• Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Walla, Walla, WA | 509-529-7537

Ideas for Substituting Olive Oil for Other Fats

When it comes to cooking and baking, fats play a pivotal role in creating texture, flavor, and mouthfeel in your dishes. While fats like butter, lard, and vegetable oil have been traditional choices, many are turning to olive oil as a healthier and more flavorful alternative. In this blog post, we’ll explore the various fats you can substitute with olive oil, and how this versatile ingredient can enhance your culinary endeavors.

1. Butter: A Creamy Alternative

Butter is a beloved fat in cooking and baking, known for its rich, creamy flavor. However, if you’re looking to reduce saturated fat intake or create a dairy-free option, extra-virgin olive oil is an excellent substitute. To replace butter with olive oil, use a 3/4 cup of olive oil for every cup of butter in your recipe. Olive oil works particularly well in recipes like sautéed vegetables, roasted potatoes, and even baked goods.

2. Vegetable Oil: A Healthier Choice

Many recipes call for vegetable oil, but it’s often a blend of various oils, and the quality can vary. Extra-virgin olive oil, on the other hand, is a single-source, high-quality fat that brings a world of flavor to your dishes from fruity to more peppery, you’ll get a variety depending on the specific oil you choose. To substitute for vegetable oil, use an equal amount of olive oil. Whether you are frying, grilling, or making salad dressings, olive oil’s versatility shines through.

3. Lard: A Lighter Option

Lard is a popular choice in traditional cooking, especially for making flaky pie crusts and crispy fried foods. While olive oil may not replicate the exact flavor of lard, it offers a heart-healthy alternative. To substitute lard with olive oil, use a 1:1 ratio. The result will be a lighter, less greasy texture, perfect for creating delicious, healthier versions of your favorite recipes.

4. Margarine: A Trans-Fat-Free Choice

Margarine has been a common butter substitute due to its low saturated fat content. However, it often contains trans fats, which are less healthy. If you’re looking for a trans-fat-free alternative, extra-virgin olive oil is a great choice. You can use an equal amount of olive oil to replace margarine in recipes, whether you’re spreading it on toast or using it in baking.

5. Coconut Oil: A Plant-Based Option

Coconut oil is lauded for its unique flavor and versatility, particularly in vegan and gluten-free cooking. Extra-virgin olive oil offers an equally plant-based alternative with a distinct flavor profile. To replace coconut oil with olive oil, use a 1:1 ratio, but keep in mind that olive oil has a different flavor, so the resulting dish will have a different but equally fun twist.

6. Canola Oil: A Neutral Oil Alternative

Canola oil is known for its neutral taste, making it suitable for various recipes. If you’re seeking a healthier and more flavorful alternative, olive oil is a fantastic choice. You can substitute canola oil with an equal amount of olive oil in most recipes, enhancing the dish with a hint of fruitiness and complexity.

7. Shortening: A Healthier Alternative

Shortening is commonly used in baking and frying for its solid texture at room temperature. If you’re looking to reduce saturated fat, substitute shortening with olive oil using a 3/4 cup of olive oil for every cup of shortening in your recipe. Olive oil provides a heart-healthy option without sacrificing texture in your baked goods.

8. Ghee: A Clarified Butter Alternative

Ghee, or clarified butter, is popular in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. Olive oil can be a suitable alternative when you’re looking for a dairy-free option or a healthier alternative. To substitute ghee with olive oil, use a 1:1 ratio. Olive oil adds a slightly different flavor profile, but it complements these cuisines beautifully.

Elevating Your Cooking with Olive Oil

Olive oil isn’t just a heart-healthy and versatile option; it’s a culinary superstar that can transform your dishes with its unique flavor and health benefits. Whether you’re sautéing, baking, or frying, the right substitution can elevate your cooking to new heights. Experiment with different types of extra-virgin olive oil, and don’t forget the infused varieties. Both will add depth and complexity to your recipes.

By understanding how to substitute olive oil for other fats, you can make your cooking healthier, more flavorful, and more diverse. Whether you’re aiming to reduce saturated fat intake, create dairy-free options, or you’re simply trying to experiment with new flavors, olive oil offers an excellent alternative. Enjoy your culinary adventures with the versatility and heart-healthy benefits of olive oil.

Breaking Down Olive Oil : A Guide to Olive Oil Grades and Types

When it comes to olive oil, the choices can be overwhelming. Walk into a grocery store, and you’ll encounter a vast array of options, each claiming to be the best. To make an informed choice, it’s essential to understand the different grades and types of olive oil. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the fascinating world of olive oil grades and types, helping you understand labels and helping you choose the right one for your culinary adventures.

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: The Gold Standard

Extra-virgin olive oil is the highest grade and most sought-after type of olive oil. It is known for its exceptional quality and flavor. To be classified as extra-virgin, the oil must meet specific criteria:

Cold Pressed: Extra-virgin olive oil is extracted without the use of heat or chemicals, preserving its natural flavors and aromas.

Low Acidity: It must have an acidity level below 0.8%, indicating the oil is made from high-quality, fresh olives.

