Regular Olive Oil vs Extra Virgin Olive Oil

With so much in the media, press and on cookery programs worldwide, a great question to ask is just what are the differences between regular olive oil and extra virgin olive oil? (EVOO)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is created by crushing the olives and creating a paste, all of this occurs cold, meaning slow pressure application and cooled machinery when used. This cold pressing ensures that the chemistry of the oil is in no way changed. Some col pressed techniques also ensure the cold press technique is carried out in a vacuum, meaning no oxygen can affect the oil while it is in its crushed state, this method even further reduces the chance of oxidization changing the oils characteristics.

Standard Olive Oil

When standard olive oil is created, it is made up of a mix of olive oil that was created cold pressed but did not meet the requirement to be labelled and sold as extra virgin olive oil. These oils are then mixed with other olive processed oils that may not be of such a high standard, thus creating “olive oil”

Should I cook with Olive oil, or Extra Virgin Olive oil?

Just as heat is not introduced when creating extra virgin olive oil in order to ensure the flavors are not affected, this stands when it comes to introducing heat through the cooking process. We see that top chefs will use standard olive oils for cooking, and then when used to dress a dish, or to create any accompaniment to a dish, extra virgin olive oil is used. Of course, you can cook with evoo however the taste profile will be affected.

When heat is introduced you also affect the chemical makeup of the oil, thus negating or reducing all of the positive health benefits of the extra virgin olive oil.