Olive oil is one of the world’s most ancient foods and it’s one of the most common cooking ingredients. In fact, there’s probably a bottle sitting in your pantry right now. As well as tasting delicious, the best extra virgin olive oils are packed with heart-healthy polyphenols. With so many olive oils on the market buying the right extra virgin olive oil can be difficult.
However, this kitchen staple is often shrouded in confusion: regular vs. extra virgin olive oil: what’s the difference; what is the best brand of olive oil to buy; what is the highest quality olive oil; is it OK to cook with extra virgin olive oil?
“Olive oil is so versatile because there are many flavours, notes, and colors,” says New York chef and food stylist Jennifer Ophir. “In that respect, it’s like wine.” And like wine, it can be intimidating. But don’t let intimidation stop you from enjoying this highly delicious and healthy ‘superfood’.
Think Of Olive Oil As Olive Juice.
“Olive oil is a fruit juice,” explains Nicholas Coleman, chief oleologist (fancy term for olive oil expert) at Eataly NY. And when fresh, that juice can be a bit intense. Similar to dark chocolate and craft beers, good, fresh extra virgin olive oil has notes of bitterness.
“Fresh oils can have a pungent, lingering black pepper finish that slowly trails off in the back of the throat,” says Coleman. The amazing and sometimes intense peppery sensation is a marker of high-quality extra virgin olive oil. It occurs because of the polyphenols found in high quality extra virgin olive oil that provide the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Fresher Is Always Better.
At Morocco Gold we take great care to ensure the longevity of our extra virgin olive oil. The selection, early harvesting of our olives, carefully controlled handling and pressing of our olives. As well as the specialist nature of our glass bottle. Designed with a darker green tone and thicker glass wall to maximise protection from UV rays that can interact with and alter foodstuffs. This means that our extra virgin olive oil, if stored in cool conditions, will have an extended shelf life.
To help extend the life of your olive oil, be sure to store the bottle in a dark, cool place away from direct sunlight.
What Is Extra Virgin Olive Oil Good For?
“Olive oil adds depth and dimension to virtually any dish,” says Ophir. However, experts like Coleman have careers tasting and assessing the subtleties of olive oil. Hundreds of olive varieties are cultivated around the world, and dozens are valued for producing delicious oil. Different varieties absolutely have different flavour profiles and personalities. In conclusion the end result of the oil is determined by much more including the geography, method of harvesting and pressing. Again, think wine!
If you’re at a store that allows you to taste olive oil, take advantage! We love holding our tasting sessions for Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil at Fortnun & Mason in London and look forward to continuing these after ‘lockdown’.
Which Is The Best Olive Oil?
Extra-virgin olive oil like Morocco Gold is the highest quality. It contains no more than 0.8 percent oleic acid (virgin olive oil contains up to 2 percent). The acidity comes from free fatty acids and can be detected only in a laboratory. An expert panel of olive oil-tasters (yes, this is a job) must also discern that olive oil is up to par and has no taste defects.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil For Cooking.
You can of course cook with extra-virgin olive, you’ll get a wonderful taste and plentiful health benefits. Olive oil is an incredible ingredient, and the cornerstone of the famous Mediterranean diet. Exquisite olive oil elevates everything it touches—salads, grilled veggies, meat and seafood, soups, stews, pasta, and risotto really do go from good to awesome when anointed with extra virgin olive oil like Morocco Gold. “It’s the perfect bridge between tradition and innovation. It can be utilized in a plethora of culinary applications with astounding results,” says Coleman.
Go ahead and pop some bottles of Morocco Gold extra virgin olive oil.