Flavorful: Extra-virgin olive oil should have a well-balanced flavor profile, with fruity, slightly peppery, and often grassy or nutty notes.

At D’Olivo we source all our oils from Veronica Foods, who requires their oils meet an even more strict standard (there are over 54 parameters), earning all of our oils the designation of Ultra Premium extra virgin olive oil.

Purchasing a high-quality extra virgin olive oil is essential to making sure you can use your oil in any culinary adventure you might embark upon. High quality extra virgin olive oil has an extremely high smoke point making it great for cooking dishes, frying dishes, but it is also perfect for marinades, drizzling over salads or roasted vegetables, dipping bread, baking and more.

In addition, extra virgin olive oils, because of the method of production used, maintain all of the health benefits of the olives themselves. Check out these amazing benefits here https://dolivotastingbar.com/5-proven-health-benefits-olive-oil/

Virgin Olive Oil

Virgin olive oil is similar to extra-virgin but with slightly higher acidity levels, up to 2%. While it does not meet all the strict criteria of extra-virgin, it can offer excellent quality and flavor, making it a suitable choice for those looking for a less expensive option or for cooks who aren’t interested in all of the health benefits provided by the extra virgin standard.

Olive Oil

Often labeled as “pure” or “light” olive oil, this grade is a blend of refined and virgin olive oils. It has a milder flavor and lighter color compared to extra-virgin and virgin olive oils. The refining process removes impurities and flavors, resulting in a more neutral taste.

Refined Olive Oil

Refined olive oil is obtained from low-quality olives or olives that have defects. It undergoes a refining process to remove impurities and undesirable flavors. While it lacks the distinctive taste of extra-virgin olive oil, refined olive oil is commonly used in the food industry and can also be found in some household kitchens. Its main role is to provide a neutral base for other culinary creations.

Flavored and Infused Olive Oils

Flavored and infused olive oils can add an extra dimension to your kitchen creations. These are olive oils fused or infused with various ingredients like herbs, spices, citrus, or even chili peppers. They are perfect for drizzling over salads, marinating meats, or adding a burst of flavor to your dishes. At D’Olivo all of our flavored olive oils begin with an ultra-premium extra virgin olive oil base and we’re proud to offer over 28 varieties! Experiment with different flavors to find the perfect fit for each new dish.

Regional Varieties: A World of Taste

The world of olive oil extends far beyond just grades and types. Olive oil enthusiasts often explore the different regional varieties. Olive oil’s flavor, aroma, and quality are significantly influenced by the specific region where the olives are grown and the unique environmental conditions present there. Regions like Tuscany in Italy, Andalusia in Spain, and Chile in South America are known for producing distinct and exceptional olive oils.

Conclusion: Choose Your Olive Oil Wisely

Understanding the grades and types of olive oil empowers you to select the right oil for your culinary needs and or your overall health. Whether you’re looking to create a delicate vinaigrette, sear a juicy steak, or add a burst of flavor to your dishes, there’s an olive oil for every occasion.

Our recommendation is always to select the highest quality, most pure form to ensure you’re getting all the wonderful health benefits as well as the delicious flavor of extra virgin olive oil.

The Art and Science of Extra Virgin Olive Oil Production

Olive oil, often referred to as “liquid gold,” has been a symbol of prosperity and health for centuries. Its rich history and versatile uses make it a beloved culinary treasure worldwide. But have you ever wondered how this precious oil is made? In this comprehensive guide, we will take you on a journey through the intricate process of olive oil production.

The Olive Orchard: A Prerequisite for Quality

The journey of each olive oil begins in the olive orchard, where the choice of olive variety, climate, soil, and farming practices play a pivotal role in determining the oil’s quality and flavor. Here are some key factors that contribute to an exceptional olive orchard:

Olive Varieties

There are hundreds of olive varieties worldwide, each with its unique flavor profile and characteristics. Common varieties include Arbequina, Picual, Koroneiki, and Frantoio. The choice of olive variety often depends on the region’s climate and the intended flavor of the oil.

Climate and Terroir

Olive trees thrive in regions with mild, Mediterranean climates characterized by warm, dry summers and mild winters. The concept of terroir, which includes factors like soil composition and microclimate, can significantly influence the flavor and aroma of the resulting olive oil.

Soil Quality

Olive trees require well-draining soil, preferably with a pH level between 5.5 and 7.5. The mineral content of the soil can affect the nutritional value and flavor of the olives.

Harvesting: Timing Is Everything

The next crucial step in olive oil production is the harvest, which requires precise timing to ensure the olives are at their peak flavor and nutritional content. Harvesting methods include hand-picking and mechanical shaking.

Hand-Picking

Hand-picking is the traditional and labor-intensive method. It’s often preferred for premium oils as it allows for selective harvesting of ripe olives, minimizing damage to the fruit.

Mechanical Shaking

Mechanical shakers are used to dislodge olives from the trees, and nets are placed beneath to collect the falling fruit. While this method is more efficient, it’s not as precise as hand-picking and can result in a mix of both ripe and unripe olives.

