Ayurvedik India

6 Types of Olive Oil

Introduction


To explore the types of olive oil, lets travel to the Mediterranean, where the fields are big and sunny where olive, has been highly regarded for generations. Aside from its culinary appeal, the olive is the root source of a liquid gem called olive oil. Olive Oil has captured palates and inspired new recipes all over the world. 

Before we know more about the different kinds of olives, let’s quickly go over what olive oil is. 

Olive oil is a liquid fat obtained from olives, the fruit of the olive tree (Olea europaea). The extraction process involves pressing or grinding the olives to extract the oil. Because it comes from pressing olives, this emerald-green or golden liquid has come to be associated with health, flavour, and class.  It has a velvety texture and a rich complex flavour. . This is why it is renowned for its health benefits and culinary versatility. 

As we look around the huge world of olive oil, we might wonder: Why are there so many kinds? The variety of olives adds to the wide range of choices that food lovers have. For example, extra virgin olive oil from Tuscany has strong and spicy notes, while arbequina from Spain is buttery smooth.

Beyond taste, the way olives are grown and how they are made also have a big impact on how olive oil tastes. Terrain, harvesting methods, and processing methods all play a role in the end result.

Types of Olive Oil

The differences in the types of olive oil depends majorly on the process by which they are extracted and produced. There are mainly 6 types of Olive Oil:

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO):

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the highest quality olive oil. It is the least processed type of olive oil made solely through mechanical means. This indicates that there was no to little use of heat and chemicals. The olives are cold-pressed to extract the oil, this preserves the natural flavours and aromas. EVOO has a fruity flavour with a peppery taste. While the aroma is often described as grassy.

You can also find polyphenols and antioxidants which are the distinctive characteristics of EVOO. It is best used for salad dressing, dipping with bread or as a finishing oil for dishes. It has a unique power in enhancing the flavor of raw or lightly cooked foods. Its low smoke point also makes it suitable for high-heat cooking.

Olive oil Process

Virgin Olive Oil:

Virgin Olive oil is similar to extra virgin oil, in that it is made from the pressing of olives without the use of heat or chemicals. However, it can have slightly higher acidity than EVOO. When it comes to taste and flavours, virgin olive oil is milder when compared to extra virgin olive oil. The fruity and herbal notes seem to be less intense. The aroma is also less pronounced. Virgin Olive oil also can be used like EVOO. It is a versatile ingredient for the culinary applications. It can be used for cooking at moderate temperatures like sautéing and baking. 

Refined Olive Oil:

Refined olive oil is the type of olive oil which undergoes extensive refining process. The process involves collection of lower quality olives or the second or subsequent pressings of olives. This also includes addition of heat and chemicals in order to remove impurities and flavours. Because refined olive oil has fewer aromatic compounds, it has a very mild and neutral flavour. It also lacks the distinctive fruity and peppery notes which can be found in unrefined oils. This refined olive oil is often used in recipes where the taste of olive oil is not important. Refined olive oil is great for high-heat cooking methods like frying, roasting and deep-frying. 

Pure Olive Oil:

Pure Olive Oil is a mix of refined olive oil and a small amount of virgin or extra virgin olive oil. The refining process includes the filtering and heating to remove impurities and undesirable flavours. This results in a lighter colour and milder taste like unrefined olive oil. This gives a very neutral flavour of olive to the pure olive oil. The cooking methods which are appropriate with Pure Olive oil are frying, grilling, and roasting where a more neutral oil is expected. Though it doesn’t give the distinctive tastes and flavours of olive oil, it still provides the same health benefits.

Light Olive Oil:

Contrary to what the name of this type of oil suggests, “light” olive oil doesn’t refer to its calorie content but rather to its temperate flavour. Light olive oil is often a blend of refined olive oil and small amounts of virgin or extra virgin olive oil. Light Olive oil is lighter in colour and neutral in flavour. Use light olive oil where the flavour is not preferred, such as baking or frying. 

Pomace Olive Oil: 

Pomace olive oil is extracted from the pulp, skin and pits of olives remaining after the first pressings. It is produced using solvents and heat to extract the remaining oil from the pomace. This method is more cost effective but results in lower quality oil. Due to its lower cost, it is often used in industrial and commercial applications. It is not typically recommended for culinary uses at home due to its extensive refining process.

Read Also : 13 Best Health Benefits of Olive Oil

D.O.P. (Denominación de Origen Protegida) and P.G.I. (Protected Geographical Indication) 

These are designations that guarantee the origin and quality of certain agricultural products, including olive oil. 

D.O.P. (Denominación de Origen Protegida): Translated from Spanish, D.O.P. stands for “Denominación de Origen Protegida,” which means “Protected Designation of Origin.” This designation is widely used in Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries. To receive the D.O.P. designation, olive oils must adhere to strict regulations regarding the geographical area of production, olive varieties used, production methods, and quality standards. These regulations are established by the respective regulatory bodies in the specific region. D.O.P. ensures that consumers can trust the authenticity and quality of the olive oil. It also helps protect the reputation and economic interests of producers within that region.

P.G.I. (Protected Geographical Indication):P.G.I., or “Protected Geographical Indication,” is a similar designation used in the European Union and other regions. It indicates that a particular agricultural product is closely linked to a specific geographical area, and at least one of the production steps must take place in that region. Like D.O.P., P.G.I. requires adherence to specific production methods and quality standards.

However, the criteria are generally less strict than those for D.O.P. The focus is on maintaining a connection between the product and its geographical origin. P.G.I. provides a level of protection for traditional and regional products, fostering a connection between the unique qualities of the product and its origin. It also helps consumers make informed choices about the products they purchase.

Also Read: Top Benefits of Olive Oil for Hair and Skin and Uses

Conclusion

So, there you have it – the world of olive oil is like a big tasty adventure. From the fancy Extra Virgin Olive Oil to the easygoing Light Olive Oil, each one brings something special to your plate. Whether you’re making a salad or cooking up a storm, these oils have their own flavors that come from where the olives grew up. So, when you pick an olive oil, it’s like picking a flavor that comes from nature’s own kitchen. It’s a story of good taste that’s been going on for a long, long time. So, go ahead, enjoy your food, and let the olives do their delicious thing!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top