What does “cold extracted” mean for our olive oils?
Bellacret olive oil is “cold extracted” – which describes oil that was obtained from processing the olive paste in a centrifuge to extract the oil from the olive fruit. This method is executed at a cold temperature without heating the paste or resulting oil at any point.
Cold extraction is the leading method of processing top-quality olive oils. This process preserves the natural flavour of the olive and the health benefits and key nutrients: essential fatty acids, vitamin E, and natural antioxidants.
Is it true that the greener the oil, the better?
Many people think that the color of the oil is a reflection of its quality. However, this is a myth. Many producers know that consumers believe this and will add olive leaves to the olive press to release the chlorophyll content, so that the oil looks greener. The color has no bearing on the quality but is more of an indication of when the olives were harvested. Olives harvested earlier in the season tend to be greener, whereas olives harvested later may be more golden. Keep in mind that different olives also exhibit different colors.
Do high quality olive oils have higher amounts of antioxidants?
It may be difficult to think of oil as having anti-inflammatory properties but olive oil does provide many health benefits. One reason is that olive oil is a fruit fat. It is not made but found within the olive, in its finished form, and extracted.
The higher the level of antioxidants in an olive oil, the healthier it is for you. There are hundreds and hundreds of different types of olive oil across the world. You may not be able to tell, but every olive oil has a very different flavour profile that ultimately translates to your food. Some are delicate and some are strong. In many countries, olive oil is the ultimate sauce. If you drizzle olive oil over any dish, depending on the quality of the oil, it can either lower the taste or heighten the flavour. In countries where olive oil is the back- bone of the food culture, olive oil is viewed as one of the most precious items. Not only is it harvested once a year, it is also used in every single meal.
Type of Container
Try to look for an olive oil in a dark or tinted glass bottle, rather than a plastic or clear glass. Any light that enters the bottle can cause the oil to photo-oxidize and taste rancid or bitter. In general, heat, air and light are the enemies of oil. To prevent olive oil from going rancid, store it in a cool, dry area, away from the stove or other hot appliances.
Is there a big difference between cooked and uncooked olive oil?
Uncooked olive oil is healthier than cooked olive oil (a chemical change occurs at its smoking point, when it essentially begins to consume itself through burning). Plus, raw oil maintains its great pure flavour, while heat and other ingredients can change the flavour of cooked oil. Our advice is to use the minimum amount needed for cooking and then garnish the dish with oil from the bottle just before serving.
Can I use olive oil that is not extra virgin?
You can, but why would you. Ask any decent Mediterranean chef–extra virgin olive oil is the only olive oil to cook with because it has no taste defects and it’s ultimately better for you (potent antioxidants; monounsaturated fats that help prevent heart disease).
Should I use extra virgin olive oil for frying?
Our answer is “yes.” Most alternative and inferior oils have been treated chemically to strip obvious defects and produce a neutral flavour. Extra virgin olive oil is pretty resistant to high temperatures and has a great taste that will most likely complement whatever you’re frying. You can use it 1-2 more times (only for frying).
Well-made extra virgin olive oil will never be dirt cheap
If an “extra virgin”(or so it says) olive oil is much more affordable than the other ones on the shelf, that’s a red flag. Artisanship takes time and money and high-quality olive oil producers have certain costs to cover before they can even start to make a profit.