Harvest Timing

Timing is critical. Olives harvested too early may produce a bitter oil, while overripe olives can result in a rancid taste. Producers often monitor the olives’ color changes to determine the optimal harvest time.

Milling: The Art of Olive Oil Extraction

Once the olives are harvested, they are taken to the mill for oil extraction. The milling process involves several steps:

Cleaning

The olives are first cleaned to remove leaves, twigs, and dirt.

Crushing

The cleaned olives are then crushed into a paste (often called olive pomice), often using large stone or metal rollers. This process breaks down the cell walls and releases the oil. In order to be considered extra virgin olive oil, the crushing must be done without the use of heat or chemicals.

Malaxation

The olive paste is mixed in a malaxer, a machine that kneads the paste to encourage the oil droplets to merge and form larger ones. This process enhances oil extraction efficiency.

Pressing vs. Centrifugation

Traditionally, olives were pressed to extract oil. However, modern methods often use centrifugation, which separates the oil and water from the paste more efficiently. Centrifugation produces a cleaner, higher-quality oil.

Separating Oil from Water

After milling, the olive paste contains a mixture of oil, water, and solid residues. To obtain the pure olive oil, these components must be separated. This is typically done in a decanter centrifuge or a press.

Decanter Centrifuge

In a decanter centrifuge, the paste is spun at high speeds, separating the components based on their density. The oil, being the least dense, rises to the top, while the water and solids settle at the bottom.

Pressing

Pressing involves applying pressure to the paste, squeezing out the oil. This method is less efficient than centrifugation and is often reserved for traditional or small-scale production.

Clarification and Filtration

Even after separation, the olive oil may contain small water and solid particles. To ensure clarity and quality, the oil is often clarified and filtered through various methods, such as gravity settling, sedimentation tanks, or diatomaceous earth filters.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: The Gold Standard

Not all olive oils are created equal, and the term “extra virgin” signifies the highest quality. Extra virgin olive oil is obtained through cold pressing, which means no heat or chemicals are used in the extraction process. It also undergoes rigorous testing for acidity, flavor, and aroma.

At D’Olivo, we take the quality of our olive oils beyond even the standard extra virgin label. Our oils meet 33 quality parameters, and as a result earn the designation of Ultra Premium.

Acidity Level

To be classified as extra virgin, olive oil must have an acidity level of less than 0.8%. Lower acidity levels indicate a superior oil.

Flavor and Aroma

Extra virgin olive oil should have a balanced, fruity flavor with no defects. The aroma should be fresh and characteristic of the olive variety used. Often people describe the flavor and aroma as matching that of fresh cut grass.

Storing and Bottling

Olive oil is extremely sensitive to light, heat, and oxygen, which can cause it to deteriorate and lose its quality. To preserve its freshness, olive oil should be stored and bottled with care.

Storage Conditions

Store olive oil in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Containers should be airtight to prevent exposure to oxygen. Our oils are stored in stainless steel fusti before bottling.

Bottling

Olive oil is typically bottled in dark glass bottles or tins to shield it from light. Avoid clear or plastic containers that can lead to rapid degradation.

Conclusion

The journey of olive oil from orchard to bottle is truly a magnificent blend of tradition and technology. It begins with careful cultivation in well managed orchards, extends through the precise timing of harvest, and culminates in the delicate art of milling and extraction. The result is a healthy and flavorful oil that is ready to be featured in your culinary adventures.
Whether drizzled over a fresh salad, used in cooking, or savored on its own, olive oil stands as a testament to the skill, dedication, and passion of those who labor to bring it to our tables.

Shop our selection of olive oils herehttps://dolivotastingbar.com/product-category/dolivo-flavored-olive-oils/

Find recipes herehttps://dolivotastingbar.com/recipe/

Best Ways to Use Olive Oil

Cooking with olive oil has long been a popular trend, and for good reason. Olive oil, especially high-quality olive oil, offers a flavorful option for a variety of culinary dishes as well as a healthier alternative to many of the other cooking fats available today.

Mastering the art of using olive oil can elevate your cooking to new heights, both in terms of taste and health benefits. Let’s explore the best ways to utilize this precious oil in your culinary creations.

Selecting the Right Olive Oil

The first, and perhaps most important step in this process is to choose the right variety of olive oil. We suggest diving right into extra virgin olive oils as they are the highest quality and also offer the most flavorful option. Obtained from the first cold pressing of ripe olives, without the use of heat or chemicals preserves the taste of the olive fruit while also maintaining all of the amazing health benefits. This oil comes in a variety of options from medium to robust. Extra virgin olive oil also comes from a variety of regions around the world which only serves to enhance the individual flavors of the oils themselves.

As a note, we recommend purchasing from a reputable vendor, like the ultra-premium oils that we source from Veronica Foods. Specialty retailers and reputable vendors have a deeper knowledge of extra virgin olive oils and purchasing from them will ensure you’re getting the highest quality oil on the market.

