If you have watched cooking shows or read recipes on the internet, you may have seen the term EVOO, and probably wondering what it is. I did the same thing when I heard the term for the first time, and today we are going to clear that up.
What is EVOO?
EVOO stands for Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It is also the best tasting and best quality of olive oil you can buy.
Olive oil is a bit of a complex thing. There are multiple types of olive oil, and EVOO is one of them.
Olive oil comes from pressing olives, and the different types of olive oils are a result of how many times it is pressed and how it is processed.
The best olive oil is cold pressed, meaning there is not any heat applied to it during the pressing process.
The different types of olive oil are:
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Also known as our good friend EVOO)
- Virgin Olive Oil
- Refined Olive Oil
- Olive Pomace Oil
- Lampante Oil
You can learn more about different types of olive oil at this site.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Virgin Olive Oil are the best types of olive oil. They both come from the first press of the olive.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is considered the best because it has many criteria it has to meet to be called extra virgin olive oil or EVOO.
It must be cold pressed, the olives must be pressed within a day of being harvested, and it must have an acidity level of less that .08%.
In comparison, virgin olive oil can have an acidity level of up to 2%.
This makes EVOO and virgin olive oil taste completely different than the other types of olive oil.
The rest of the olive oil types? They are processed more, with things added to them or even heated. They are often cheaper, but may not have a flavor as pure as EVOO.
Often, different types of olive oils are blended together to get what you would call simply “olive oil”.
Read the label of the olive oil you have on hand. Chances are it is a blend of refined olive oil and extra virgin olive oil.
What is EVOO Good For?
EVOO has an extremely delicate and light flavor.
Here are some great uses for EVOO:
- Salad dressings
- dipping bread
Choose EVOO when you really want to taste the olive oil in a dish, and when olive oil is a major component, but not heated.
Once you heat EVOO it does lose some of its flavor.
EVOO does come at a premium price to refined olive oil or olive oil blends, so that is something to keep in mind.
While yes, you can fry with olive oil, extra virign olive oil is not the best type because of its lower smoke point than more refined olive oil.
Why Use EVOO?
The next question is why use EVOO if it is more expensive than other olive oils.
Besides the fact that it tastes fantastic, EVOO has more antioxidants, more anti-inflammatory properties, and generally more of the good stuff in it than more processed olive oils.
This all goes back to the way EVOO is processed, since it is never heated. Heat is what destroys many of the healthy properties of oils.
So what is EVOO? EVOO is simply put the best olive oil you can possibly buy. It is great for dressings, dips, and sauces, or anything you are going to consume olive oil directly with. It is more expensive than other types of olive oils, so if you plan on heating it a great deal, save yourself some money and use a different type of olive oil.