Olive Oil 101
Many people have heard the terms “Extra Virgin”, “Virgin” and “Pure” when it comes to olive oil, but most people are unaware of the meaning behind those terms. Depending upon how an olive is processed to extract the oil determines whether the oil that is produced can be called "Extra Virgin," "Virgin" or "Pure."
Here is a brief overview on the differences between these terms and what that means for the oil that you’re purchasing.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO):
Extra Virgin Olive Oil has the highest grading standards that must be met in order to be called “Extra Virgin.” Extra Virgin is the highest quality olive oil that can be produced, which means that the oil meets the IOOC standards of having no more than 0.8 grams per 100 grams of acidity. Extra Virgin is usually produced from the first pressing of the olives, which makes it the most pure and the best tasting. In fact, Extra Virgin Olive Oil often has the strongest flavors and is perfect for accenting dishes, or in dressings and vinaigrettes.
Virgin Olive Oil:
Like Extra Virgin, Virgin olive oil is not blended with any other oils however it has a higher allowance for acidity - up to 2 grams per 100 grams. Virgin olive oil is usually produced from the second pressing of the olives, which makes it the second purest olive oil after Extra Virgin. Like Extra Virgin, Virgin olive oil often has a strong flavor perfect for adding flavor to any dish.
Pure Olive Oil:
Pure olive oil is usually a blend of refined virgin olive oil and pomace oil. Pure olive oil is usually cheaper to produce and does not carry as strong a flavor as Extra Virgin or Virgin olive oils. Pure olive oil is normally best suited for frying or sautéing.
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