What is Extra Virgin Oil
Extra-virgin olive oil
When Olives are crushed and pressed, the first extract that comes out is called extra virgin olive oil. Also, these olives have to be plucked and crushed within 24 hours to take the oil out to get the label of extra virgin or else it will be just virgin olive oil.
Again the process of extraction of the olive oil has to be cold-pressed which means minimal use of heat while extracting the oil from the olives for it to be called extra virgin olive oil.
Extra virgin olive oil is high in nutrients and flavour than any other olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil can be used to drizzle over food for flavour, used for tossing salads, preparing dressings and occasionally light sautéing.
What is a Smoking Point?
As the smoking point for extra virgin olive oil is very low heavy cooking or no cooking in extra virgin olive oil is recommended. A smoking point is a point when any heat when heated starts to smoke and then catch fire. If upon heating the oil releases smoke faster then it has a low smoking point and if it releases smoke after much heating then it has a high smoking point. It is important to know that once the oil smokes in the pan most of its nutrients are lost. That is why it is recommended to use extra virgin olive oil for cold cooking.2
How to store Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil has 3 enemies – light, air, high temperature.
Light – To protect Extra Virgin Olive Oil from the light it is always packed in a dark coloured glass bottle, either green, brown or black. As minimal light enters a dark coloured bottle it increases its shelf life.
Air – To protect it from oxidising or turning rancid always tighten the lid back on after use.
Temperature – High temperatures do not work very well with this nutrient-rich oil and that is why it is recommended to keep the oil in a fridge esp if you are staying in a hot place.