Extra Virgin Olive Oil and how is it different from Virgin Olive Oil?

Definitely not. Virgin olive oil and extra virgin olive oil are not the same product. There are great differences between these two types of olive oil, and it is important to get to know them in order to choose the best quality product. 

On many occasions the industry itself has created confusing advertising campaigns to present a lower quality product on behalf of another, and this action harms the good work of so many farmers who work every day to present a premium extra virgin olive oil.

 

What do we mean when we talk about Virgin Olive Oil (VOO)?

Virgin Olive Oil (VOO) generally has a free acidity expressed in oleic acid that must be a maximum of 2%. At a sensory level, its fruitiness must be greater than 0 and it may have a defect that cannot exceed a score of 3.5 (out of 10) in a tasting panel.

 

What do we mean when we talk about Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)? 

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) has a free acidity expressed in oleic acid of less than 0.8%, it has not been subjected to any refinement process and in the tasting panels it must provide a fruitiness greater than 0, and it cannot present any type of defect at an organoleptic level. In addition, for the extraction of extra virgin olive oil, only mechanical processes should have been used.

Their nutritional properties are not affected either, and they maintain all their benefits such as Omega 3, vitamin E or essential polyunsaturated fatty acids, among others. 

One of the main differences between VOO and EVOO is their organoleptic quality. In the case of virgin olive oil, the presence of some defects, imperceptible to the common consumer, are allowed. Extra virgin olive oil cannot afford to fail in terms of sensory quality, and the margin of defect has to be 0.

 

A good extra virgin olive oil begins with a key product: the olive

It all starts in the countryside: the land where the olive trees live and where their fruits grow must present the best possible conditions, and the work of the soil and the care of the trees must respect the cycles of nature. 

 

 

To obtain an optimal extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), we need to start with an excellent raw material. The characteristics, quality and typology of the olives will be decisive when producing a unique oil, and will have a direct impact on the final organoleptic properties of the product. 

For this reason, it is also important to bear in mind that the moment of harvesting the olives is key, since they must be at their ideal moment of maturation. Olives need to be carefully harvested and milled in the shortest time possible to avoid any problem that may lead to defects in the final result of the production.

How can we choose a good Extra Virgin Olive Oil? 

When choosing a good extra virgin olive oil of the highest quality, we can use its labeling as a guide. On its label we will try to find some reference words or main characteristics, such as the following: 

1. Early harvest: 

The early harvest is an upward trend, since it makes it easier for the olives to maintain a correct natural acidity and good freshness, characteristics that will greatly influence the final product. In the early harvest, the olives are prevented from being excessively overripe. 

2. Olive variety: 

There are oils made from a mixture of olive varieties, and there are oils whose production process has only used a specific variety. These monovarietals are easy to identify, and they are a clear commitment by the olive maker to better reflect all the character and flavor that a single variety can have. In both cases, it must be identified on the label.

3. Ecological/Biological Farming:

It is an indicator that the field and the olive trees have been treated with the least possible intervention and without adding chemicals or pesticides that can be harmful to health. More and more small farmers reduce the use of pesticides or prevent problems naturally, even if they do not get to certify the land and the crop.

The quality of an oil is conditioned by several factors: the land, the trees, the weather, the type of olives, sustainability in cultivation techniques and finally, the talent of the hands that make it. A good mill master can produce an excellent EVOO with any variety.

Respect for nature and traditional production methods are essential to understand what level of excellence can extra virgin olive reach. Knowledge of the product and its optimal harvesting and processing times are also key. 

If there is a good balance, we can have a great product as a result.

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Why use EVOO in the kitchen

Por qué utilizar AOVE en la cocina

Become a gourmet and take care of your health by adding EVOO in your dishes

One of the main advantages of using extra virgin olive oil in the kitchen is that this natural product not only helps to enhance the flavors in dishes, but also helps to take care of our health.

El AOVE  premium posee múltiples propiedades organolépticas y nutricionales que se ven muy potenciadas en aquellas dietas equilibradas en las que el producto de calidad es la gran estrella. 

