Olive oil is the pure Mediterranean lifestyle!
In many southern European countries olive oil is considered almost indispensable. This does not only apply to the kitchen. This oil has been idolized since antiquity in many cultures. Learn about the most important facts about the popular olive oil in the following article.
The oil is indispensable in the Mediterranean kitchen!
As already mentioned, olive oil has been used in antiquity, around 6000 years ago, throughout the Mediterranean. The oil was very popular at that time especially in Greece and in ancient Rome. The long tradition of cooking olive oil has, in the Mediterranean region, survived to this day.
Where does the olive for the oil come from?
Of course, the most important growing regions are still the states around the Mediterranean Sea. There, a perfect climate for the olive trees exists. The main exporters of olives include countries such as Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal. In France there are also large olive plantations. But many African countries such as Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia are also among the most important suppliers of olives. But even in countries you would probably never suspect, olives are grown on a grand scale, some of these olives are then processed into olive oil. Meant are with such countries, states as the USA or also Argentina in South America. The most important growing areas for olives we have summarized for you in the following list again:
What fits the olive oil?
Olive oil is used for many dishes. A good example is the pizza dough. A freshly baked ciabatta tastes really good with a drop of olive oil. You can also use the oil as the basis for a tasty marinade. That way, you can make home-made antipasti, for example. You can also take a pure tablespoon of olive oil daily to stimulate your digestion. The taste is of course very similar to that of olives. This slightly nutty accent, depending on the variety, can be very dominant, which you should always keep in mind when working with olive oil in the kitchen.
Why is olive oil so healthy for your body:
Good olive oil contains many important nutrients and vitamins that are very important to your body. In addition, virgin olive oil contains a substance that has anti-inflammatory effects. Ancient people already knew that, so they used olive oil for external as well as internal use to combat inflammation. To this day, olive oil is a very important ingredient in many cosmetics, such as creams and shampoos.
What influences the quality of olive oil?
Whether an olive oil is of good quality depends on many factors. Of course, the starting product, the olive, is very important. The better the quality of the olives, the better the olive oil gets. But what stands for a good quality in this case? First, the olive variety is crucial. Then the harvest is examined for possible infestation by fungi or pests. The percentage of woodland is of course another factor that influences the quality of the olives. The wood can come from styles and branches, among other things. The next decision criteria, whether it is a good quality, are related to the storage period. The shorter this time between harvest and squeeze, the higher the quality of the olive oil. However, these are not the only quality features, also in the processing of olives, there are important aspects that ultimately decide on the quality of the oil. Among other things, this includes how clean the plants are. The most important quality features of olive oil are therefore:
- the variety of the olive
- a pure harvest, without infestation
- a small amount of wood in the crop
- short storage life of the olives before further processing
- the cleanliness of the oil press
What does "cold pressed" actually mean?
Unfortunately, there is no clear legal definition for the term. But there are certain guidelines, for example, a cold-pressed oil may only be obtained mechanically, so not in a refinery. The pressed oil may also have a temperature of at most 40 ° Celsius immediately after production. All of these criteria should ensure better preservation of important nutrients in olive oil. But to get the oil in the first place, the olives have to be heated.
Are there different variants of olive oil?
Yes, they exist! The trade offers a total of four different types of olive oil. The most commonly sold varieties are "virgin olive oil" and "extra virgin olive oil". Both varieties meet one very high-quality standards. The next variety is simply called "olive oil" and is a mixture of one of the first two variants and refined olive oil. The refined oil alone is not suitable for human consumption. The greater the proportion of unrefined oil, the more intense the taste of olive oil will ultimately be. The last variety is the so-called olive pomace oil. As the name implies, this oil is extracted from the pomace of the olives produced during the first pressing. All four variants of olive oil can be found again clearly in the following list:
- Virgin Olive Oil
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Olive Oil
- Olive Pomic Oil
Can you heat olive oil without hesitation?
Olive oil has a relatively low smoke point, so you should not heat the oil above 175 degrees Celsius.
A short summary:
In southern Europe, the oil of the olive is really popular, it is from the Mediterranean cuisine indispensable. The many nutrients have a very positive effect on the human organism, which has been known since Roman times. The taste of olive oil is nutty and can whitewash other tastes. Since this oil has a low smoke point, you should not heat it above 175 degrees Celsius. The quality of olive oil depends on many factors, such as the olive variety. For sale there are four different varieties of olive oil, the two most famous are "virgin olive oil" and "extra virgin olive oil". The term "cold pressed" is not protected by law. Among the most important growing areas for the olive, the region around the Mediterranean countries, but in other countries, olives are grown in plantations as well.