Q: What is Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
To produce olive oil, ripe olives are crushed and cold pressed to extract the oil. It is best to do this mechanically, without heat or chemicals. This keeps the chemistry of the natural olive intact and produces the healthiest end product. After the oil is extracted, its acidity can be measured. Virgin olive oil may contain as much as 2% oleic acid. Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) has less than 0.8% oleic acid. EVOO has the most refined flavor and contains the most health benefits and antioxidants.
Q: What is Fused versus Infused Olive Oil?
Fused olive oil, which is also known as agrumato in Italy, is made by crushing ripe sound olives with whole fresh fruits, herbs or vegetables. For example, in the winter, citrus fruit is picked at the peak of ripeness, split in half and then thrown in with the olives. The olives and fruit are then crushed simultaneously. This process allows the essential oils from the citrus peel to mingle with the oil from the olives. For a listing of the fused extra virgin olive oils available at Olive This! click here.
Infused olive oil means that the flavor has been added after the oil was made. The infused extra virgin olive oils sold at Olive This! are paired with complementary natural essences, including fruit and herbs. For a complete listing of all the infused extra virgin olive oils offered at Olive This!, click here.
For more details see this article called, Confusion About Fusion vs. Infusion.
Q: Does Extra Virgin Olive Oil Really Make You Healthier?
Many studies have shown a positive impact of olive oil on the body, and our fresh-crushed products maximize the healthy components and contribute to a healthy diet.
In the United States, animal fats, hydrogenated fats, vegetable oil, and corn oil dominate the national diet. Studies suggest these fats lead to higher rates of heart disease, arthrosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer and asthma. However, studies have also shown that people who consume olive oil regularly, especially in place of other fats, have much lower rates of these health hazards.
The abundance of polyphenols in our extra virgin olive oils is responsible for its well-known cardiovascular benefits. Polyphenols, which have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticoagulant effects, also have preventative effects against colon cancer and osteoporosis.
For more details, read A Myriad of Health Benefits Associated with Consuming Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Q. How Should EVOO be Stored?
Light and air are the two main enemies of EVOO. The best storage environment for EVOO is in a dark bottle kept in a cool, dry place. After opening, use the cork supplied with your bottle, or a bottle stopper with a lid, to keep the oil fresh and free from any air exposure.
Q. What is Balsamic Vinegar and How is it Produced?
True balsamic vinegar is made from a reduction of syrup from sweet wine grapes, called mosto cotto in Italian. The syrup ages for a minimum of 12 years in a series of seven barrels of successively smaller sizes. These barrels, similar to wine barrels, are made from different woods including chestnut, acacia, cherry, oak, mulberry, ash and juniper. As opposed to wine, balsamic vinegars are aged in attics in Modena, Italy, where they benefit from the extreme heat of summer and extreme cold of winter. Balsamic vinegar is rich and glossy with sweet and sour natural flavors.
Q: What are the Health Benefits of Balsamic Vinegar?
Balsamic vinegar health benefits comprise reduced risks of heart diseases, cancer and other infectious diseases. Moreover, some studies have shown that balsamic vinegar helps prolong wellness, control diabetes, and assist in digestion, etc.
For more details see, Balsamic Vinegar Health Benefits
Q: What is the shelf life of EVOO and balsamic vinegars?
Most high quality EVOO and balsamic vinegars will keep their integrity for 12 months.
Q: How Do You Taste Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
See our post on How to Taste Extra-Virgin Olive Oil.
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