Dressings and Vinaigrettes

Olive oil forms the foundation of some of the best dressings and vinaigrettes. It’s smooth, fruity undertones complement a variety of ingredients. For a classic vinaigrette, mix extra virgin olive oil with balsamic or red wine vinegar, a touch of Dijon mustard, minced garlic, honey, and salt. Experiment by adding in fresh herbs like basil, oregano, and thyme to create unique flavor profiles.

Enhance the Flavors in Your Cooking

Extra virgin olive oil can work true culinary magic by transforming the most simple ingredients into extraordinary dishes. Use extra virgin olive oil to sauté vegetables, garlic, and onions to form a flavorful base for your next soup, stew, or sauce. The high smoke point of high-quality extra virgin olive oil makes it a great option for a variety of cooking methods from frying to baking.

Baking and Desserts

Olive oil’s subtle fruitiness can enhance baked goods and desserts. Substituting it for butter or other fats in recipes lends a unique dimension to your treats. You can also drizzle a touch of extra virgin olive oil over gelato, ice cream, or even fresh berries for an truly delightful dessert. Try one of our fused or infused olive oils for this.

Dipping and Spreads

Elevate your appetizer game with a simple yet impressive olive oil dip. Mix extra virgin olive oil with a pinch of sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a dash of balsamic vinegar. Serve it with crusty bread for a sophisticated starter. Alternatively, blend olive oil with roasted red peppers, garlic, and chickpeas to create a velvety and healthy spread reminiscent of hummus.

Grilling and Marinades

Olive oil’s robust flavor makes it an excellent companion for grilling. Create tasty marinades by combining extra virgin olive oil with herbs, spices, and acidic elements like lemon juice. Or pair one of our ultra-premium olive oils with one of delicious balsamic vinegars for an extra flavor punch. Marinate meats or vegetables before grilling to impart both flavor and tenderness. The oil’s natural fats also prevent sticking and create attractive grill marks.

You can also top the meat and vegetables with oil and vinegar after cooking to get additional flavor into your dishes.

Preserving and Pickling

Incorporate olive oil into your preservation endeavors. Marinate olives, cheese, or even garlic cloves in a mixture of olive oil and herbs. These make for delectable antipasti or additions to charcuterie boards. The oil acts as a preservative while enhancing the flavors of the preserved ingredients.

Storing Olive Oil

Proper storage ensures that your olive oil retains its freshness and flavor. Keep it away from heat, light, and air, which can lead to oxidation and degradation. Store olive oil in a cool, dark place and tightly seal the container after each use. Olive oil needs to be used within 14 months of the crush date unless it is a free style, then it can be up to 24 months. Extra virgin olive oil is a fruit juice and needs to be treated as such.

Conclusion

Olive oil’s allure lies in its ability to enhance dishes and contribute to a healthy lifestyle. From drizzling over salads to infusing with flavors and even enriching desserts, its culinary potential is truly endless.

A Deep Dive into Extra Virgin Olive Oil

What is Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil, or EVOO as it’s commonly known, is a culinary treasure that has long been revered in the industry for both its exceptional flavor and health benefits. Originating from the Mediterranean region, extra virgin olive oil is derived from the pressing of green olives. Depending on where the olives are grown and the oil is pressed, the olive oil will develop a distinct taste, aroma, and nutritional profile. In this article, we take a deep dive into the unique properties of this tasty oil.

Production of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

One of the things that makes extra virgin olive oil so unique is the meticulous production process which focuses on the preservation of all the natural goodness of the olive. The first step in the process is the harvesting of the olives, typically done by hand or through mechanical means. Special care is given to collecting the fruit at exactly the right stage of ripeness to ensure both quality and flavor. The olives are then washed to remove any impurities, and the pits are removed. After pits are removed, the olives are then crushed or ground into a paste. This paste is then cold-pressed to remove the oil from the solid parts of the olive.

In order to be classified as extra virgin, the olive oil must come from the first cold-pressing of the fruit. Avoiding the use of heat or chemicals to extract the oil is what maintains the purity of the oil and ensures that the health benefits remain.

Once the oil is extracted, the oil is then stored in stainless steel containers (fusti), protecting the oil from exposure to light, heat, and air – all of which can degrade the quality of the oil. The entire process from fruit to oil is typically carried out within a few hours of harvesting to preserve the freshness and nutritional value of the oil.

Chemical Composition

One of the things that sets extra virgin olive oil apart from other oils and fats are the distinctive characteristics and health benefits. Predominantly composed on monounsaturated fats, about 70-80% of olive oils total fat content comes from oleic acid. Monounsaturated fats are considered heart-healthy fats that can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels and lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Additionally, extra virgin olive oil, contains antioxidants such as polyphenols and vitamin E, which play an important role in protecting the body from inflammation and oxidative stress.

Health Benefits of Olive Oil

As we’ve mentioned, one of the causes for the rise in popularity for extra virgin olive oil is tied to its overall health benefits. Some of which we discuss below.

