Greek Olive Oil: Why It's The Best in The World and its Many Health Benefits
Here at Nick’s we strongly believe that using a good olive oil makes all the difference in your recipes. Whether it’s cooking, sauteing, marinating or dipping, using an authentic olive oil will add rich flavor to all your dishes. Greeks consume an average of 26 liters of olive oil each year so you know there’s something special about it!
What Does “Extra Virgin” Mean?
Olive oil is considered “extra virgin” when it has been produced by a simple pressing of the olives. People often look for a first cold pressed oil, but sometimes skip over extra virgin olive oils when it is not labeled "First Pressed" on the can. However, in-order for an olive oil producer to claim “extra virgin” status the oil from the olives must be first cold pressed. Lower grades of olive oil are produced using chemicals and other processes to extract the oil from the olives, and may also be blended with extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil will also have a lower acidity (less than 0.8% to be exact) than a non extra virgin, and will have a superior taste.
Why You Should Buy Greek Olive Oil
Greece is a leader in olive oil production and produces the finest olive oil in the world. Olive trees were planted in Crete around 3500 BC in the Early Minoan times, and over time the olive fruit has become a staple in Greek culture.
Within the past few years there has been multiple media reports indicating many olive oil producers have been mixing extra virgin olive oil with processed oils, but still labeling it as “extra virgin”. This has happened because in the United States (aside from growers in California that have voluntarily implemented a more rigorous test of their own) there are fewer criterias producers must meet to achieve “extra virgin” status. Where as in Europe there are essentially two tests that the oil must pass to be labeled “extra virgin”. Other olive oil producing countries may mix their oils, completely jeopardizing the integrity of the olive oil. This is why we make the effort and pride ourselves on carrying oils mainly from Greece where much care and effort is taken into crafting an olive oil that is of highest quality, and is 100% extra virgin olive oil
Today Greek olive oil is regarded as the best in the world as it carries very low acidity and peroxides which make them of premium quality,and can be recognized mainly from the fruitiness, the bitterness and the pungency in the taste.
Benefits of Consuming Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Some benefits of olive oil include; it being rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, it is protective against heart disease, it contains large amounts of antioxidants, it is an oil that does not contribute to weight gain and obesity, and can help prevent strokes and help fight alzheimer's disease. Studies also indicate that consuming at least 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil can lower blood pressure.
Pomace Olive Oil
Pomace olive oil is best for cooking over high heat as it does not burn as it has a higher heat tolerance than extra virgin oil. It is also a good cooking oil because it is light with a neutral taste so it does not affect the taste of the food. Olive pomace oil is extracted from olive pulp after the first press, and although it isn't as high of quality as an extra virgin, it is still a much better tasting and healthier oil than others.
Which Olive Oil To Buy?
We recommend starting off buying two oils. An extra virgin olive oil that is rich in flavor, like the Iliada, for things like salad dressings, marinades, dips, and just to add great flavor to your dishes. A pomace olive oil as a secondary olive oil used for high heat cooking.
If you need help picking the right olive oil feel free to give us a call or stop by the store. We hope we were able to teach you a little more about olive oil!