To produce a true high quality EVOO, the olives must be pressed within 24 hours of picking. EVOO is the oil expressed during the first pressing of the olive paste. The paste must be ‘cold-pressed’ (not heated above 30°C) without the use of any chemicals, be free of any faults & have a free fatty acid level of less than 0.8%
A SIMPLE GUIDE TO TASTING & USING EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OILS!
EVOO’s are generally classified into 3 styles according to their flavour & body. There are no set rules for the best way to use EVOO, ultimately it all comes down to personal taste. Quite simply – if you like it, use your oil however way you wish!!But, to truly make the most of your oil’s qualities or you’ve just discovered the wonderful world of olive oil, here is a simple guide to selecting & using EVOO’s.
The most mildest & delicate flavoured of the 3 styles, with the least amount of body. These oils are best used in dishes where you need to use a good quality oil, but you do not want the flavour of the oil to overpower the main ingredients. E.g. Soups, mayonnaise, steamed fish, carpaccio.
Medium OilsNicely balanced oils with both flavour & body. Often described as ‘fruity’. Great as a base for salad dressings, sautés & finishing off roasts. Care should be taken when used in cooking as once heated above 65°C, the aromatic properties of the oil can be lost, so add them towards the end of the cooking process.
Robust OilsThe strongest, most full flavoured oil with lots of body. These oils tend to be commonly described as ‘peppery’ & are quite simply enjoyed in their pure form for their fabulous true olive taste. Great for dipping bread, leafy salads, finishing off a soup, BBQ’s as they compliment that wonderful char taste & anything with garlic or chilli.
The Choice Is YoursChoose only 1 style of oil to suit all of your taste & needs, or all 3 oil styles if you consider yourself a bit of a gourmet chef or you just love the variety of tastes & aromas EVOO’s offer.
HOW LONG SHOULD I KEEP MY EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OILS?
EVOO’s, if stored properly, can maintain their properties for approx 12 months due to the presence of natural antioxidants.
HOW SHOULD I STORE MY EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OILS?
To preserve the qualities of your EVOO, store your oil well sealed, in a dark place, at room temperature. Do not store your oil in a fancy bottle, jug or carafe on the table or beside the stove for very long, as the light and heat will quickly deteriorate your precious oil.
WHAT IS BALSAMIC VINEGAR?
Balsamic vinegar is an aromatic, aged vinegar traditionally manufactured in Modena, Italy. Balsamic is made from concentrated grape juice, that has been aged between 3 – 12 years (sometimes longer) in different wooden casks (just like wine!) to develop it’s rich, sweet and complex flavours.Some balsamics sold in supermarkets are made with red wine vinegar or concentrated grape juice mixed with a strong vinegar which is laced with caramel and sugar. Always check the label, as once you’ve tasted the real product you’ll never settle for anything less!