Cooking with Extra Virgin Olive Oil can have some great health benefits though there is sometimes a discrepancy as to the best way to cook with 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil. We've pulled together a list of the best tips for cooking with Extra Virgin Olive Oil to help you navigate how to use it.
This post is sponsored by Moms Meet. All opinions are my own.
What is Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made by pressing olive oil without heat or chemicals in a process known as cold-pressing.
Olive oils are tested for peroxide values; the lower the value, the fresher the oil and the more rapidly it was processed. Extra virgin olive oil is below 0.8% (virtually acid-free). If the oleic acid (fatty acid) percentage is too high, it indicates improper production and rancidity.
Professional Olive Oil Testers sit on a panel of experts to perform a sensory taste test for defects in the virgin olive oil and determine if it meets the quality attributes to be labeled as Extra or not. Those attributes include fruitiness, bitterness, and spiciness and must be balanced or it will not receive the Extra Virgin rating.
The sensory taste test is regulated by the IOC (International Olive Oil Council), which offers an extensive manual with specific technical requirements for the room where it takes place as well as the material used in the evaluation of the oil.
Most people are unaware of the rich history and delicious properties of olive oils Europeans have been harvesting for generations. Flavor Your Life is a campaign designed to help educate North American consumers on the culinary culture of extra virgin olive oil.
The Smoking Point of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a relatively high smoking point of about 400°F, so it is suitable for
some cooking and baking. The higher a fat's smoke point, the more cooking methods you can use it for.
Refined oils typically have a neutral taste and odor and a clear appearance. Light olive oil (refined) has a higher smoking point (486°F) than extra virgin olive oil (unrefined) at 400°F. The higher a fat's smoke point, the more cooking methods you can use it for.
How to Store Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Your oil should be stored somewhere dark and cool (not cold) between use, around 57°F, if possible. Leaving your Extra Virgin Olive Oil on the countertop, especially near a stove, is not ideal, and it should also never be stored in the refrigerator. It should be used within 6 months of opening and stored with the lid on tightly.
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 located in Northern Italy.
The company's short, fully traceable supply chain is guaranteed sustainable. They take great care with processing, which creates exceptional taste in their 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which has a robust flavor of artichoke and almond, a medium bitter and spicy aftertaste, with a green, ripe, fruity aroma and a leafy feel.
This 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a 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 and contains no additives or preservatives.
Tips for Cooking with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Experimenting with different oils for types of cooking is a great way to incorporate healthy fats into your diet. Using 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil in your cooking can be very simple and we have some great tips for cooking with 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
- Drizzle 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil over salads as a dressing or mix with herbs and vinegar to make a vinaigrette dressing
- Marinade meats, fish, poultry, and vegetables with 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil and herbs & spices
- Finish cooked vegetables or pasta with a drizzle of 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a great way to finish seafood such as shellfish because of its rich buttery flavor profile
- Use 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil as a dip for bread
- Add crushed garlic to 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil for a garlic bread dip
- Balsamic vinegar mixed with 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil makes a perfect dip for French bread
- Rub 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil with fresh herbs before roasting vegetables for a robust flavor
- Sauté with 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil (its high smoking point of ~400°F makes it a great choice for cooking)
- 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil can be substituted for butter or vegetable oil in many recipes for baking, like cakes and muffins
Le Stagioni d’ Italia Extra Virgin Olive Oil is coming soon to a retailer near you.
Do you have other favorite cooking tips for 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil? Tell us in the comments below!