Bel Aria - Grapeseed Oil - 500ml
Olive Oil Use and Care
Caring for Your Olive Oil
What is olive oil?
Olive oil is the oil extracted from olives (Olea europaea L). The olives are harvested, sorted, cleaned and mashed into a paste. The paste is then gently warmed and mixed (called malaxation) which begins the process of separating solid material from liquid. A centrifuge process is used to remove the solids from the liquids and finally another centrifuge process separating the water from the oil. For traditional Olio Nuovo, the oil is bottled right away without decanting, so the solids are suspended in the oil. Most other oil will be decanted or filtered prior to bottling.
Does olive oil get better with age?
Generally speaking, olive oil does not get better with age but if you don’t like the intensity of really fresh oil, it will soften with time. Ideally, olive oil should be consumed within a year of its harvest date, but if stored well, some oils maintain very good flavor even after 2 years. The best oils will clearly display a harvest date. If your bottle of olive oil doesn't have a harvest date, consider that "Best Before" dates can vary from bottle to bottle, though most provide 18 months from harvest.
How should I store my olive oil?
There are a few simple rules and one simple trick that will help you make sure you are storing your olive oil well.
- Olive oil oxidizes on its own with time, so the first thing is to be sure you are dealing with a fresh bottle of oil.
- Light and heat will increase the rate of oxidation dramatically. For this reason, try to buy olive oil in a opaque container and store it in a dark cupboard away from the heat of your stove or any other heat source (radiators, refrigerator etc…)
- The more convenient place for your olive oil is near at hand, close to your stove where you do your cooking! The trick is to find a small opaque container that doesn’t conduct heat (no more than 250ml). You can keep that bottle in a spot close at hand when cooking so only a small amount of the oil is exposed to heat. Refill the smaller container as needed from your well-kept bottle in the cupboard. Just remember to periodically clean out the smaller container so that you don’t pour good oil into some dregs from years passed.
Is olive oil good for you?
Olive oil is a great fat to use in the kitchen and is a healthful alternative to butter. Lower in saturated fats and having no cholesterol gets high marks for healthful eating. It has been identified as a core element of the Mediterranean diet which has been the subject of much study showing improved health outcomes. It's still a fat, and it behaves differently than butter when used in cooking or baking, so work with it and find your favorite uses in your own kitchen.
How do I use olive oil?
Our favorite olive oils are made from olives that create a beautiful balance of flavors and aromas. These aromas, flavors, and health benefits can be destroyed or altered when the oil is heated. The very best olive oils should be used fresh from the bottle rather than heated. If you want to cook with olive oil, we suggest finding an inexpensive, filtered, yet tasty oil. Unfiltered oils can contain minuscule solids, which lower the smoke point of the oil. When sauteing or frying with olive oil, aim for about 356F.
Apart from the standard use in salad dressings, some particularly good combinations are a drizzle of strong tasting olive oil over fresh buffalo mozzarella, or over grilled steak with a touch of lemon juice or a drizzle over grilled fish with a sprinkle of coarse sea salt.
Can I substitute olive oil for butter?
If you want to work with olive oil when baking, you will likely want a milder olive oil so it doesn't dominate. As a butter substitute, start with the conversion of 1 tablespoon butter = 2 ¼ teaspoons olive oil and adjust over a few different recipes to find the taste and texture you want.