Olive oils have become a household name of late. From being used in cooking to finding its application in body care it even has uses that you can never think of. Olive oils are a rich, beautiful and fragrant species of oil. The many components that contribute to the making of the oils can be varied and hence a variety of olive oils are available.
Now, you as a customer should always know, which one should be your pick according to your needs because the supermarkets’ shelves are flooded with all sorts of olive oils. Just by looking at the bottle you will not be able to judge the efficiency and usage of particular olive oil and hence some beforehand knowledge will be extremely beneficial for selecting best olive oils for cooking.
The variety of olive oil depend mainly on the following factors: –
- Location and soil conditions where the olives were grown
- Environmental factors and weather during the growing season
- Olive ripeness
- Timing of the harvest
- Harvesting method
- Length of time between the harvest and pressing
- Pressing technique
- Packaging and storage methods
Types of Olive oil for cooking
1. Virgin olive oils
Now, virgin Olive oils these days are very easily available in markets throughout the world. But do you know, that even these virgin olive oils can be further classified into three categories: –
2. Premium extra virgin olive oil
These oils are the finest. They are extracted directly from olives by grinding which preserves the natural taste and aroma. This method of extracting olive oil is known commonly as ‘cold pressing’. They are the least acidic and hence can be used uncooked in dishes. Their natural taste and aroma will make your dish delicious and healthy at the same time They can be used in dips, salads or other condiments. You can use it for all forms of savory cooking, including sautéing, stir-frying, roasting and marinating.
3. Extra virgin olive oil
They are an inferior version of the premium extra virgin olive oils with a subtle golden green hue with a little peppery flavor. They are slightly more acidic than premium one. They are suitable to be used uncooked owing to their fruity flavor or they can be used as well for a slight stir.
4. Virgin olive oil
These variety of olive oils are designed for cooking, frying. They are not suitable to be consumed uncooked as they are acidic. it’s great for savory cooking and adds flavor and depth to a dish.
Extra-light olive oil
For this oil, the term “light” does not apply to its nutritional makeup but rather to the oil’s color, texture and flavor. It is best for baking and savory cooking at very high temperatures.
Hence all in all olive oils can be used for a variety of cooking purpose some of which are:
- PASTA AND SALADS: Bitter olive oils added in right amount can enhance the taste of a pasta or salad.
- MARINADES: Marinating food with olive oils can be very healthy.
- POST COOKING DEPTH AND FLAVOUR
- SIDES AND APPETIZERS: Topping of olive oils on appetizers can make it all the more delicious. Its aroma can make the appetizers more appealing.
- SAUCES: Olive oils make extremely favorable and healthy sauces of all kinds.
There are no specific price quotations for olive oils. It can vary from brand to brand and region to region. The premium ones are the costliest. However, one thing you have to be careful about is that if the oil seems to cheap then there are high chances that it is actually not the pure oil rather it is just a refined version with lots of additives. Such oils can be extremely unhealthy. As a customer, you need to make sure that you do not compromise on the quality of the oil because there is no upper limit for prices of olive oils.
BEST OLIVE OIL FOR COOKING
Here is the list of few of the best olive oil for cooking that are available in India.
1. Borges Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Borges Extra Virgin Olive Oil is one of the best olive oils for cooking. The Food grade olive oil is made by the cold extraction process. This means that there are no chemicals involved during the extraction of this olive oil. The product is packaged and manufactured in Spain. Spanish olives are regarded as the best to extract the oil. You can use this to prepare your everyday cooking and also for salads and dressings.
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2. Bertolli Olive Oil
This olive oil is perfect for frying, grilling and sautéing. It has a mild taste and Aroma which gives you the best taste in your everyday cooking. The all is a bit expensive than most of the other olive oils available but by far is one of the best olive oils because the brand is really old and is trustworthy. Oil is also stable at high-temperature cooking like for frying and deep frying.
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3. Cesar Olive Pomace Oil
This oil is also perfect for daily cooking requirements and for body massage. It is made and manufactured in Spain. As I mentioned above, Spain is a place where the best olive oil is made. Packaging wise too it is quite user-friendly as it is packaged in a plastic pet bottle. The oil is comparatively cheaper than the other options I have listed.
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4. Figaro Olive Oil Tin
Figaro is one of the most popular Olive oils in India. The oil which is also called as jaitun ka tel has been used since ages for baby massage, skin care, hair care and also for cooking. Most of the Indian people are pretty aware of this brand. It is a hundred percent vegetarian product and is edible in nature. The one-liter pack is packaged in a tin box. This may not be very useful as when you try to pour the oil it may spill out. Otherwise, the oil is wonderful for cooking. This is refined olive oil.
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Now if you are switching to olive oils especially for health reasons then, the right choice will be premium extra virgin olive oils. The greatest health benefit in olive oil comes from its antioxidant nature. It is good for heart, cholesterol and digestive purpose. It is also linked to cutting down depression and increasing brain health.
However, you should also be aware of the fact that it is the same antioxidants that will add bitterness to the oil. Hence it might interfere with your food taste, therefore, one should be careful about the amount of olive oil used.