Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Olive Oil [History, Benefit, Quality Learning]

Olive oil is a fat obtained from the olive (the fruit of Olea europaea; family Oleaceae), a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin. Olive oil is used throughout the world and is especially associated with Mediterranean countries. The oil is made from the crushing and then subsequent pressing of olives. Olive oil is available in a variety of grades, which reflect the degree to which it has been processed. Extra virgin olive oil is derived from the first pressing of the olives and has the most delicate flavor and strongest overall health benefits.
Why Should I Use Olive Oil?

Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat and the cornerstone of the famous Mediterranean diet. Most people choose olive oil because of its many proven benefits to human health. Extra virgin olive oils offer even more: a world of fruity-bitter tastes that chefs are capturing to elevates dishes to a level they never thought possible. 

Olive Oil Health Benefits
Studies of the health benefits of olive oil consumption fill the pages of medical journals around the world. Heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's and cancers are among the long list ailments that can be avoided and conditions that can be improved by a diet that includes olive oil. Replace other fats like butter with at least two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil every day, eat lots of veggies and go for a walk.

Olive Oil Quality

Those famous health benefits and the flavor of olive oil depend on many factors, and there is a lot to learn if you’re interested in olive oil quality. Unfortunately, you can’t trust what the bottle says, and the best way to learn good olive oil from bad, is to know what to look for and learn how to taste it.

How to Taste Olive Oil

Tasting olive oil straight is the best way to judge its quality. Pour a little in a small glass and warm the glass in one hand, while covering it with the other. Now put your nose into the glass to sense the aromas. Hopefully, it reminds you of things like fresh olives, grass, bananas and apples. Hay, cardboard, vinegar, mud and mustiness are some of the aromas that indicate an olive oil has gone bad.

Bitter is Better

If you pluck a perfect olive off a tree, it will be too bitter to eat, but the less that comes between your cupboard and that perfect, bitter olive, the better. Just as they did with chocolate and craft beer, those who want to enjoy all of the health benefits and flavors of the best extra virgin olive oils should start to love bitterness. In fact, the opposite of bitterness is the taste of rancidity. Unfortunately, studies have shown most people actually will choose a rancid olive oil over a fresh, high-quality one, thanks to years of knowing little else.

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