What is Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a classification of olive oil. It is the oil from the first pressing of olives by mechanical (not chemical) means. Only cold-pressing is allowed as an extract technique. Extra virgin olive oil has naturally low levels of free oleic acid; the content must be less then one percent to qualify as extra virgin olive oil.
What Does The Color Reveal?
The color of extra virgin olive oil can range from bright green to soft golden.
Color can also vary with the type of olive, when it was picked and growing conditions.
Generally, the darker, more intense the color, the flavor will be more fruity and assertive; however, this is not always a reliable rule of thumb. Unethical producers can crush a high percentage of leaves with the olives to obtain a greener coloring.
What Is The Best Way To Store It?
Store it upright, in an air-tight container,in a cool, dark place.
Do not store near a stove or on windowsills since direct light and heat will damage the oil.
If you place it in the refrigerator, it will become cloudy, solidify, and lose its aroma.
What Is The Shelf Life?
It is best consumed within a year and a half of its harvest date.
Because of their sediments, unfiltered oils should be consumed more quickly then filtered oils.
As extra virgin olive oil ages, its fruity flavor mellows, younger and fresher olive oils are more intense and pungent.
Massed - produced, lower-grade olive oils have higher acidity and tend to become rancid more quickly.
Extra virgin olive oil, unlike classic red wine, does not improve with age.
How Do I Choose An Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
Choose an extra virgin olive oil as you would choose a wine and look for the name of the producer on the label.
Useful information includes the variety/varieties of olives and the specific region the olives are grown, and most importantly, the harvest date.
Much like wine, extra virgin olive oils are pure expressions of "terroir," reflecting the soil composition, climate and types of olives used by the producer.
Is Their A Different Taste Between Extra Virgin Olive Oils And The Regions It Came From?
Yes: For example:
Ligurian extra virgin olive oil is light and delicate with a buttery taste. Best for homemade pesto and mayonnaise; drizzle over delicately grilled or poached fish or seafood stew.
Tuscan Extra Virgin Olive Oil has an herbaceous taste with a pungent, peppery bite. They are robust and somewhat spicy. The characteristic green color is due to the early harvesting date (to avoid early winter frosts). Traditionally paired with fettunta (grilled bread), boiled beans, and farro salad.
Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive oil is somewhat grassy and robust like a Tuscan oil. However it is generally rounder and has a more pronounced fruit flavor. Use either fresh green, grilled vegetables and medium flavored grilled fish.
What Is Traditional Balsamic Vinegar? Authentic Traditional Balsamic Vinegar is made from boiled grape must that undergoes natural fermentation and slow acetification, followed by a long aging process in wood casks. It can only be released when approved by the Consortium.
What is the Consortium? The Consortium (Consorzio) was founded in 1979 to protect the integrity of true balsamic vinegar. Traditionally known as the "birthplace" of balsamic vinegar, Modena is the seat of the Consorzio Produttori Modena. Roughly 120 producers belong to the Cozorio, which entitles them to have their balsamic evaluated by master tasters as well as representation regarding legal issues. Modena and Reggi o-Emilia are the only areas of Italy where certified traditional balsamic vinegar may be produced. Both areas protect the reputation of true balsamic through rigorous standards of production and through screening by tasting panels that accept only the best vinegars submitted for grading.