Olive oil is a liquid fat obtained from olives, the fruit of Olea europaea; family Oleaceae, a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin. One of the three core food plants in Mediterranean cuisine, the other two are wheat and grapes.
One of the oldest and most celebrated food on the planet it has been consumed for thousands of years. Spain accounts for almost half of global olive oil production; other major producers are Portugal, Italy, Tunisia, Greece, and Turkey.
Wild olives, which originated in Asia Minor, were collected by Neolithic people as early as the 8th millennium BC. olive oil has been used for religious rituals, medicines, as a fuel in oil lamps, soap-making, and skin-care applications.
The olive tree reached Greece, Carthage, and Libya sometime in the 28th century BC, having been spread westward by the Phoenicians. were introduced to the Americas in the 16th century AD when cultivation began in areas that enjoyed a climate similar to the Mediterranean such as Chile, Argentina, and California.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) costs more, should you buy it? It is only made via mechanical methods, just pressed with no chemicals or high heat. It is unrefined and cold-extracted which maintains it high levels of bioactive compounds, including oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, and oleocanthal, which possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-microbial properties.
The color will range from green to gold and aromas from fresh green and grassy to ripe and fruity. EVOO contains modest levels of vitamin E and vitamin K, and regulations require that true EVOO not have any flavor defects as determined by an official taste panel.
Virgin Olive Oil
Virgin Olive Oil (VOO) is extracted the same way as EVOO so it has the same health benefits as EVOO, including high levels of polyphenol antioxidants. It is allowed to have some minor flavor defects, which should not be detectable to the majority. It still contains all of the beneficial phytosterols and oleic acid and modest amounts of vitamin E and vitamin K.
Olive Oil is sometimes called “Pure Olive Oil” or “Regular Olive Oil” is the combination of refined olive oil and 15%-25% virgin olive oil. Heat and chemicals are added to refine the oil. This causes the oil to have less of the beneficial health factors of the others. They are lighter in color and have more of a neutral flavor and aroma.
Light/Extra Light Olive Oil
Light and extra light olive oils are a combination of refined olive oil and 5%-10% virgin olive oil. The refined oil component is treated with some heat and chemicals to remove flavor defects. Don’t confuse “light” for low in calories—in this case, light refers to the oil’s almost completely neutral flavor and aroma.
Olive oil is produced by grinding olives and extracting the oil by mechanical or chemical means. Green olives usually produce more bitter oil, and overripe olives can produce oil with fermentation defects, so for good extra virgin olive oil care is taken to make sure the olives are perfectly ripened.