Becoming An Authentic European Olive Oil Connoisseur

Becoming An Authentic European Olive Oil Connoisseur

I think it’s safe to say that if I’m cooking dinner, I’m using olive oil in some manner. As a super extra virgin olive oil fan, I will select oils from different locations to best complement my meal. My favorite Extra Virgin Olive Oils are from Europe, and most notably Italy. With a high smoking point of 400°F, extra virgin olive oil is  suitable for cooking and can enhance any dish by drizzling on  as a finisher. But did you know that WHERE & WHEN Olive Oil is harvested can make a difference in taste?

I received this product for free from  Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my  honest opinions. Compensation for this post was  provided and this page may contain affiliate links.

 

Over thousands of years farmers have evolved hundreds of varieties of olive trees (cultivars) and optimized them for different environmental conditions and terrains to produce the most delicious yields.

 

 

  • The greatest impact on taste is the type of olive tree (cultivar), region (which affects climate and soil) and time of harvest. Europe offers a vast array of flavor profiles, so keep a variety of oils in your pantry for different occasions.
  • Olives harvested early in the season, late August (varies by region), are under-ripe and produce oils that are greener, more bitter and pungent.
  • Olives harvested at the end of the season, late November into December, are over-ripe and tend to taste mild and buttery.

EVOO Olive Oil

As Europeans have been cultivating olive oils for thousands of years, they take production VERY seriously.

  • In order for olive oil to be called ‘Cold Pressed’, it must be made by pressing the olives without heat or chemicals, known as ‘first cold pressed’.
  • Peroxide value must be below 20 milliequivalents of oxygen/kilo of oil, which indicates the amount of oxidation or aging that’s occurred as a result of exposure to oxygen, light and heat.
  • Acidity must be below 0.8% or virtually free of acidity. This has nothing to do with the pH or taste, but the % of oleic acid (fatty acid). Higher levels indicate improper production and rancidity.

     

olive trees in italy

 

One of the simplest ways to enjoy olive oil is to enjoy it with simple spaghetti, red pepper flakes and fresh grated parmesan cheese. This recipe for ‘Aglio e Olio’ is easy to prepare, but is so flavorful and dynamic at the same time.

‘Aglio e Olio’ – Spaghetti with Garlic & Extra Virgin Olive Oil Recipe

I used EVOO brand Le Stagioni d’ Italia, a 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil, in my recipe.  Le Stagioni d’ Italia grows olives in Tuscany, in Cortona (AR) and Massa Marittima (GR). A region that’s kissed by the sun and has a mild climate that makes it possible to grow superior quality olives for oil.

Tips on how to cook with Olive Oil:

Feel free to share the following tips of how to cook with extra virgin
olive oil:
• Experiment with different oils for different occasions.
• Use delicate oils for salad dressings or as a condiment over
mild foods, like vegetables, fish, eggs, or potatoes.
• Pair robust oils with hearty foods that can stand up to the
intense flavor, like steak or spicy soup.
Between use, store your oil somewhere dark and cool (around 57°F, if  possible), not on the counter or near a stove, and never in the refrigerator.  Keep the lid screwed on tight, and use your oil within six months of  opening. 

 

Where to purchase 

Le Stagioni d’ Italia Extra Virgin Olive Oil is  coming soon to a retailer near you. 

Learn more about European Olive Oil & get tasty recipes here: 

flavor-your-life.com 

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