Olive oil is widely regarded as one of best cooking oils available. A nutrient-rich and all-natural product, a good olive oil is a must-have for anyone looking for healthy cooking products. In fact, olive oil is used in a wide range of food and cosmetic products thanks to its various positive properties!
Looking to buy the best olive oil for your cooking? Here is everything you need to know:
What are olive oils?
Olive oil is a cooking oil obtained from olives, a fruit that grows on the olive tree. Olive oil is made by pressing olives to extract the oil, which is used as a cooking fat and as a dressing for various salad dishes. A staple of Mediterranean cuisine, only the best olive oils are known for their pleasant taste.
Why should you buy a good olive oil?
The best olive oils taste incredible. It’s fantastic for cooking as it remains a healthy cooking oil: Unlike other oils the extraction process requires no solvents or chemicals, making it one of the best oils to cook with. Rich in monounsaturated fat, vitamin E, and antioxidants, olive oil is great for any dishes.
How to choose the right olive oil?
Choosing the best olive oil can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for. Here are some things to consider that can help you find a great olive oil:
- Expiration Date: The best olive oils don’t age well, so it is important to find one with a suitable harvest date. If the packaging don’t reveal this information then the expiration date works to the same effect. Basically, you want a good olive oil that has a year left on its expiration date or that harvest date was within the last 12 months.
- Origin: A great olive oil is sourced, processed, and bottled in a single country, preferably in Italy or Crete. Be mindful that some products that claim to be the product of a certain county may only be bottled there, so always check the label for this info!
- Color: Don’t be mistaken into thinking certain colors of olive oil reflects their quality. Color is based purely on the type of olive fruit which there are many of so doesn’t impact the quality in any way.
- Taste: One of the easiest ways to find the best olive oil is to taste it! Granted, not every retailer provides free samples, but those that do are worth visiting. Olive oils come in many distant flavors, such as floral, fruity and herbal, so you often need to taste these yourself to find one to your liking.
What is the best kind of olive oil in Italy?
There are many types of olive you can buy, some of which are much better for you than others, while some simply taste different:
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: The best olive oils in terms of quality, extra virgin olive oil has the most antioxidants. Extracted by a cold-press process, it retains most of the olive’s natural flavors and has no chemicals or solvents used to process it.
- Virgin Olive Oil: A great quality olive oil that is only slightly inferior to extra virgin olive oil, virgin olive oil is also unrefined, allowing it to maintain the natural taste. The only notable difference between it and extra virgin olive oil is that it has a slightly lower acidity level.
- Refined Olive Oil: A much cheaper olive oil - refined refers to the fact it is made by refining virgin olive oil. This does remove the acidity, but also lowers the nutritional value of the oil.
- Pure Olive Oil: A basic olive oil created by a blend of refined olive oil and extra virgin olive oil. It retains the acidity but loses most of its nutrients compared to better quality oils.
Top 10 list of olive oils in Italy 2024
The bestseller list compares brands and their olive oils. Which olive oil is the best?
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