>U Mom Knows Best: Extra Virgin Olive Oil Facts For Best Cooking

Monday, June 7, 2021

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Facts For Best Cooking

 I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

I thought I knew about what extra virgin olive oil is and how to best use it for cooking but an influencer event taught me even more information.

  I enjoy cooking healthy recipes and one of my preferred cooking oil is extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil adds wonderful flavor to my recipes. Olive oil is also a healthier choice as it is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats which are considered a healthy fat that has many benefits, including heart health. Extra-virgin olive oil also contains large amounts of antioxidants and can reduce inflammation, along with many other health benefits.

 So I was excited to attend the Flavor Your Life Influencer event hosted by Moms Meet as I wanted to learn more about extra virgin olive oil. I wanted to learn about how extra virgin olive oil was made. I knew that extra virgin olive oil was made from olives from an olive tree but that was where my knowledge ended. So I tuned into the online event to learn more about extra virgin olive oil from an olive oil expert Alissa Mattei, who lives in Italy.

About Alissa Mattei

 Alissa Mattei is an organic chemist, professional taster, recipe developer, and consultant. She has published numerous scientific articles and patents, has worked as a consultant for a multitude of companies and associations, and has organized tastings and scientific courses around the world. Additionally, she writes recipes from Tuscany and other Italian regions that incorporate olive oil. Today, she is the President of the Knoil Association, a non-profit that shares the culture of extra virgin olive oil, as well as an AIFO panel leader.

About Flavor Your Life

 The Flavor Your Life campaign aims to educate consumers about authentic extra virgin olive oil from Europe. This event was hosted in Italy and I loved that Alissa started the event in front of the olive trees that produce the extra virgin olive oil. It was cool to see an olive tree up close and to learn about the making of extra virgin olive oil from the harvesting of the olives all the way to the olive oil being bottled for use in your kitchen.

 I loved that the participants of the event could ask questions while Alissa talked about extra virgin olive oil. Seeing all the delicious-looking olives on the tree sparked my first question. I wanted to know if one could eat olives straight from the trees, as I enjoy eating olives. Alissa informed everyone that the olives are bitter and need to be processed first to be able to enjoy the taste of the olives.

 More questions were asked during the Flavor Your Life event using the chat function. So, in addition, the education on how extra virgin olive oil was made, I learned that the many types of olives from green to black olives are grown on the same tree but are picked at different stages of ripeness.

How Extra Olive Oil is made

 I loved learning and watching a video about how extra virgin olive oil is made. After the olives are harvested from the olive trees, they are washed. Then the olives are pressed into the oil without any heat or chemicals. During the olive oil-making process, the oil is tested for many things before it can be labeled extra virgin olive oil. I learned that extra virgin olive oil is virtually free of acidity - below 0.8% and that if the percentage of oleic acid was too high it would indicate improper production and rancidity.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Tasting

 The very informative olive oil event also educated me on how a panel of trained experts tasted the olive oil for taste defects and positive attributes to see if qualifies for the extra virgin rating. While the processing of olives makes olive oil it has to have the right amount of fruitiness, bitterness, and spiciness to receive the Extra Virgin rating. Tasting olive oil involved many senses like taste and smell and Alissa demonstrated how the trained experts did their olive oil tasting.

Using and storing extra virgin olive oil

 I think my favorite part about learning about extra virgin olive oil was learning how to cook with it. Chef Riccardo Zanni demonstrated how to make a delicious risotto with extra virgin olive oil and I was glad that Moms Meet sent me a bottle of Le Stagioni d' Italia 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Le Stagioni d' Italia Carnaroli rice so I can create the risotto at home. This delicious extra virgin olive oil will be perfect for Roasted Tomatoes Made In The Air Fryer.

 I learned that extra virgin olive oil has a high smoking point of 400°F so I can use it for cooking and baking. I also learned that I was storing my olive oil wrong. Olive oil should be stored somewhere dark and cold (around 57°F). So that meant not on the counter or near my stove and never in the fridge. Also, the oil needs to be in the bottle with the lid screwed on tight and used within 6 months of opening. So, that meant I could not store my olive oil in my fancy bottle, with the pour spout, next to my stove.

