Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Getting the best quality

What you need to know about the most popular Blue Zone food

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Getting the best quality

Posted on: Fri Nov 1 2019
At Isola Buona, to celebrate World Olive Day on the 24th of November, we wanted to dedicate this month’s blog article to one of the healthiest foods in the world: extra virgin olive oil.
Olive harvesting season is in full swing in Italy. November is the month where olives are collected for pressing to produce some of the finest extra virgin olive oils. The best Olive Oil should possess certain qualities that characterise its organoleptic properties and taste, as well as other distinct features, like colour and texture.
This king of the Blue Zone has numerous benefits and it’s one of the healthiest sources of fat, but can you recognise a superior olive oil?
Extra Virgin” is the name given to oil naturally pressed from the olives without undergoing any refining process. Olive Oil can only be named “extra virgin” after vigorous testing to ensure there is no additional chemicals.

HOW TO MAKE SURE EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL IS TOP-NOTCH

An excellent olive oil displays healthy properties unaltered by production processing.
A lot can be said from the colour and the texture of the olive oil, although its quality doesn’t depend on them, but rather the type of olive used and the production process. The most important indicators of good quality should be traced in the aromas and taste.
When you smell an extra virgin olive oil, you should be able to primarily recognise the notes of the fresh olive press, but also other fruits and plants from the territory where the olives come from, such as apple, almond or artichoke.
Finally, the taste is the true key to define whether the extra virgin olive oil is a true excellence.
The main characteristics to look for are:
- Bitterness
- Pungency
Both these elements are fundamental because they indicate that the olive oil is rich in phenols which are the phytochemicals that fight the cell ageing process and inflammation.
In fact, a recent study  suggests that on top of its antioxidant function, extra virgin olive oil can help to reduce postprandial inflammatory response, related to diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
The phenol content is what makes the extra virgin olive oil one of the ultimate Blue Zone foods. Together with Cannonau red wine, it contributes to the health and longevity among the inhabitants of Sardinia.
Another important characteristic to consider when choosing olive oil is the acidity.
Acidity has nothing to do with the olive oil flavour, as a good extra virgin olive oil shouldn’t have any acid taste.
Acidity refers to the organoleptic property that indicates the content of free fatty acids in the oil. The lower the acidity, the better the quality. Extra virgin olive oils should have less than 0.8%, whereas common olive oils usually have 2% or more.

THE SARDINIAN EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL AT ISOLA BUONA.

The Sardinian extra virgin olive oil is made from the “Bosana” olive, which is the most common type in Sardinia.
At Isola Buona, you can find one of the finest Sardinian extra virgin olive oils from award-winning company Corax.
Corax olive oil is made with “Bosana” and “Semidana” olives, it’s cold-pressed and non-filtered to preserve all the properties and flavours of the local olives. The taste is fruity with delicate notes of artichoke and almond.
- Corax Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil Fruttato Bio 

HOW CAN EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL BE CONSUMED?

Extra virgin olive oil is a great substitute for butter and seed oils. It’s healthier and richer in fatty acids that help to maintain “good cholesterol”.
The best way to consume it is to drizzle over salads, pasta dishes, legume soups as well as meat and seafood recipes.
You can also use it to:
- cook your eggs for breakfast at low temperature
- season meat and fish
- flavour your sandwiches without adding extra unhealthy sauces

WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO STORE EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL?

Olive oil is a delicate product that can deteriorate with time so it’s important to store it in sealed dark glass bottles far from direct light. It’s recommended to keep it away from any heat source, preferably in a cool cupboard.
If you need any tips on how to add extra virgin olive oil to your recipes, message us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Have a good November everyone…and remember to eat “as it once was”!

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