal is to educate our customers on this special culinary product and cultivate a great appreciation for the skill and hard work that goes into producing extra virgin olive oil as well as create a love for the different flavors each varietal creates. It is also hands down the healthiest oil to cook with. I hope this sheds some light on this super food and encourages you to explore it more. Holler if you have any questions, and feel free to stop in and taste the different flavors in my shop.