1.Cardiovascular Health – there have been several studies that demonstrated the positive impact of extra virgin olive oil on heart health. It’s high content of oleic acid helps maintain good cholesterol levels by reducing LDL and increasing HDL. In addition, the polyphenols contribute to its cardiovascular benefits by preventing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.

2. Anti-inflammatory Properties – chronic inflammation is linked to various health conditions including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and certain cancers. The polyphenols present in extra virgin olive oil have potent anti-inflammatory effects helping reduce inflammation in the body.

3.Weight Management – while common thought has it that all fats contribute to weight gain, the monounsaturated fats in extra virgin olive oil actually aid in weight management. Consuming this type of oil has been associated with increased feelings of satiety, which leads to a reduction in overall calorie intake.

4.Antioxidant Effects – extra virgin olive oil is a rich source of powerful antioxidants, which can protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that come about during normal cell metabolism. Polyphenols and vitamin E which are present in extra virgin olive oils help neutralize oxidative stress, which can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases and support overall health.

Conclusion

Extra virgin olive oil is more than just a delicious oil for adding into your cooking repertoire. It’s a true embodiment of the phrase that food is medicine. It’s unique chemical composition, rich in monounsaturated fats, antioxidants, and other beneficial compounds, makes it a culinary treasure that’s packed with health benefits. Adding this oil into your diet should be a no brainer – especially with so many tasty options available.

If you’re looking for the perfect way to dive into the world of extra virgin olive oil, we encourage you to check out our ultra-premium offerings. Shop online or visit us in store and we’ll take you through a true olive oil tasting experience.

Need recipe ideas for your favorite oil, we’ve got you covered too. Visit the recipe section of our website here – https://dolivotastingbar.com/recipe/

How to Tell If Your Olive Oil Has Gone Bad

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been digging through your cupboard and stumbled upon an item or two with a questionable expiration date. We’ve been there a time or two, and while it might be safe to use those products in whatever you’re cooking (I mean does garlic powder really expire), using certain expired items could truly ruin an otherwise delicious meal.

Extra virgin olive oil, especially high-quality oils like our ultra-premium varieties can bring an extra boost of flavor to any dish, but not if they’ve expired. In today’s blog we’re walking you through the steps of identifying an olive oil that’s gone bad, and exploring ways to prevent that from happening.

How to Tell If Olive Oil Is Expired

There are truly two ways to tell if your olive oil has expired and both work on their own, but using the two in combination is probably the most effective way to know if the oil is in fact bad.

First, smell the oil. Open the bottle, pour some out and smell the oil. A good olive oil should smell fresh and green like ripe olives. Rancid oil will smell a bit waxy like crayons or putty. Second, taste the oil. A good oil will taste “green” like fresh grass or ripe green olives. If it is at all greasy or tastes like nuts that have gone bad get rid of it.

Cooking with or eating rancid oil won’t make you sick, however, the off flavor you’ll get is likely to ruin a recipe. If you find that your oil has gone bad we suggest tossing it out and making a trip to the store.

How to Help Prevent Olive Oil from Going Bad

While olive oil can go bad unexpectedly, there are a few things that are known to cause it to become rancid sooner than the expiration date. Check out our tips below for protecting your oil

1. Store it in a dark bottle – exposure to light can cause your olive oil to go bad more quickly than normal so you should store your oil in a dark bottle and in a cabinet away from light.

Preventing exposure to light is why our oils and balsamic vinegars are stored in stainless steel containers (fustis) and then transferred to dark bottles and sealed right in store. This ensures a fresh bottling and helps prevent exposure to light.

2. Don’t Expose it To Air – exposure to the air can also impact the oil and cause it to go rancid before the expiration date. When you use your oil be sure that you get a good seal on it after use. You’ll also want to ensure that you use it up within a few months after you’ve opened it.

3. Exposure to Heat – While your oil is good at room temperature you’ll want to be sure that you don’t over-expose it to additional heat. Make sure you don’t leave it out on the counter where it sits in the sunlight for a majority of the day or it may alter the olive oil shelf life.

Best Recipes for Green Olives

Here at D’Olivo we love olives. From the beautiful, delicious, and high-quality extra virgin olive oils they produce to the tasty recipes you can make with both the olives and the olive oils there’s so much to explore. Check out some of our favorite recipes for green olives below!

Pizza with Green Olives

Everyone loves a good pizza, and no matter what your favorite go-to toppings are, green olives, and the flavor profile they can offer, make an excellent addition. Get adventurous and take a break from ordering pizza from your favorite place and instead try making it a family affair by making your own. We’ve got a great pizza recipe for you to check out.

https://dolivotastingbar.com/recipes/green-olive-pizza/

Greek Salad

Greek salads are a favorite for us, especially during the warm summer months when it’s nice to have lots of healthy, flavorful, and refreshing recipes on hand. For those days when you need a quick snack or just don’t want to fire up the stove or grill, consider throwing one of these together. It also makes a great potluck dish – quick and easy – so keep this one on hand for any occasion.

