The flavour, aroma, health, and beauty benefits of olive oil make it one of the most versatile oils. It is a key ingredient in what is considered the world’s healthiest cuisine, Mediterranean cuisine. Olive oil comes in many varieties, each with its own uses, benefits, flavour, and more. Today, we delve into one of these varieties:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
The forerunner among olive oil, extra virgin olive oil, is the highest grade of oil out there. It is popular for its deep flavour and intense benefits and is often used in its purest form. More on this wonder oil below!
The oil is extracted from green olives, the most popular ones being of Spanish origin. It is cold pressed and undergoes minimal processing. This locks in the nutrients and antioxidants which are naturally found in olives. Also, since it is unrefined, it possesses a more pronounced aroma and flavour.
Flavour and aroma:
EVOO is a premium quality oil and it’s worth every rupee. It has a slightly peppery spicy taste with undertones of pungency, fruitiness, and an appealing amount of bitterness that adds immense depth of flavour. It is often compared to wine, as it can have a range of flavours depending on the variety of olive fruit used, where they’re grown when they’re harvested, and several other factors. In fact, different varieties of Extra Virgin Olive Oils have distinct flavours that can complement different cooking styles, dishes, and foods. One can explore this wide range to discover new tastes, and experiment with how to use them best.
EVOO has a reasonable smoke point between 315° and 400° F. It’s a myth that you can’t cook with it. In fact, it can withstand heat well and remain stable when heated. Though heating does not alter the health benefits of the oil it does cause it to lose its delicate flavours.
Olive oil, especially extra virgin oil, is a treasure trove of good fats that are essential for the body. Unlike commonly held misconceptions, fats can be good for you too. When compared to saturated fat, MUFA has more positive effects on the body. With more than 70% of MUFA (monounsaturated fat), EVOO is heart friendly. It keeps heart stroke and heart diseases at bay and has anti-inflammatory properties too. EVOO is also believed to combat cancer.
The Wow Factor:
Extra virgin olive oil has a good amount of vitamins E and K. Vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin, is an antioxidant as well as an essential nutrient. And vitamin K plays a crucial role in bone health, blood clotting, and likes.
Owing to its fragile flavour that can get evaporated with too much heat, food experts advise enjoying extra virgin varieties in their raw. However, they can work well for cooking and baking too, adding nutrition and more flavour to your food. It can give your salads, pasta, and other preparations a fantastic aromatic twist and fresh flavour. EVOO is often drizzled over toast with toppings or used in light dressing or marinade.
Nutrient-rich olive oil should adorn every kitchen shelf to add a sprinkle of good healthy fats to our food. This oil is a favourite with weight watchers and for all those foodies who want to eat light. It is mostly unrefined and is considered the best quality olive oil. So, drizzle it over your hummus, or coat your vegetable with its brilliant flavour, and invent every way to enjoy the healthfulness of pure Extra Virgin Olive Oil.