As olive oil is gaining more and more popularity in the kitchen, chefs around the world are developing new recipes that include this healthy alternative to vegetable oil. It is not a pretentious ingredient and you do not need to be a professional cook or pastry chef to make delicious dishes using it.
Nevertheless, there are a few things you should know about olive oil, so that you can make the best of it.
1. How to buy it
The olive oil has numerous health benefits and in order to enjoy its full potential you should only buy quality product. There are two aspects you have to be careful about when buying extra virgin olive oil – acidity and origin. Genuine extra virgin olive oil should not have an acidity higher than 0,8%, with the highest quality ones having an acidity of 0,3% or less. In terms of origin, go with “single estate” or “single region”; if the origin is not specified, the oil is most probably produced from different olives, coming from different areas, and this has a negative impact on its quality.
2. How to use it
Olive oil is a versatile ingredient, and can be used in a large variety of dishes. Besides its most popular use – in salad dressings, the olive oil is employed in different cooking methods, such as baking, sautéing, grilling, roasting. Its rich taste will enhance the taste of your meals and its aroma will fill the kitchen. However, keep in mind that not all types of olive oils are recommended for deep frying, only the extra virgin cold pressed ones.
3. How to store it
Olive oil can be consumed within 3 months after opening the bottle. So as to preserve its flavour and freshness for the entire time, it should be kept away from heat and sunlight. For practical reasons, many people choose to keep it next to the stove, but the heat can reduce the quality of the oil. Therefore, the best place to store your olive oil is a dark, chill space. And make sure the bottle is tightly closed.