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What is EVOO? | Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Posted by Ruth Mercurio, Professional Olive Oil & Wine Taster on 15th Aug 2022

EVOO oil


What is EVOO? | Extra Virgin Olive Oil 


EVOO has accompanied man since ancient times and has been admired for its nutritional and healing properties. Its evolution to the present day makes it increasingly integrated into daily life. Unsurprisingly, it has been one of the most transcendental fruits through the centuries.


If you want to understand EVOO oil, it is essential to understand what lies behind its existence since a large part of its history has depended on its production. We encourage you to stay and discover it in this section. Here you will find out:


● how its manufacture has evolved

● how we have used it

● what uses can you give it to make the most of this golden liquid


First appearances of EVOO


Cleopatra was one of the first people in Egypt to use extra virgin olive oil for beauty and skin preservation. Later, in the Copper Age (400 BC), the first fruit of the olive tree was produced, which was used as food, medicine, ointments, and maintenance of lamps.


In ancient Greece, EVOO olive oil became a renowned product that was part of Greek mythology and was used until the middle of the 20th century. However, the actual development of this exceptional authentic olive oil is attributed to the Romans, who, thanks to their expansion and advanced cultivation system, spread throughout the colonies around 211 BC, increasing their trade.


Middle and Modern Ages


In the Middle Ages, the production of EVOO was not as spectacular as in Roman times, but it was still used as food. For a long time, the fruit was only used for celebrations and illumination.


After the Modern Age, the cultivation of olive oil began to spread to other temperate zones. For example, new trade routes to the Atlantic and Northern Europe were opened, but it was still only used for lighting and food.


Since the 18th century, creations were introduced in oil production, which would be a foretaste of the incredible changes resulting from the industrial revolution.


Present


Surprisingly, extra virgin olive oil has not stopped increasing in the last 100 years, and the consumption of this oil has already spread to all continents. The intention of EVOO is not to stop since 90% of its world production is found in 7 countries.


In places like the United States and Australia, more of this fabulous EVOO is produced, which allows its production to continue to increase. Now that you know a little about EVOO's past, you will understand the importance it has always had in our lives.


It should be noted that at We Olive, a top-rated olive oil store, we have given ourselves the task of producing authentic California olive oil because we want more people to take full advantage of its benefits and always have it within their reach.


What uses can you give to EVOO?


There are several ways in which you can consume extra virgin olive oil. You can use it to dress salads, make vinaigrettes, and cook fish, tuna, vegetables, meat, and cheese. These dishes can be combined with the best balsamic vinegar and aromatic herbs, such as rosemary, basil, and pepper, giving all your dishes a quirky touch.


best balsamic vinegar


In addition, you can use it to fry food, keeping it at a temperature between 180° and 200° C. On the other hand, you can use canned EVOO with some fruit or vegetable. Thanks to its natural antioxidants, it will remain in good condition.


In addition, its rich properties are extraordinary to beautify our bodies inside and out. So, you can apply it to your face as a makeup remover or moisturizer and use it to hydrate your hair and strengthen your nails.


Differences between EVOO and Olive Oil


Did you know that not all olive oil is of high quality? Whenever you buy one or want it as a gift for olive oil lovers, you should pay close attention to the label since many of them simply read like olive oil or virgin olive oil. However, when it has the denomination "extra virgin," it indicates that it has a superior quality to the others.


EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) is distinguished by being an unrefined oil, that is, without going through chemical processes that alter its beneficial properties. It is considered that it does not have organoleptic defects, that is, color, flavor, and aroma. Although its processing is more artisanal, it must comply with regulations and quality standards that guarantee its authenticity. Thanks to them, many have recognized certifications as California Olive Oil Council (COOC).


Instead, labels that indicate only olive oil means that this product has gone through advanced processing. This chemical processing eliminates some fruit defects but can also affect some of its properties. For example, it has a slightly higher level of oleic acid, a lighter color, and its flavor is usually of lower intensity. Therefore, the olive oil health benefits is generally less.


EVOO: How is it is made?


In simple terms, EVOO is the juice of olives; however, this practice is much more complex than that definition. Although almost a third of the pulp of the olive is oil, it takes more than just filtering it. It requires a laborious method to preserve its culinary richness and beneficial properties for health. Next, we will tell you about the stages through which its elaboration has to pass:

1. Fruit selection

EVOO can be obtained from different types of olives, such as Arbequina, Picual, and Hojiblanca... among other varieties. For extra virgin olive oil, the harvest must be healthy, from which those ripe and whole olives are selected between six and eight months. At this stage, the fruit usually reaches the maximum point of oil inside.


