Guide to Cheese Types
Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Gourmet Guide
June 12, 2019 | By Dave Mattingly
About Extra Virgin Olive Oil Production
To be able to call an olive oilExtra Virgin, it needs to be manufactured according to an international set of specifications. The three most important criteria are that the oil comes from the first pressing of the olives, that there is no heat involved in the pressing process (this is called "cold pressed"), and that the resulting oil is below 1% acidity. Therefore, to refer to an extra virgin olive oil as "First cold pressed" is technically redundant. Oil that does not satisfy these criteria fall into lower grades, like Virgin, Pure or Pomace. For more information, please visit our Extra Virgin Olive Oil boutique.
Like cheeses and wines, Extra Virgin Olive Oils benefit from the concept of terroir. Terroir implies that the flavor of a food comes from the environment of its production, explaining why, for example, a California merlot may taste vastly different from the same wine produced in northern Italy. Temperature and humidity levels and fluctuations, minerals in the soil, air and water purity, animals living nearby, and plants growing nearby all contribute to the flavors produced by a given olive tree. Some regions produce light and fruity oils whereas others produce more forceful, spicier profiles. For more information, please visit our Extra Virgin Olive Oil boutique.
The ideal environment for storing extra virgin olive oil is at a relatively constant temperature between 55ºF (typical basement temperature) and 70ºF (typical room temperature). Refrigeration does not harm most EVOOs, but should be avoided if possible because of condensation concerns. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is best stored in a dark area, like inside a cabinet or pantry, as sunlight will breakdown the chemistry of the oil and degrade the product over time. When chilled, extra virgin olive oil turns cloudy and somewhat solid. This is not a concern, and the oil will liquify again when it warms to room temperature. For more information, please visit our Extra Virgin Olive Oil boutique.
Because of its relatively high price and low smoke point, extra virgin olive oil is not typically used for cooking. Rather, it is best suited for dipping, drizzling, brushing on meats and vegetables before grilling, and incorporating in dressings, marinades and sauces.
Your #1 Online Extra Virgin Olive Oil Shopping Resource
Every gourmet food product on sale at igourmet.com is accompanied by a long story about its history in relation to food culture. Each of our Italian, Spanish, French, Greek and Californian Extra Virgin Olive Oils is unique, offering flavors ranging from fruity to peppery. To view a complete listing of all gourmet foods available online at igourmet, or to buy, please visit our Extra Virgin Olive Oil boutique.