Extra Virgin Olive oil facts

● Extra virgin olive oil is made by pressing olive oil, without heat or chemicals

● Olive oils are tested for peroxide values. Lower values indicate fresher oil and more rapid processing.

● Extra virgin olive oil is virtually free of acidity — below 0.8%. If the percentage of oleic acid (fatty acid) is too high, it indicates improper production and rancidity. 

● A panel of trained, expert tasters tests for taste defects and the presence of positive attributes of fruitiness, bitterness, and spiciness. If the oil doesn’t have the signature fruity taste and harmonious balance, it won’t receive an Extra Virgin rating.

● Extra virgin olive oil has a high smoking point of 400°F, so it is suitable for cooking and baking.

● Between use, store your oil somewhere dark and cool (around 57°F, if possible), not on the counter or near a stove, and never in the refrigerator. Keep the lid screwed on tight, and use your oil within six months of opening.

About Le Stagioni d’ Italia

● Le Stagioni d’ Italia takes great pride in bringing authentic Italian foods from seed to shelf, selecting seeds, harvesting crops, and packaging foods in their state-of-the-art production facilities in Northern Italy. 

● Le Stagioni d’ Italia’s short, fully traceable supply chain is guaranteed sustainability, and the great care they take with processing creates exceptional taste.

● 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the first cold-pressed olive oil from the first round of extraction of fresh, intact olives - it has not been heated during processing, so it retains its full nutritional value. 

● Harvested in Italy, it is vegan, gluten-free, and contains no additives or preservatives.

● It has a robust flavor of artichoke and almond, with a medium bitter and spicy aftertaste, as well as a green, ripe, fruity aroma with a leafy feel. 

Extra Virgin Olive Oil inspired my cooking

 The Flavor Your Life event educated me a lot about extra virgin olive oil and I walked away with inspiration to use this oil in more recipes. I loved that this event gave us a recipe link to authentic Italian dishes that use extra virgin olive oil. I will be making some of these recipes in addition to the risotto. I can't wait until my Southwest garden gives me fresh veggies so I can roast them with the extra virgin olive oil. 


melissa said...

I love EVOO on my salads and when cooking. This was a very informative post and I learned just how EVOO is made and its characteristics.

AiringMyLaundry said...

I didn't know about a lot of this. I have olive oil but I rarely use it. I really should!

The Super Mom Life said...

I love olive oil! I've recently been told that it's best used in recipes as is, vs. cooking with it, so that's what I've been doing.

Chef Dennis said...

This is really a good blog. A great information about extra virgin olive oil. Thank you for sharing.

Ali Smith said...

Wow i got this upside down! I thought EVOO had a really low smoke/burn point so was not something you should use for cooking! The more you know, thanks for this, I learnt a lot!

Richelle Escat said...

Wow, this all new for me too. I never knew olive oil are just pressed not heated.

Rose Ann Sales said...

All I know is how to use this on certain dishes. Now I felt quite cool knowing that I know something on how it's made.��

Fatima D Torres said...

I had no idea about the high smoking point of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I use it often when I cook.

Lyanna Soria said...

I have used olive oils before but not that much. Definitely learned something new from this and thanks for the share

Ivan Jose | Dad On The Move said...

I love using extra virgin olive oil for cooking because of the flavor it gives food. It's also nice to know these facts about olive oil.

Melanie Edjourian said...

It must have been interesting to find out about the oil from Alissa. I have used extra virgin olive oil for cooking but never baking.

Lynndee said...

Great to know the facts. I love using extra virgin olive oil in cooking. -LYNNDEE

Kita Bryant said...

It is crazy all the work that goes into a good olive oil. I will need to keep an eye out for these factors.

Swathi said...

Lot of information about extra virgin olive oil. Thanks for sharing this. I use them in regular cooking especially in salad. olive oil makes the dishes tasty.

Loving Spain Life said...

I only use a couple oils and extra virgin olive oil is one of them. I don't think a lot of people are aware of how many things we can use it for or in. Great that you wrote this.

solrazo.com said...

Such a very informative post! Seldom I use extra virgin olive oil in cooking because they are very pricey here hahah

monicazyoung said...

Olive oil is something we always have at home to cook, we use it so much, but I didn't know much about it, thanks for the information

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