2. Preparation of the olive

Once the olive is cut, it is prepared for the process with careful washing and removing leaves, branches, or other objects that may have sneaked in. It is intended that the shortest possible time passes between harvesting and grinding to avoid rapid oxidation and preserve the quality of the extra virgin olive oil.


3. Crushed

Hammer mills are usually used to grind or crush the olive. Through these, it is possible to break the oil cells so that they begin distilling the oil. In some cases, the mass obtained is beaten with bone water and oil to release oil and the alpechín, a dark liquid not intended for consumption.


4. Cold extraction and decantation

This is one of the essential stages in which the paste obtained is separated from the oil. It can be done by pressing or by spinning. This second method consists of playing with the density of the oil by separating it from the water and the pomace. This process is carried out at temperatures below 35° to maintain quality.


5. Filtering

Before storage, after decantation, it is usually passed through a second filtering. With this, impurities are eliminated and give rise to an optimal EVOO. The color obtained can vary depending on variety and maturity, but it is always distinguished by a bright hue and even with golden lines.


6. Stored

Freshly processed extra virgin olive oil is stored in large stainless-steel tanks. The temperature of these is critical and should be constant at around 15°, in addition to being away from sun exposure and foul odors.


7. Tasting

Usually, quality verification passes two tastings or expert verifications. First, vital aspects such as the oil's fruitiness are measured with pre-established parameters. This way, it is verified that it is a product suitable for consumption.


8. Bottling

Subsequently, the extra virgin olive oil is ready to be bottled. Most producers choose dark-colored, hermetically sealed glass bottles to promote proper oil preservation. However, there are also models of plastic or metal bottles.


9. Quality verification

Before marketing the product that has been bottled, it has to approve a final filter. Expert tasters evaluate its organoleptic characteristics and analyze that the conditions are correct to be called "extra virgin."


10. Conservation and marketing

It is recommended that while it is not marketed, it is kept at temperatures that do not exceed 20° and away from light. The same applies to warehouses in stores. This way, the final consumer can obtain an EVOO in perfect condition.


                                           What is EVOO - Infographic

  


Benefits that EVOO brings you


The benefits of authentic extra virgin olive oil are abundant. Here is a list of what benefits it brings you to use it more often.


  1. Lower cholesterol levels. Extra virgin olive oil has a high content of monounsaturated acids, which helps reduce LDL cholesterol levels without affecting the good HDL cholesterol.
  2. Promotes bone health. According to a study, daily consuming EVOO prevents bone loss and osteoporosis.
  3. Take cares of your heart. The fat deposits in the blood vessels are slowed down thanks to the consumption of EVOO since it contains antioxidants that fight the appearance and protect the arteries and the heart.
  4. Keeps blood pressure under control. It helps keep blood pressure levels under control, you must maintain a healthy diet rich in greens and vegetables. You can also add EVOO because it is 100% vegetable.
  5. Helps to keep diabetes under control. EVOO regulates pancreatic insulin production, controls glucose levels, and delays the treatment generally used in diabetes.
  6. Reduces the risk of breast cancer. Oleic acid and antioxidants decrease host activity and stimulate cancer cell death.
  7. Helps reduce chronic pain. EVOO is a natural anti-inflammatory and analgesic similar to medications such as ibuprofen and paracetamol.
  8. Counteracts aging. Authentic olive oil has a large number of polyphenols. Which helps prevent degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's. In addition, applying it directly to the skin protects you from free radicals, delays photoaging, and reduces dark spots.
  9. Great source of vitamins E and K. One hundred grams of EVOO can provide 96% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin E (known as an antioxidant). They can also provide you with 50% of the daily intake of vitamin K (which helps bone density).


Choose the rich liquid gold at We Olive


There is no doubt that history confirms how essential it is to have EVOO in our lives since we would miss out on many benefits and uses for health without it. Now that you know the production behind extra virgin olive oil, you will surely want to appreciate it more and not miss a single drop in your daily diet.


If you want to find an authentic and guaranteed EVOO, shop now at We Olive and use our olive oil stores near me search tool to find exquisite olive oil and balsamic vinegar tastings. We are looking forward to showing you all our products and for you to choose your favorites.


Choose from some of our most selling products, including jalapeño olive oil, olive oil and lemon , garlic olive oil , and our variety of balsamics, including aged balsamic vinegar , We Olive and fig balsamic vinegar , and blackberry balsamic vinegar , among many others.


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