Italian Food and Wine – Olive Oil

Olive oil

Olive Oil

Italian olive oil is recognized as some of the finest olive oil in the world, particularly, the Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Italy. Italy consists of twenty
regions, and the finest olive oils of Italy are found in fifteen regions. Each one of these regions has producers that are making DOP olive oils. A grading is given to food products that meet specific standards. D.O.P is the abbreviation for Denominazione di Origine Protetta – translated “Protected Designation of Origin.” A distinction that tells us that we are purchasing a high quality food product. However, the cultivated soils and trees of a given area provide the distinct taste of the olive oils from each region, every province. Therefore, the extra virgin olive oil of Liguria, Tuscany, Sicily, actually, the olive oil of each region will have its own distinct flavors.

The manufacturing process for Extra Virgin Olive Oil is cold pressing. A process that prevents any heat from disturbing the quality of the extra virgin olive oil. When the olives are tree ripened, they are harvested with extra care. The fruit does not come in contact with the soil under the trees, and the oils from human hands should not come in contact with the fruit. At the manufacturing plant, the olives are washed in unheated water, and any stems or leaves that  accompanied the olives to the plant are separated from the fruit. The olives are then smashed with stones into a paste. The paste is cold pressed to extract the oils from the olive paste. After the oil is extracted from the paste any sediment that may remain is removed to obtain a clear olive oil.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is great as a salad dressing, drizzled on cooked foods, as a condiment, and marinating and preserving foods. Cooking with olive oil, particularly what and how to cook with extra virgin olive oil is controversial. For example extra virgin olive oil has a low smoking point, about 300 deg. F. When oil smokes it is turning to grease. Smoking olive oil becomes bitter and unhealthy. Therefore, if you fry or sauté in hot olive oil you are defeating the purpose. Watch the video below that Chef George provided for us.

Preparing food with olive oil to be continued. Do your shopping at RCS Cyber Mall, and for Italian Recipes go to Food Wine Italian.

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How to make olive oil

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