Should I cook with Olive Oil? Yes, A well made extra virgin olive oil will have a high smoke point and is ideal for all purpose cooking. Although much of what is sold in the grocery stores with have a lower smoke point.
Does it matter what container I purchase the olive oil in? Olive oil should always be purchased in stainless steel or tinted glass bottles. Light, heat and oxygen destroy olive oil!
Is the greener the olive oil the better? No. Color has very little to do with quality. Green oils are pretty to look at and sometimes may suggest that the oil was made from greener olives that's about it.
Is it better to buy aged olive oil like wine? No. Olive oil is always healthier and more flavorful when it is consumed fresh.
Is it a good thing when Olive Oil is bitter and burns the back of the throat? Yes. Generally the more bitterness and pepper in the olive oil, the greater the health benefits. Pungency is also a sign of freshness and coincides with the amount of phenols in the olive oil. This "healthy burn" diminishes as the oil oxidizes.
Does it matter where the olive oil is from? Not really. You can make terrible olive oil and wonderful in the same country. Exceptional quality olive oil is produced in many different countries. Country of origin is a consideration but a minor one.
Can Balsamic vinegar be made anywhere in the world? No. By definition, balsamic vinegar must be made from a certain type of grape and must be produced in a certain region in Italy. If it is mace anywhere ese, it cannot be called a balsamic.
How can I know if the Olive Oil I buy is fresh? Most bottles in the store have a best by date mark. This tells the consumer nothing as to the age of the oil. Most reputable producers will provide the Harvest Date on the bottle.
What is the difference in the extra virgin olive oil and the regular oil I buy in the grocery store? Most Americans have never tasted freshly pressed olive oil and are unfamiliar with the stronger flavor profile. This is why many people gravitate towards the flavor profile of rancid or oxidized oil.. However, as is the case with many other products, once you taste the real thing and discover the health benefits, it's difficult to go back.
Should I store my olive oil in the refrigerator? We recommend storing olive oil in a cool dark place. When you refrigerate olive oil, you risk producing condensation on the inside of the bottle, accelerating the rancidity process. Also, repeatedly changing the temperature of the oil may harm the oil itself.
What is the story with phenols?
- These are antioxidant like substances that are naturally occurring in Extra Virgin Olive Oils. Phenols extend the shelf life of extra virgin olive oil and also determine the style in terms of bitterness and pungency. Generally, when an oil has a high phenol count (presented by parts per million), it will have more "pepper" or more "bitterness". Many consider phenols to be free-radical "scavengers".
- Studies show a dose-dependent and significant effect of olive oil Phenol consumption (for 3 weeks) on appropriate markers of LDL peroxidation.
- (European Food Safety Authority) "Consumption of olive oil phenols contributes to the protection of blood lipids from oxidative damage."
- Religiously consumed by the "Life Extension Community" and have been featured in several recent health studies!
- Alpha-tocopherols are Pro-Vitamin E compounds that are essential in the control of LDL that generates cholesterol.