https://dolivotastingbar.com/recipes/green-olive-greek-salad/

Greek Chicken Pita

We’re staying with the Greek theme on this next suggestion too. What can we say, they know how to cook with olives! A Greek gyro is one of the tastiest dishes you can find, and this recipe puts a fun spin on that traditional dish. While it calls for chicken you could definitely substitute in another meat of your choosing or make it all-veggies. Give it a try.

https://dolivotastingbar.com/recipes/greek-chicken-pita-bowls/

Marinated Olives

Green olives, or olives of any kind really, can be delicious on their own. You can purchase some amazing stuffed olives (at D’Olivo we offer a great selection of Delizia stuffed olives) or purchase pitted green olives and marinate your own. If you’re the kind who likes to tinker with homemade goods, give these a try.

https://dolivotastingbar.com/recipes/marinated-olives/

Pasta Salad

Another easy, quick side-dish for the warm summer months is pasta salad. Kick yours up a notch or two by adding in green olives. If you’re feeling extra adventurous try your favorite stuffed Delizia olive and substitute it for plain, pitted green olives. Trust us that this one is going to be a crowd pleaser.

https://dolivotastingbar.com/recipes/green-olive-pasta-salad/

Shrimp Orzo Salad

Shrimp, or any fish, can make a great meal and this orzo pasta dish is no exception. We love things that are quick to make and throw together since we know how great it is to have easy meals on hand for extra busy weeknights or for days that you just don’t want to spend too much time cooking.

https://dolivotastingbar.com/recipes/shrimp-orzo-salad/

Sheet Pan Chicken

Another easy to make meal is sheet pan chicken. Simply throw together your sauce, marinate it in the dressing of your choice and place everything onto a pan and bake it in the oven. It comes out with everything ready to go. You can choose to add some additional sides or just eat it as is. If you’re looking for a great sheet pan recipe to try, we’ve got a great one.

https://dolivotastingbar.com/recipes/sheet-pan-chicken/

Why Does the Smoke Point of Olive Oil Matter?

There is a lot of confusion around smoke points and its impact on the health benefits of olive oil. To understand and sort through the questions, it’s first important to know what smoke point actually is and isn’t.

For some, smoke point is measured by how long it takes for the smoke detector to sound! Before we make that a step in our recipes, let’s explore the components of smoke point and its connection to olive oil.

What is Smoke Point?

Let’s start with clarifying some terms that are frequently used to describe and explain oils and cooking.

Smoke points are usually a range of temperatures. When oils reach the temperatures within this heat scale, they begin to burn. Burning causes the components of the oil to begin breaking apart causing fats in the oil start to smoke. When this occurs, oils begin to lose some of their health benefits.

Additionally, harmful fumes can be emitted when oils burn past their smoke point. Plus, if we’re being honest, food just doesn’t always taste great if it has been cooked in oil that reaches its smoke point.

How Does an Oil ‘Get’ a Smoke Point?

Now, you may be wondering how you can control an oil’s smoke point. We as consumers can control how we store and use our oils. But, the oils we purchase will already have a smoke point. And, yes, all oils have a smoke point.

One factor that impacts an oil’s smoke point is their processing. Vegetable and corn oils are typically classified as refined oils. This grouping of cooking oils has been manufactured in processes that are heavily reliant on chemicals. Usually, refined oils are clear in appearance and neutral in taste. As part of their processing, refined oils are formulated to cook at higher temperatures, so these oils have a higher smoke point.

You may be thinking, that’s great. I’ll cook with refined oils and eliminate concerns about smoke points. However, because of the purification or refining process, these oils create health concerns. Their natural goodness of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants have been manufactured out of them.

Let’s look at unrefined oils and their smoke points. Unrefined or virgin oils have not been processed using heat or chemicals. Without the application of heat during the manufacturing, unrefined oils are more delicate; therefore, they have lower smoking points. But virgin and unrefined oils retain their health benefits due to how they are made.

Can You Cook at High Heat with Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

The short answer is yes, you can use extra virgin olive oil in your cooking, including cooking at higher temperatures. Most quality bottles of Extra Virgin Olive Oil can be heated to just over 400 degrees. Most recipes that are created in home kitchens will not require you to heat your oil to that temperature and certainly not any hotter. So, this means that you can safely sauté and fry your delectable recipes using your quality EVOO.

Making the news even better, when you reach higher temperatures with your EVOO, the oil is not breaking apart and releasing toxins. You can cook your favorite foods with healthy EVOO and not worry; you can actually begin to add more flavor to your food. EVOO remains very stable at high temperatures.

You might wonder why there has been so much confusion about extra virgin olive oil and strong suggestions that it should not be used for frying or sautéing. Many in the food world believe that earlier tests were not always conducted with high quality EVOO. The widespread use of all ranges of olive oil in the United States is a fairly recent trend. Therefore, it is also a relatively new phenomenon to be able to purchase high quality oils.

There are better indicators of an oil’s ability to withstand high temperatures than its smoke point. One measurement of an oil’s stability when heated is how much it has been refined in its manufacturing process. EVOO does not go through a refining process, which is another reason that it performs so well at high heat levels.

