Once people start using olive oil, they tend to use it a lot, but many find choosing one confusing. Some olive oils are light in colour and others darker. Some come in clear bottles, others dark bottles.
A 2014 survey of 2,002 adults and their knowledge of olive oil in the U.S. found there are a lot of myths around olive oil. In this article we hope to dispel some myths and give you some great insight into olive oil to choose the type that meets your health and cooking goals.
The 2014 national attitude and usage study was run by the North American Olive Oil Association (NAOOA) and co-financed by the International Olive Council (IOC).
Common Olive oil myths
The survey found that there are a number of myths about olive oil, so let’s debunk those first.
– the color of olive oil is related to its quality (only 6 percent knew this is false);
– light-tasting olive oil has fewer calories than other olive oils (only 16 percent knew this is false);
– like wine, olive oil gets better with age (only about a quarter knew this is false);
– extra virgin olive oil is for cold or raw use only (less than a third knew this is false).
Guide to olive oil
Olive oil is made from pressing olives. Depending on how it is pressed and the type of olive sed, it can have a light to dark green hue. With a buttery and slightly peppery taste. Olive oil can be used cold for salad dressings or for cooking with.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO): Darkest in colour than other olive oils and is made from the first pressing of the olives. It is the healthiest of the oils and has a more spicy taste. EVOO is a perfect olive oil with no flaws and is very high in antioxidants. It can also be used more than once for cooking.
Virgin Olive Oil: It’s the next step down and the one more commonly found in grocery stories. Lower in antioxidants, but still healthy. It’s also a lower cost but can’t be reused for cooking like EVOO. It’s also slightly less spicy.
Light Olive Oil: This is a highly processed olive oil. Some brands will blend light olive oil with virgin olive oil, trying to sell it as virgin olive oil, so be careful of what you’re buying. It keeps longer on shelves and also has a higher smoke point. It’s called light because of the colour of the oil, not because it’s less in fats.
How olive oil is made
There are three ways olive oil is processed. This makes the difference in colour, quality and shelf life; as well as price!
Cold Pressed: This is your EVOO oil! Just pressed and right into the bottle, no heat, nothing added. It’s the most expensive, but it really is the best!
Unrefined: Just simply pressed. No additives. It’s olive oil in its purest form! The olives may be washed, decanted and sorted, but that’s it.
Refined: This is where lighter coloured olive oils come in. This form goes through another step after the initial pressing. It may be heated or other chemicals added. Often times, other vegetable oils will be added to make it go farther. This is also the cheapest of the olive oils.
Have more questions? Contact us at Liquid Gold today, no one in Canada knows olive oils like we do. We can ship pretty much anywhere in Canada.
More Insight: Check out this article on how olive oil helps women fight breast cancer!