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Green Olives

Green Olives

The only difference between green olives and black olives is ripeness. Unripe olives are green, whereas fully ripe olives are black.

Olives are cured or pickled before consumption, using various methods including oil-cured, water-cured, brine-cured, dry-cured, and lye-cured.

Green olives must be soaked in a lye solution before brining, whereas ripe black olives can proceed straight to brining. The longer the olive is permitted to ferment in its own brine, the less bitter and more intricate its flavor will become. Green olives are usually pitted, and often stuffed with various fillings, including pimientos, almonds, anchovies, jalapenos, onions or capers.

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Types of Olive Oil

BY Terriann

Like wine, taste is a matter of personal preference when it comes to olive oil. There are many factors that go into the creation of olive oil which leads to distinct differences in color, aroma, and flavor.   The following variables impact the taste of olive oil: 

    The following variables impact the taste of olive oil:

  • Olive variety used
  • Location and soil conditions where the olives were grown
  • Environmental factors and climate during the growing season
  • Ripeness of the olive
  • Timing of the harvest
  • Method of harvesting
  • Time passed between the harvest and pressing
  • Technique of pressing
  • Packaging and storage process

Olive oils are given a grade that is decided by production method, acidity content, and flavor. Here’s how to understand the different types of olive oil and make the choice that’s best for your needs. 

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil is produced by mechanical extraction processes (no hot water or chemicals applied) and comes from the first press only.  Extra virgin olive oil is the highest quality olive oil with perfect flavor, aroma, and balanced acidity. In fact, the acidity level is the most important factor when determining a grade. To be considered extra virgin olive oil, it must have an oleic acidity level of less than one percent.  This is a measure of the free fatty acid content.  The best oils have the lowest acidity and should be free of identifiable defects in taste or smell. 
The high content of vitamins and nutrients is the main reason extra virgin olive oil is prized so greatly. The light, delicate taste of extra virgin olive oil makes it perfect for dressings or for dipping bread.

Virgin Olive Oil

Virgin olive oil also comes from the first pressing, and is also produced without refining. Virgin olive oils have been less handled and/or manipulated during the harvesting and processing.  Unlike Extra virgin olive oil, the industry practice in the producing countries for virgin olive oil is to maintain fewer than 2% acidity. The intensity of the flavor can vary and it is generally less mild than extra virgin olive oil. Virgin olive oil tends to also be more cost effective than extra virgin types of olive oil.  Virgin olive oils are ideal for body and hair care as well as cooking Mediterranean cuisine and baking.

Pure Olive Oil

A blend of virgin olive oil and refined olive oil, once called pure olive oil, is now simply called olive oil. The label will bear the designation “pure” or “100% pure”. Since refined olive oil has very little vitamin E content, producers need to add unrefined virgin olive oil to impart some of flavor, color and aroma into the blend. The exact measurements of the two components vary by producer, based on the flavor they are hoping to create.
Pure olive oil actually has the same acidity level as virgin olive oil, and for that reason it can be resistant to high temperatures. It is less expensive than virgin olive oil because it contains fewer nutrients. It is not recommended for dressings and is better suited for heavy-duty, high-heat cooking.

Lite Oil

Oils that have undergone an extremely fine filtration process (without the use of heat or chemicals) to remove most of the natural aroma, color and flavor are called lite oils.  Although the name might be a bit deceiving, lite oils have the same exact amount of fat and calories as any other olive oils; the classification is actually referring to the oil’s lighter color and flavor.  These oils are more suited for cooking or baking in recipes that don’t require the fruity olive flavor of more expensive oil.


Olive Oil Tips and Tricks

By PeterK

Olive Oil Tips and Tricks

First off, Olive Oil can go bad or rancid so always make sure your oil is fresh and tastes good. If your not sure just give it a taste it shouldn’t leave an after taste or taste funky. Just like you would never add bad wine to any of your dishes, olive oil is no different.

With that said here is a short list of the 3 most basic types of oil, remember there are thousands of Olive Oils out there, some purely made from 0live trees that are thousands of years old, and others come from mixtures of olive oils combined with other non-olive oils. Be picky and choosey as they don’t taste the same!

Here is a list of the three most basic types of oil:

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Most expensive olive oil. This one is usually reserved for salads and general consumption that does not require cooking. Extra Virgin olive oil accounts for less than 10% of the oil in many producing countries. It is used on salads, added at the table to soups, stews and for dipping.
  • Virgin Olive Oil – Mid priced, perfect for sautéing, frying and general everyday cooking
  • Pure Olive Oil – or sometimes called Ordinary Virgin Olive Oil is very misleading. You would think that this might be the best, but in reality pure olive oil’s are usually a BLEND of refined oils. Even though the quality of these oils are lower than the above it still has its place in the kitchen. Since it’s a mixture of oils it might have a higher smoke point which makes it good for frying and other high heat uses

When cooking, save your most expensive Extra Virgin Olive oil for salads, dressing’s, toppings and most uses that are served without heat.

This might include:

  • Drizzle it over salad or mix into salad dressing
  • Use in marinade or sauces for fresh meat, fish, pork, poultry and even vegetables. Olive Oil penetrates meat very well so it’s a good tenderized especially when combined with Balsamic
  • Add extra virgin oil at the end of cooking for a burst of flavor
  • Drizzle over cooked pasta
  • Use instead of butter in all recipes.
  • As a bread dip
  • Brush on meats before grilling
  • Perfect for pesto
  • Drizzle over rice, just before serving
Virgin olive oil is usually priced less than extra virgin and some uses might include

  • In Stir-Fry Vegetables or meats
  • Deep frying
  • Sauteing
  • Perfect for heating

Ultimately the taste of any dish for which you need olive oil will be as good, ordinary or bad as the olive oil you use. The best oils can make the most modest ingredients and elevate them to new flavors; on the other hand the cheaper olive oils will be noticeable with degradation in flavor. Some of the best clues as to the qualify of the oil you are using are supplied by its price and its label but ultimately it’s the taste, and more importantly your taste that will determine which one, out of the thousands of olive oil’s is right for you!

I hope you enjoyed this article and as always STAY HEALTHY and ENJOY!