Do you think that your favourite cooking oil has no more secrets to you? Apparently, there may be some facts you didn’t know about olive oil. This article reveals 10 facts that prove olive oil is more than a delicious staple in your pantry.
Extra-virgin olive oil is considered the best of the best and there are many health benefits in using it. In order to qualify as extra-virgin, the olive oil must not be processed with chemicals or heat. This is how it can preserve its full flavour. Furthermore, extra-virgin olive oil must contain one percent or less oleic acid, which gives the oil its stronger taste and its richer colour.
What else is there to know about olive oil? The following facts will help you gain a better understanding of high-quality olive oil and of its most important properties. You’ll learn new things, so keep on reading.
Although olive oil will freeze, the exact temperature depends on the amount of oleic acid. Many people use this test to check that the olive oil isn’t fake. Unfortunately, this test is only a myth, as there are many other oils that will freeze solid at similar temperature points.
The average annual per capita consumption of olive oil in Greece is more than 5 gallons. This is huge by comparison to the one liter the average person in the U.S. consumes per year. Apparently, Greeks do love their olive oil and they consume a lot of it.
Light olive oil doesn’t have less calories than regular oil. It is rather a measure of the ratio of extra-virgin olive oil to refined olive oil. The taste of this oil comes from the extra-virgin oil content.
Naturally, olive oil can come in many colours, ranging from pale yellow to deep golden and even different shades of green. The green colour comes from the chlorophyll content, so there’s nothing wrong about it. The greener the oil, the richer it is in antioxidants. Green olive oil tends to have a stronger peppery flavour with very little bitterness to it.
Olive oil is obtained through the cold pressing of the ripened fruit, rather than the seed. Other oils are extracted from seeds, not from fruit.
Always store olive oil in a cold and dark place, away from sources of heat. Exposure to light and high temperature will accelerate the oxidation process, shortening the life of the olive oil and making it turn rancid much faster.
About 95 percent of all olive oil produced in the world comes from the Mediterranean, with Spain accounting for half of the total world supply. The second-largest producer is Italy, with 15 percent of the total olive oil production in the world.
There are many reasons why olive oil can have a cloudy appearance. Unfiltered or chilled olive oil looks cloudy, but this doesn’t make it bad. In fact, the sediment in unfiltered oil is made from tiny olive particles that actually give the oil a stronger flavour.
Most people steer away from using olive oil for frying, as they are aware of its lower smoke point. Once the frying oil reaches the smoking point, it releases potentially toxic chemicals that may harm you. However, the smoke point of refined olive oil is 486 degrees F. This makes it safe for deep frying. On the contrary, extra-virgin olive oil has a lower smoke point, so we’d recommend that you avoid using it for deep frying.