I’m embarrassed to admit that I never really knew the difference between regular olive oil and extra virgin olive oil until now. I’m glad I got a chance to participate in Flavor Your Life and to get a chance to taste the difference.
I put my regular brand of olive oil to the test in comparison with my new bottle of European Extra Virgin Olive Oil. What I discovered is that my regular brand tastes almost rancid and has a definite oily taste. The European brand has a fruity taste and definitely changed my basic pasta salad in a good way.
Besides the obvious difference in taste, I got a chance to find out more about olive oil.
- It is the fresh pressed juice of olives from cold pressing without heat and chemicals.
- It must have a peroxide level below 20 milliequivalents of oxygen which indicates the amount of aging occurring from exposure to light or oxygen.
- The acidity or amount of fatty acid must be below 0.8%.
- Must pass a panel of expert tasters trained through the International Oil Council who taste for fruitiness, spiciness, and bitterness.
- Spanish olive oil is usually golden yellow and has a fruity, nutty flavor.
- Italian olive oil is often dark green with an herbal aroma and a grassy flavor
- Greek olive oil has a strong flavor and green color.
- French olive oil has a mild flavor with a pale color.
|Tuna seared in olive oil.|
I am not a top chef nor do I even consider myself a foodie. I simply enjoy home cooked meals both basic and fancy. I honestly didn’t think I would be able to tell the difference between the olive oil I usually use and the new brand. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how much fresher the Zucchi brand of European Extra Virgin Olive Oil tasted compared to my brand. It also has a sweeter taste than I’m use to.
I am glad I got a chance to be part of the Flavor Your Life Mission which aims to educate North American consumers such as myself about extra virgin olive oil. I can’t wait to try some of the new recipes I found on their website but before I try any new recipes, I’m glad I used my new olive oil on my simple pasta salad first. That way I could really tell the difference. From now on, I’m going to pay more attention to the olive oil I buy. In fact, I am going to buy a few bottles from different European regions so I can start adding a variety of tastes to my meals.