All About EVOO: Your Guide To Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil or EVOO is the jewel in the olive oil crown. Learn everything about it!
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (colloquially referred to as EVOO) is a kitchen hero, with so much diversity in its use and a fascinating production process.
So what is EVOO? How do you use it? And how does it differ from regular olive oil? And what are some great extra virgin olive oil recipes?
Let’s take a look at this unique cooking oil.
What is extra virgin olive oil?
There is a specific level of processing olive oil varieties go through to end up bottled, sold, and at home in the pantry, and in short, extra virgin olive oil is the least processed and most premium form of olive oil there is.
Extra virgin olive oil is extracted using less intense production methods like cold pressing (as we do), and no other additional processes are undertaken like additional chemicals or more heat applied. Cold pressing is the process of obtaining oil using mechanical procedures at low temperature, resulting in unaltered olive oil. The aroma, flavour and antioxidants of the oil are then retained.
Extra virgin olive oil is often more expensive than regular olive oil, but is considered to be healthier than other forms.
What does extra virgin olive oil taste like?
The most premium extra virgin olive oils taste almost bitter, with a somewhat spicy, peppery taste. It may tingle your throat a tad. It has a taste unlike any other, and is definitely unique to other olive oils.
The mark of a good olive oil is its taste and aroma, and extra virgin olive oil is the ultimate in both.
The La Española Extra Virgin Olive Oil range is fruity, well-balanced and flavourful.
What makes extra virgin olive oil different from regular olive oil?
As a result of its minimal processing, EVOO retains much of the vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants that is often lost in more heavy processing.
Another differentiating trait of EVOO is the sensory one. This oil is tested beforehand through tastings where flavours and aromas are analysed and any defects detected. This will be done by a group of expert tasters who can differentiate between EVOO and other lower quality oils, such as virgin olive oil.
Take for instance, our heaviest olive oil variety, La Española Pure Olive Oil, which is used for high temperature cooking. This range goes through more heavy duty processing than our La Española Extra Virgin Olive Oil varieties.
Olive oils are graded by their levels of acidity and oleic acid, and extra virgin olive oil has a naturally lower level of oleic acid than more processed varieties.
What about virgin olive oil?
The next best olive in quality behind extra virgin olive oil is virgin olive oil. This is another unrefined oil that is created using similar minimal processes, but the production is not as strict as its extra virgin counterpart.
How do I use extra virgin olive oil in the kitchen?
Extra virgin olive oil is primarily enjoyed fresh, drizzled over salad or as a primary component of a tasty dip. It is a warm weather pantry staple you’ll use almost daily.
You can actually cook on heat using extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil has a very low smoking point, so is only recommended for low heat cooking. It also has a different taste to regular olive oil which is amplified by cooking on heat, which you may notice.
You may also have heard the myth that cooking with EVOO ruins Teflon pots and pans. Studies have found that this is untrue, and does not degrade your cooking equipment any faster than any other cooking oils.
Can we have some EVOO recipes?
Sure can! As we are heading into the warmer months in Australia, here are some refreshing, light recipes to try at home with La Española Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
You can browse the rest of our Spanish recipes here.
La Española Olive Oil has a bestselling range of Spanish extra virgin olive oil that is available at Coles Supermarkets across Australia. Browse our range online and in-store.