Cooking With Olive Oil
Olive oil is great for cooking. It has been used for thousands of years and is one of the cornerstones of the Mediterranean diet.
Robust olive oils can be used for frying fish or other strongly flavored ingredients. Mellow, late harvest “Mission” variety oil can be used in baking cakes. One should use a variety of vegetable oils when preparing food, and incorporating a good extra virgin olive oil for its health benefits and wonderful flavor is also recommended.
Olive oil has a high smoke point – about 410 degrees F – and doesn't degrade as quickly as many other oils do when heated repeatedly.
A Few Definitions
Virgin olive oil
This oil is obtained only from the olive; the fruit conditions, particularly thermal conditions, do not alter the oil in any way. It has not undergone any treatment other than washing, decanting, centrifuging and filtering. It excludes oils obtained by the use of solvents or re-esterification methods, and is not mixed with oils from other sources.
Virgin olive oil can be qualified as a natural product and can also have a “designation of origin” when it meets the specific characteristics associated with a particular region.
Virgin olive oils can have the following designations and classifications, depending on their organoleptic (taste and aroma) and analytic characteristics (degree of acidity)...
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Virgin olive oil which has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.8 grams per 100 grams (0.8%), and the other characteristics of which correspond to those fixed for this category.
Extra Virgin olive oil accounts for less than 10% of oil in many producing countries. This type is generally used on salads, added at the table to soups and stews, and for dipping.
Olive Pomace Oil
The solid phase that's remained after pressing olives. It consists of the skins, pits and the fibrous flesh of the olive after the olive water and oil has been removed. Also called Olive cake or sansa.