Additionally, the composition of an oil is another measurement of its performance. Oils with lower levels of polyunsaturated fats are more stable at high temperatures. Again, EVOO is a great choice because it has a low percentage of polyunsaturated fats.

Does an Oil’s Smoke Point Matter?

This has another straightforward answer, yes, an oil’s smoke point does matter. Most oils will provide a wide enough range of temperatures to cook most foods. However, if you do reach or exceed the smoke point of your oil, you do want to remove your pan from the heat. You definitely want to avoid causing the temperature of the oil to escalate to its flash point.

Acrolein is released when oils begin to smoke. This acid is what causes the burnt scent that you might be smelling. Once the oil has cooled off, do a taste test. You want to make sure that it doesn’t have a bitter flavor. If the oil does have that acrid smell and flavor, you should safely discard it, and start your meal prep again.

What Are the Temperature Ranges for Olive Oil?

The range of temperatures that olive oils can be used to cook with vary greatly. Extra light olive oil has a much higher smoke point than extra virgin oil olive. Since extra light olive oil has been formulated using a different process, it can withstand temperatures of more than 480 degrees. The smoke point for virgin olive oil falls between extra light and extra virgin at around 430 degrees.

While different types of olive oil provide great versatility in how you can use them because of their high smoke points, the healthiest option is extra virgin olive oil which is processed in a way that allows it to retain all of the health benefits.

There are so many great options available for extra virgin olive oil, including both fused and infused flavored options. That means one of your biggest decisions, and the most fun, is choosing the oil that tastes best in whatever dish you’re preparing.

Stop in to your local specialty shop to select ones that will complement the type of cooking that you do. Shops that sell quality olive oils will offer tastings that will help you in your selection process. If you’re still not certain which olive oil to buy, try a variety pack.

Next time you’re cooking, grab a couple of bottles to try. Sounds like it’s time to invite friends over for a tasting party! Have fun!

The History of Olive Oil

Olive oils and olives are a part of the cuisine in many homes and restaurants. For some, infusing olive oils into cooking and recipes is relatively new; other home chefs have been enjoying the delights of this ancient fruit for years.

Classified as a fruit, olives are composed of up to thirty percent oil. Its oil can vary in taste and color. Where the trees are grown, the process to extract the oil, and the ripeness of the olive are all factors in the resulting oils.

Origination of Olive Trees and Olive Oil

Findings from archeologists suggest that olive trees and olive oil may have existed as long ago as 5000 BCE. Pieces of pottery excavated in present day Israel contain evidence of olives and olive oil that supports the belief that olive oil may be up to 8,000 years old. The exact location of the first tree or grove of olive trees has not been discovered, but most scientists believe its origins are in the area of Syria, Israel, and/or sub-Saharan Africa.

Regardless of the location of the first tree, olive trees have been mentioned in literature from ancient texts and often throughout the Bible. As with its proliferation in writings from thousands of years ago, the trees themselves spread throughout the Mediterranean as trade flourished.

Records show that in ancient trading ports of 2000 BCE, olive oil was the most expensive oil traded and far more valuable than wine. Ancient Phoenicians continued spreading the propagation of olive trees with the growth of their trading routes. With the dramatic expansion of the Roman Empire, the cultivation and trade of olives, olive oil, and olive trees continued to spread.

Ancient Uses of Olive Oil

Due to its many uses, olive oil had tremendous value, which caused its rapid dissemination throughout the ancient trading pathways and the Roman Empire. Numerous rituals, civic and religious, included the use of olive oil. Kings, leaders, and warriors were anointed with olive oil to mark special occasions. Messiah means the anointed one. It was an essential part of daily life, used in cooking and providing fuel for lamps.

Many cultures refer to olives, olive oil, and olive branches. In the Old Testament of the Christian Bible, Noah receives an olive branch delivered by a dove. This was Noah’s notification that the flood was over, and he with other survivors could leave the ark. When the Jewish people had to flee from Egypt, only olive oil was permitted to light their Menorah. Today, olive oil remains the preferred method to light the candles.

Ancient Greeks believed olive oil was holy and used it in their sacred ceremonies. Preparation for burials included anointing the body of the deceased with olive oil. Ancient kings were anointed with olive oil in their coronation ceremonies. Many of the ancient religions believed that extra virgin olive oil was the only one worthy of offering to the gods. Religions of today continue to use olive oil in the anointing and consecration ceremonies.

Not only was olive oil used in burials, but olive twigs were also part of the ancient Spartan ritual. Branches created a protective foundation for the soul of the deceased. Attendees to the funeral wore crowns made from olive branches as a safeguard against evil spirits.
Ancient medical practitioners, including Hippocrates, treated over sixty known maladies with olive oil. Galen, a doctor from ancient Rome, used olive oil in his formation of cold cream. Conditions from infections to burns to sore throats were all healed with olive oil. Some people today believe that drinking olive oil each day maintains a healthy body.

