Olive oil is a variant plant oil used for cooking. Italian olive oil is a common additive to Italian cuisine and has become unrivaled in some regions. It is pressed from olives which yield good amounts of oil. Spain is the biggest producer through other countries such as Italy and China follow suit. So, from the many varieties, which olive oil do you choose?
- Pomace oil: This is an oil that is obtained from the processing of the thick paste left from olive oil production. After pressing the olives, not all oil is extracted. Pomace oil involves the processing of these leftovers and thus obtaining a crude form of olive oil. It is fit for human consumption but probably the lowest grade there is in the olive oil market. It can be blended for desired taste or with other oils to fit the needs of specific consumers.
- Refined Olive oil: This is a grade of olive oil that indicates further processing. It does not change the chemical properties of the olive oil. This is done with purification and filtration measures after the mechanical extraction of the oil. However, it is suited for the market since it removes certain qualities, such as color, odor, and even taste. The olive oil that is left behind is thus in its purest form and contain significantly fewer amounts of fatty acids.
- Virgin Oil: This is an oil that has been pressed from the olives without any processing. The word virgin denotes the fact that it is extracted from the olives mechanically as opposed to being processed in any other form. It has a high level of acidity at 2% and has a good strong taste.
- Lamparte Virgin Oil: Lamparte is Italian for lamp and this gives you the idea of where this oil is intended for use. Lamparte virgin olive oil is used for lighting purposes and not fit for human consumption. The extraction method leaves the oil below the consumption level grade. It can be consumed only after further extraction. The name virgin also denotes that it is only extracted only from mechanical means.
- Extra Olive Oil: This is the highest grade of virgin oil that has a low level of free acidity at 0.8%. This is the oil of choice for consumption and it is judged to have a superior taste. It lacks the characteristic odor and taste defects that might be present in ordinary virgin oil.