The world of olive oil is a rapidly growing industry, and as it grows it can become difficult for the average consumer to be knowledgeable about everything. That’s where we come in – we want to help break down the vast world of olive oil into easy to understand and easy to digest pieces of information. This month we’re tackling a delicious olive oil fact – what is flavored olive oil.
What Makes Olive Oil Extra Virgin?
Not all olive oil is created equal, and in fact, most reputable people in the industry will tell you that extra virgin olive oils are the top of the line when it comes to oils. The reason that they’re at the top can be attributed to many different factors – not the least of which is the health benefits they offer. From anti-inflammatory properties to diabetes prevention olive oils are a great option for everyone but especially those looking for ways to improve their overall health.
However, in order to earn the designation as extra virgin, the oil must be made from the first cold pressing of the olives. The cold pressing method is an extraction method that does not use heat or chemicals to remove the oil and ensures that all of the healthy properties of the olive fruit remain intact and transfer to the oil itself.
What Is Flavored Olive Oil
A flavored olive oil is an oil that has had a flavor, say lemon or rosemary, added to it. There are two primary methods used to add these flavors which are fused and infused.
Fused olive oils are those where the flavor is extracted directly from the fruit, herb, or other plant at the same time as the olive oil is pressed. The method keeps the essential oils and flavors of the fruit or plant suspended in the oil, while the pulp, stems, seeds, water, and rinds are discarded with the olive pulp.
Infused olive oils use exactly that – an infusing method of flavor transfer. The process here involves adding the flavor to the oil after it’s already been made. This can involve the soaking of the herb or fruit in the oil itself in order to infuse it with the desired flavor.
Understanding Flavored Oils
As we mentioned above, extra virgin olive oils are the best and in order to ensure quality, the USDA requires strict standards for oils that are labeled as extra virgin. In fact, oils that have any kind of additive – like flavor – cannot technically be classified as extra virgin and must instead simply be labeled olive oil.
While this can often deter customers from purchasing flavored oils, at D’Olivo all of our fused and infused flavored olive oils begin with an ultra-premium extra virgin olive oil base, ensuring that you get all the of the desired health benefits of extra virgin olive oil while also getting to enjoy and explore all of our flavored varieties.
We encourage everyone who hasn’t had a chance to explore the great selection of our flavored oils to come in and taste through the options and pairings. You’re sure to find several that you love and they are a great way to add flavor and depth to any of your favorite dishes.