Olive Oil’s Rise in Popularity and Use

Rising cholesterol levels and their corresponding medical issues in the 1980s caused concerns in the medical community. Research into contributing factors included the connection between trans fats and heart disease. These fatty acids now require labeling and in some areas are banned. Not only do trans fats increase the bad cholesterol, but they lower the good cholesterol levels in those who consume them.

Additional research from the medical community demonstrated the positive impact of a Mediterranean or Tuscan diet. Eliminating the use of killer fats with the healthier fats of olive oil was one key factor in suggested diet changes for many Americans. Medical experts touted olive oil’s role in controlling cholesterol. Data supports olive oil’s health benefits in lowering risks for heart disease, diabetes, and inflammation.

Olive Oil Production

It can be confusing to know which olive oil does what and when to use each grade. Processed without heat in the traditional method and creating a deeper flavor is cold-pressed olive oil. First cold pressed oils are more expensive, of higher quality, and healthier. It’s these oils that receive the Extra Virgin Olive Oil designation.

EVOO or Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the healthiest olive oil with vitamin E, polyphenols, and antioxidants. It is processed without any chemicals and will contain less than 0.8 percent free fatty acids. Between brands and manufacturers, the aroma, flavor, and color of the oil can and do vary. EVOO is the tastiest olive oil and makes a wonderful addition to many recipes.

Virgin Olive Oil is still a tasty olive oil with a slightly more elevated level of acidity. Sautéing and other low heat food preparation can be good uses of virgin olive oil. Virgin olive oil has a milder taste than EVOO, so it works well in recipes that the taste of the oil is not the star. Its free fatty acid levels will be less than 2.0 percent.

Refined Olive Oil has been processed through more steps than EVOO. This oil can cook foods at a high temperature, which is what refined olive oil is most useful for.

Pure Olive Oil is a blended oil created by combining extra virgin or virgin oil and refined oils. Used for cooking, massages, or skin treatments makes the best use of its qualities.

About Our Olive Oil

Here at D’Olivo Tasting Bar, we pride ourselves on only selling the highest quality of olive oil to our customers. While we’re thrilled that olive oil consumption continues to increase, we are concerned about the misleading labeling. Be sure you’re getting the most out of cooking with olive oil by purchasing the best quality products.

Visit our store in person or online, D’Olivo Tasting Bar. You will see and taste the difference between our line of olive oil and others.

Fun Ways to Cook With Olive Oil in 2023

Olive oil is a heart-healthy addition to anyone’s diet. So, most of us have a bottle or two in our pantries. Sometimes when we know a food is good for us, it doesn’t seem like it can be fun as well. Let’s change that and explore ways to have fun cooking with olive oil in 2023.

Hitting the Boards

From charcuterie boards to butter boards, olive oil has a starring role in all types of boards. For your charcuterie board, drizzle olive oil over hard cheeses. Add some freshly ground pepper to enhance the taste. Heighten the flavor intensity of fresh and soft cheeses with a delicate stream of olive oil with a pinch of sea salt.

Butter boards are not complete without a roasted head of garlic or two. Using olive oil is a great to create a rich depth of garlic flavor. Add the jam-like garlic to your butter board.
Don’t put the olive oil or your boards away, yet! To create your potato board, you will need to use your favorite olive oil to create delectable crispy potato wedges. Use different types of potatoes as the base for your potato board. Add dipping sauces of aioli and herb-infused olive oils to create a fun tasty treat.

Maybe an olive oil board is the next appetizer sensation?!

Elevating your Snacks

Movies and popcorn are a great way to spend time with family and friends. Why not use olive oil instead of less healthy oil to pop your corn? No need to melt and pour butter over your hot just popped corn, drizzle some oil and sea salt to create an easy, fun, and affordable snack. Freshly ground pepper can really bring out the depth of flavor from the olive oil.

Another snack classic whose flavors can be elevated by cooking with your favorite olive oil are chicken wings. Mix your wings in olive oil before putting them in the oven. Turn a couple of times, so the wings are crispy on both sides. Then mix hot sauce and olive oil, baste frequently. Use the rest of the sauce for tangy dipping.

Don’t Forget your Air Fryer

A fabulous addition to many kitchens is the versatile air fryer. A great way to make almost anything and make it healthier is mixing your ingredients in olive oil before adding them to the air fryer. Extra light olive oil has a high smoking point, so it is a terrific oil to use with your air fryer. From steaks to veggie chips to shrimp for tacos, all your air fried food flavors will be intensified when you use any one of your favorite oils.

Time for Dessert

Yes, even cakes, cupcakes, and cookies can be more fun if you upgrade from regular oil or butter to heathier and more tasty olive oil. When substituting butter with olive oil, you usually do not need a one-to-one ratio. Instead try .75 olive oil to 1.0 of the butter requirements. Your cakes will be moist and crumbly. Don’t forget how tasty the combination of dark chocolate, sea salt, and olive oil is, which is a great topping for your olive oil infused cake!

Enjoy experimenting and cooking with olive oil in 2023. There’s a seemingly endless combination of flavors to explore!