Using EVOO in the kitchen is not only a pleasure, but also a good way to provide our body with a series of essential nutritional attributes for its proper physical and intellectual functioning. 

Liquid gold is much more beneficial than we can imagine, and it is not only a matter of taste, aroma or color: its consumption is part of a whole philosophy of life, more oriented towards connecting with the earth and to healthy eating habits. 

 

Nutritional Properties of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Virgin olive oil provides essential vitamins and acids for the proper functioning of our body. Omega 3, Vitamin E, monounsaturated fatty acids, polyphenols or antioxidants are some of the nutritional properties that we need to include in our diet to maintain optimal health, and EVOO is a good source to incorporate all these elements. 

 

Omega 3

Omega 3 belongs to the polyunsaturated fats that our body does not produce naturally, therefore, it is essential to find a good source that provides us with its properties in the right measure. 

 

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a great source of natural antioxidants that help our immune system stay healthy. It is also a powerful anti-inflammatory that helps keep defenses strong, and contributes positively to skin and hair care. 

 

Polyphenols

Polyphenols act as a protective barrier against the effects produced by free radicals on our body, and in turn, help prevent cardiovascular diseases. 

Health benefits

How does the intake of these properties translate into our health? EVOO provides us with a good supply of these essential fatty elements of plant origin, as well as essential vitamins in our diet. 

Another benefit of extra virgin olive oil is that it helps us to make digestion easier, preventing and reducing reflux or constipation problems that generally complicate intestinal transit.  

EVOO is also antifungal and anti-inflammatory, and can help prevent the onset of cardiovascular problems.

 

What kind of dishes benefit from cooking with extra virgin olive oil?

Whether we are about to prepare a light dish or if we want to cook a much more forceful traditional dish, EVOO will help us to make the flavors and aromas conquer the stomach of our guests. 

Whether we are about to prepare a light dish or if we want to cook a much more forceful traditional dish, EVOO will help us to make the flavors and aromas conquer the stomach of our guests. 

Raw EVOO is excellent in:

 

  • Preparations of dressings or sauces such as allioli
  • Salads
  • Cold soups (gazpacho, salmorejo,…) or hot (a cream of vegetables on top,…)
  • Boiled (cauliflower, broccoli, green beans,…) 
  • Preserves: candied foods, pickled or prepared with oil as the main natural preservative. 
  • On top of any grilled meat or fish
  • Carpaccios

 

EVOO at temperature is excellent in:

  • Sauteed various foods such as vegetables and meats 
  • Baked dishes or stews
  • Preparation of biscuits.
  • Rice
  • Simpler dishes like fried eggs

 

We invite you to experiment, if you have several EVOO at home you can try and add a different one each time, for example on a good piece of red meat or chicken, on grilled fish loins, in the salad or on top of a piece of roasted pepper, grilled octopus, vegetable cream. EVOO can be equally convenient to add to vegetable stews.

 

And what about the fried dishes? 

El AOVE se adhiere menos a las frituras y a los rebozados que otros tipos de aceite, y les proporciona una textura crujiente y fresca. Los sabores también se ven claramente potenciados, ya que el aceite de oliva virgen extra proporciona a los alimentos unos aromas y sabores particulares únicos.  Cabe destacar que no todas las variedades son óptimas para ser utilizados en fritura: no es recomendable usar las variedades arbequina y hojiblanca, por ejemplo.

 

EVOO and heat: what temperature can it resist?

Extra virgin olive oil can withstand high temperatures, although everything has a limit. If we see that the oil begins to smoke, we must quickly remove it from the heat, since from that moment on the oil will begin to deteriorate.

Important: extra virgin olive oil must not burn! Burnt oil completely loses its nutritional and organoleptic properties and, although it can withstand a temperature of up to 210º C, it is advisable not to bring it to the smoking point.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil contributes beneficially to our health and our diet, and also fills our dishes with colour and flavour. Any food can be pleasantly transformed thanks to the organoleptic properties of EVOO, becoming a way of enjoying gastronomy while taking care of our body.

 

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