Sunday, 6 June 2010

EVO Oil - Extra Virgin Olive Oil

We can't talk about Spanish Cocina without mentioning EVO Oil. It is present in almost every Spanish recipe, including desserts. In my town most of the families own a piece of land full of olive trees, sometimes inherited from their parents. There are still families who get together to pick up the olives. My older sister's husband used to have one of those "olivares". I was hardly a teenager at that time and I didn't have much motivation to help with the labour of picking up the olives: the idea of getting up early in the morning in winter, sometimes at minus something degrees didn't seduce me too much... until my sister came to my room and whispered in my ear the gastronomic delights my mum has cooked the previous day for the ones who went to pick up the olives. I was the first one jumping into the van. I was already hungry.
Olives trees now are planted in many places around the world, including New Zealand. And you can find EVO Oil in almost every supermarket all around the world. But why is Olive Oil so popular?
  • EVO Oil tastes better than any other oil.
  • It has more Vitamin E (natural antioxidant) than others, so lasts longer.
  • And contains a high amount of monounsaturated fat, good for your heart.
"Deep frying" doesn't sound healthy but it depends on which oil are you using. And good news, deep frying using EVO Oil is actually healthy!
Why?
  • EVO Oil smoking point is 210ºC, much higher than any other edible oil and higher than the ideally temperature for frying food, 180ºC. Butter, for example, breaks down at this temperature and forms toxic products.
  • Frying in EVO Oil creates a crust on the food surface that doesn't allow the oil to penetrate into the food, making it less fatty. 
Moreover:
  • It can be reused more times than any other oils without loosing its properties and its volume increases when heated, so literally it "grows".
But remember:
  • Never mix EVO Oil with others oils when you deep fry and don't use it more than 3 times.
  • After frying, filter the oil in order to remove the possible food particles.
  • Use always enough volume of EVO Oil to cover the piece of food completely.
  • The Oil has to be always hot, 130ºC min. so that the food doesn't absorb any oil.
So all good! 
Ready for "Spanish" Fries?

2 comments:

  1. I have a question, is there a big difference between extra virgin olive oil and standard olive oil? Thanks

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  2. Hi, take a look at this (from Wikipedia)
    # Extra-virgin olive oil comes from virgin oil production only, contains no more than 0.8% acidity, and is judged to have a superior taste. Extra Virgin olive oil accounts for less than 10% of oil in many producing countries. It is used on salads, added at the table to soups and stews and for dipping.
    # Virgin olive oil comes from virgin oil production only, has an acidity less than 2%, and is judged to have a good taste.
    # Pure olive oil. Oils labeled as Pure olive oil or Olive oil are usually a blend of refined and virgin production oil.
    # Olive oil is a blend of virgin and refined production oil, of no more than 1.5% acidity. It commonly lacks a strong flavour.
    Hope this answer your question, thanks for ask!

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