Olive oil is perhaps THE cornerstone of Italian cuisine and has been used for thousands of years. Olive trees are abundant in Italy and also all across the Mediterranean. However, not all olive oils are created equal. In fact, there are several different types and grades of olive oil, each with its own unique flavour, colour, and aroma. In this blog post, we’ll explore the different grades of olive oil and their characteristics.
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) is the highest quality olive oil available. It is made from pure, cold-pressed olives and has no chemicals or solvents added. EVOO has a rich, fruity flavour and is high in antioxidants, making it one of the healthiest oils you can use for cooking. It is also perfect for salad dressings, dips, and marinades.
- Virgin Olive Oil
Virgin olive oil is also made from cold-pressed olives, but it has a slightly lower quality than EVOO. It has a milder flavour and aroma and a lower acidity level. Virgin olive oil is great for cooking, as it has a higher smoke point than EVOO and is generally more cost effective if you use it in higher quantities each week. This is also the lowest grade olive oil you’ll find in our store!
- Pure Olive Oil
Pure olive oil is a blend of virgin olive oil and refined olive oil. Refined olive oil is made by treating low-quality or defective virgin olive oil with chemicals and high heat to remove impurities. The resulting oil has a neutral flavour and is low in nutrients, but it is still a healthier option than many other types of oil.
- Light Olive Oil
Contrary to popular belief, light olive oil is not lower in calories or fat than other types of olive oil. It simply has a lighter flavour and colour due to the fact that it is highly refined and processed. Light olive oil is best used for high-heat cooking and baking, as it has a high smoke point.
- Extra Light Olive Oil
Extra-light olive oil is even more highly refined than light olive oil, and it has an even lighter flavour and colour. It is best used for deep-frying and baking, as it has a high smoke point and a neutral flavour.
So next time you’re shopping in Mercato head down our olive oil aisle and check out all the options or ask one of our knowledgeable staff members for assistance!