Italian olive oil

Italian Olive Oil

Italian Olive Oil

Italy is known for a myriad of things. It is one of the most romantic places in the world, and it has some of the most beautiful sights in the world. Aside from these obvious facts about Italy, it is also the land of olive oil. Its countryside is peppered by olive trees, and the country is known for creating some of the best olives in the world.

One of Italy’s main exports is its olive oil which is of the best quality ever. Italian olive oil is so revered by chefs, that they refuse to use any other type of olive oil.

History

The first olive tree was said to have first originated in Persia and Mesopotamia and through the centuries, it has spread to surrounding countries such as Greece and eventually to Italy. Although the Greeks were amongst the first to cultivate olive trees and produce olive oil, it was the ancient Romans who truly perfected the production of olive oil. The ancient Romans used olive oil in almost every aspect of their lives. They used them in food preparation, skincare, food preservation. They even used olive oil as a form of soap, and as a sanctifying oil for religious purposes.

As centuries passed by, Roman culture further incorporated olive oil into their day to day lives, until it became a part of their natural identity.

Production

Olive oil has been used by humanity for thousands of years, and throughout that time the production process has changed a great deal. Ancient olive oil production was a lot more work-intensive. The olives needed to be milled into a paste and then the oil was pressed out of the mush.

In this day and age, olive oil production is a lot more industrialized. The olives are first put into a solid steel crusher that rotates at top speed. After the olives are pressed into a paste, it is then put into specialized vats that mix them in tandem. The paste is then pumped into a decanter to get rid of all impurities. After the olive oil has been pressed it is then designated into 4 types of oil, according to their level of refinement.

Types of Olive oil

After the olive oil has been pressed out of the olives, they are designated into 4 types that are designated for specific uses.

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Of all the kinds of olive oil, extra virgin is by far the most expensive and best quality. It is olive oil in its most unrefined state. It has the highest amount of antioxidants and vitamins. It also has the lowest smoking point and should be used for the lowest temperatures. It should never be used for frying because it burns very quickly. Extra virgin olive oil should be saved for salads and bread dips instead. It is also the most flavorful of all olive oil types.
  • Virgin Olive Oil: This type of olive oil is the second-best when it comes to purity. Like its extra virgin counterpart, it is unrefined and should not be used for frying, because it can still burn. Instead, it can be used for both sweating vegetables and baking.
  • Refined Olive Oil: This kind of oil is the most refined and it has a high burning point, so it could be used for frying. However, due to the refinement process, some of its vitamins, and taste has been stripped away.
  • Pure Olive Oil: This olive oil variant is a combination of refined olive oil and extra virgin olive oil. Compared to the other olive oils, it has less nutritional value and should not be used for cooking. Instead, it is better used for hair and skin treatments.

Uses

In ancient Rome, olive oil was used for practically everything. It was used as a seasoning for ancient dishes. It was also used by ancient athletes as a body oil during wrestling matches. They were even used as a form of contraceptive. To put it bluntly, olive oil was used for practically everything during ancient times.

People still use olive oil for a myriad of things because of its many health benefits. Here are some things that olive oil is perfect for.

  • For Cooking: The main use of olive oil has always been for cooking. Almost all types of Italian cuisine uses olive oil. Whether it is used in Aglio e Olio or Seafood Pasta Negra, olive oil is still used in vast quantities. It is even used as a simple dip for bread. Just add a small amount of olive oil to 11cm glass vases or jars and then mix them with a few drops of balsamic vinegar, and you have a healthy bread dip.
  • For Skincare: Olive oil has antibacterial properties, and is great for skincare applications. They have great healing properties and are excellent for moisturizing the face and the rest of the body. Olive oil is also perfect for sunburns. You can also use olive oil as a face mask when mixed with eggs, honey, and oats.
  • As a Health Supplement: Aside from being a great form of skincare, olive oil is also a great health supplement. It has a lot of vitamins and nutrients that can help prevent diabetes and high blood pressure. So make it a habit to drink olive oil on a daily basis.

Conclusion

Olive oil is one of the products that Italy is best known for and it is also one of its most prevalent exports. Italian olive oil is known for its excellent quality and a myriad of Italian dishes use it in copious amounts. So next time you’re going to buy olive oil, you should always opt for the Italian version, it has the history and the quality to back it up.

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