If you’re looking for a delicious and healthy cooking oil, you can’t go wrong with extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). But what exactly is EVOO? What does “first cold press” mean? How do you choose quality olive oil? And can you cook with it? Read on for the answers to all your questions about this pantry staple.
What Does EVOO Mean? EVOO stands for extra virgin olive oil, which is considered the highest grade of olive oil available. To be classified as extra virgin, the olives must be cold pressed within 24 hours of being harvested and have an acidity level of no more than 0.8%. This low acidity level gives extra virgin olive oil its unique flavor and aroma. It also makes it one of the healthiest cooking oils available.
What Does First Cold Press Mean? When it comes to olive oil, “first cold press” means that the olives were pressed just once in order to extract their juice. This process ensures that all of the natural vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants remain intact—making first cold press olive oils some of the most flavorful and nutritious options available. It also helps preserve the unique flavors and aromas that are associated with different varieties of olives.
How Do You Choose Quality Olive Oil? When shopping for quality olive oil, look for bottles labeled “Extra Virgin Olive Oil” or “First Cold Press Olive Oil”. In addition, check to make sure that the bottle has not been exposed to light or excessive heat—both can cause oxidation that will degrade the flavor and nutritional value of the oil. Dark glass bottles are best to protect the olive oil.
Also, look for labels that indicate where the olives were grown and harvested. Terra Delyssa olive oil is a single-source olive oil from our Tunisian orchards that offers full transparency in its process. See how our traceability shows you the process from harvest to bottling here.
Quality seals such as the North American Olive Oil Association (NAOOA) are another indicator of high-quality olive oil. Make sure, you look for it on the label.
Can You Cook With Olive Oil? Absolutely! In fact, many chefs prefer using extra virgin olive oil because its high smoke point makes it less likely to break down under high temperatures than other cooking oils like butter or vegetable oil. Plus, its unique flavor adds complexity to dishes like grilled vegetables or roasted meats. Just remember not to overheat it—that could cause it to become bitter.
There's no doubt about it—extra virgin olive oils are some of the best fats you can use in your cooking routine! Not only are they healthier than other types of fat (like butter or vegetable), but they also contribute amazing flavor profiles that make your dishes truly stand out from the rest. So now that you know all about EVOOs—from what they are to how to choose them—you're ready to upgrade your kitchen game! Start exploring our award-winning extra virgin olive oils now.