Spain, by far largest producer of extra virgin olive oil in the world, with more than three times the quantity of Italy. Spanish Olive Oil.
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Spanish Arbequina from Priego de Cordoba
Castillo de Canena
Picual or Arbequina, one of the best EVOO in the world, from Jaén
Masia el Altet High Quality
An award-winning Spanish extra virgin olive oil.
Masia el Altet Premium
Premium award-winning extra virgin olive oil from Alicante
Pressed from a wonderful blend of Arbequina & Hojiblanca olives
A consistent front-runner on the international award-circuit, from Jaén.
Oro del Desierto Coupage
Pressed in the desert from a blend of organic Spanish olives, from Almería.
Oro del Desierto Varietals
Extra Virgin olive oils literally grown in the desert
Pago Baldios San Carlos Arbequina
Pressed from 100% Arbequina olives of Extremadura, Spain
Parqueoliva Serie Oro
Pressed from Hojiblanca and Picuda olive of Spain
Rincón de la Subbética
One of the world’s best olive oils from Cordoba, Spain
Venta del Baron
An award-winning olive oil from Cordoba, Spain
EVOO is an acronym for extra virgin olive oil. Its classification requires the product meet a strict set of regulations for a company to apply it to their product.
Though the standards may vary between countries, the International Olive Council actually provides a succinct definition. This definition is typically followed by most nations. EVOO it’s the best olive oil possible.
It is made from pure, cold-pressed olives, whereas regular olive oil is a blend, including both cold-pressed and processed oils. The process starts by grinding olives into a paste, then pressing them to extract the oil. There’s no heat involved, hence the “cold-pressed” label you often encounter.
What is EVOO?
Extra virgin olive oil is the least processed version. In contrast, vegetable oil is made by mixing oils, such as canola, cottonseed, sunflower, soybean, corn, and safflower.
Due to this, it retains its natural antioxidants and vitamins, which are often lost during processing. This makes it a more healthful oil than regular olive oil but also makes it a little more expensive.
It tastes more or less spicy (peppery, or ‘pungent’ in tasting terms) and bitter. When an oil does not have these peppery and bitter tones, it is poor in antioxidants. Fortunately, pungency and bitterness generally blend well with food, and add pleasing complexity to most dishes.
Those olive oil have a pleasant, fruity flavor and a wonderful texture. It’s great to finish off many dishes, from pasta, salads, and sandwiches to cooked meats, vegetables, or even potatoes.
However, there are many attributes of olive oil that indicate poor quality like being rancid, fusty, musty or winey. However, having a bitter sensation on the tongue or a back of the throat sting, is not one of them. Actually, it is the flavenoid polyphenols in olive oil that contribute to a bitter taste and resistance to oxidation.
Why does olive oil not taste like olives?
Fermentation (and natural ripening of the olive) allows these compounds to break down into simpler compounds. Those particles don’t have such a bitter taste. In fact, olive oil is just a tiny part of the olive.
What is EVOO oil?
So how is an olive oil classified as extra virgin or not? The classification stems from how the oil was processed.
Extra virgin olive oil must be free from any alterations in color, taste, nutrients or vitamins. Therefore, olives are crushed into a pulp using only force, no heat or chemicals as for other olive oils. Once the pulp creates a paste, it is kneaded to release the liquid from the pulp (oil, water and residues).
That liquid is then put in a centrifuge which separates the oil from the rest of the olive material. The pure, flavorful oil is then filtered and bottled as extra virgin olive oil. This oil must also not exceed 0.8% of oleic acid content in order to be considered EVOO.
According to the International Olive Council, EVOO is “virgin olive oil which has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.8 grams per 100 grams and the other characteristics of which correspond to those fixed for this category in the 10C standard.”
Once that leftover olive paste is heated and kneaded with chemicals to release more oil, we get just olive oil. Therefore, this oil is not as pure or of as high of quality as extra virgin olive oil.
Therefore, to get the best flavor and nutritional quality, the oil must be the first, cold extraction of the olives.
The Fake Oils
In the shelves of the grocery store, there are probably several brands claiming the olive oil as “extra virgin”. Watch out! Don’t be fooled so easily.
Many brands have discovered methods to generate greater profits by skimping on quality standards for EVOO. Chances are, that grocery store brand lacks the quality, nutritional benefits, flavor and other requirements to be considered “extra virgin.”
According to expert Paul Vossen, much of the “extra virgin olive oil” sold in stores is defective, fermented and rancid. In fact, a study from UC Davis showed that 69% of imported oils were “wrong”. Actually, they were labeled as extra virgin but did not meet the International Olive Council quality standards.
Why is EVOO so amazing?
You wouldn’t want to settle for an oil that’s spiked with chemicals and impurities. EVOO allows you to maintain the health benefits and purity of product that olive oil is intended to have.
EVOO has remarkably better taste than store bought vegetable oils or other olive oils. As you cook or prepare a salad, the taste of EVOO will transform your dishes into a flavorful adventure.
In addition to taste, EVOO also beats out other oils in vitamins and nutrients it holds. Other oils like vegetable oils are extracted using petroleum-based chemical solvents and are highly refined. However, in this process, we dramatically lose much of the taste, color and nutrients. Since EVOO is not processed or refined, all the color, taste, vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants remain.
Stick With Quality
With its flavor, taste and nutritional quality, EVOO is your choice when cooking, baking or using in countless other ways.
Olive oil classification
EVOO is considered the purest form of olive oil, but it is certainly not the only king. In the United States, there are five classifications.
- EVOO is the purest and usually the product that people prefer for cooking. It has a better flavor and odor than the other classification. It also tends to be healthier.
- Virgin olive oil is the next most commonly used olive oil. It is less costly and for those who don’t know the difference, it can be an acceptable substitute for EVOO.
- Lampante virgin olive oil is not something that can be sold for consumption. The poor taste and odor make it off-putting enough that people are not likely to attempt to ingest it. Typically, this olive oil is further processed for consumption or is included for other uses.
- Refined olive oil is the product of further refining olive oil, but it does not change the initial glyceridic structure of the product. It does not have an odor or flavor.
- Olive oil is a blended form of olive oil (usually mixing virgin olive oil and refined olive oil). It is fit for human consumption and can add flavor to many different dishes.
The following chemical standards are used by nations like Spain, Greece and Italy to ensure that their products are appropriately labeled EVOO.
- free fatty acidity of the product below 0.8%.
- level of peroxides below 20 milliequivalents per kilogram.
- must have UV absorbency of no more than 0.22 for K270, no more than 2.5 for K232, and less than 0.01 for Delta K.
The final product cannot include any fruit other than olives taken from olive trees. Also, nothing may be added during the process, so the producer cannot add any solvents or heat.
The only processes that the fruit can go through are washing, decantation, centrifugation, and filtration. The temperature of the process must remain under 27°C (80°F).