Fresh, high-quality extra virgin olive oil is one of the world's healthiest foods. Olive oils crafted with care are packed with antioxidants and phenolic compounds that are proven to help reduce and prevent diseases.
The best olive oils are blow-your-mind delicious and they elevate the tastes of our foods in ways we never imagined. Hundreds of olive varieties offer countless pairing possibilities that chefs are only beginning to discover.
What makes a good olive oil?
Let's start with three things every extra virgin olive oil needs to have.
Every good olive oil needs to have the aroma of fresh fruit. Olives are fruits, after all. The oil should smell fresh and fruity.
Good and pure extra virgin olive oil will have aromas of grass, olive leaf, tomato, banana, artichoke, apples or almonds. "Fake" or unpure extra virgin olive oils (those filtered and blended to fit the regulatory criteria of <0.8% free fatty acids) are more likely to display vinegary, musty, rancid, fusty aromas or lots of oily sediment.
Olives are mighty bitter straight off the tree. So any fresh, high-quality olive oil must be bitter, which we perceive on the tongue.
Pungency is that cough-inducing sting on the throat that's caused by the healthy phenolic compounds in fresh, high-quality olive oil.
What makes an award-winning olive oil?
To be among the world's best, an olive oil needs to exhibit outstanding character.
Exceptional olive oils send us on an olfactory and gustatory journey through a complex bouquet of pleasing sensations.
A pleasing balance in an oil sample's quality characteristics distinguishes high-quality olive oils from the others.
The qualities should linger for a while, giving the taster time to reflect on the fruity notes and complex subtleties.
What is extra virgin olive oil good for?
There a number of benefits directly connected to the usage of extra virgin olive oil. It is strongly believed that extra virgin olive oil reduces risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. It stimulates the absorption of calcium which helps to strengthen bones and reduces the risk of stroke. It also protects stomach and liver, generally improving metabolic functions and is also considered as prevention for all types of cancer or depression. Last but not least, it's often used as a key ingredient in skin, hair and nail treatments.
Need some real extra virgin olive oil? Then check out this selection: https://www.thetasteofcroatia.com/en/olive-oil/
Source: https://bestoliveoils.com/ & The house of Istrian Olive Oil in Pula.