Storified by ebanreb· Mon, Apr 08 2013 19:26:30
Which Type of Olive is Best?
To get the best oil, you would have to know how to identify the olives themselves and ascertain its time of picking or harvesting. Olive oils of the finest quality are made from both the olives that are red-ripe and those that are from a different species of green olives. The red-ripe ones are usually mixed in larger quantities with the smaller quantities of the green ones.
What Method is Best for its Extraction?
Research has shown that oil extracted using pressure and without adding any form of chemical is often the best quality. The method often used to do this extraction is known as Cold Pressing. This method often takes time, but is well worth the product as it not only produces the best kind of oil, but also ensures that the oil has considerably lower acid when compared to other oils. So, when you are shopping in the market, take a good look at the labels for acid content, quality, taste, color, aroma and flavour.
Different Types of Olive Oils
1. The Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
This is generally considered the best of them all because it has an unbelievably low acidity of about 1%. It has the highest fruit flavor and is the finest of all oils. This grade of oil is often extracted during the first press and is therefore, the most expensive of all oils. To identify this with the color, look for crystalline champagne color, bright green and greenish-golden. You should also know that oils with deeper colors tend to have stronger oil flavor too. Those from Spain, Italy or Greece are the best quality.
2. Light Olive Oil
This is known as the lower quality oil and is often compared to the regular oil. It has about the same quantity of monounsaturated fat, has a lighter color and may have little to no flavor. The light olive oil is often used for baking and other cooking activities where the taste and strong flavor of extra-virgin and virgin oils are not required. This is also very good for cooking that requires a lot of heat.
3. Fino and Virgin Olive Oils
The Fino Oils are quite popular among those who do not want the pure, cold-pressed oils and would not like the virgin oils. It is like a middle point between the two of them. It has a little stronger flavor than the virgin and less than the extra virgin and has a maximum acid content of 3%. The Virgin oil on the other hand is not as pure as the extra virgin. Like the extra-virgin, it is a first-press oil and has acid content between 1%-4%.