Reasons to consume olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil is a unique ingredient. Even Thomas Jefferson spoke about the olive as “the most delicious gift from Heaven” and he was not wrong.
The properties of olive oil are related to health benefits. The higher quality of the olive oil we consume, the more health benefits we obtain. And its quality depends on the properties of each of the olive oils that exist on the market.
Higher quality extra virgin olive oils are the ones made in Andalucia. Andalucia is also the largest oil producer globally.
The properties of olive oil are determined by three factors. The first is the olive variety used to make it. The second is the way the oil is processed. Lastly, the procedures used to store it also take into account its properties. So not all olive oils are of identical quality or properties.
We have different types of olive oil depending on the way it is processed: extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), which is the highest quality oil, virgin olive oil and olive oil, among others.
Some properties of olive oil are to a large extent determined by the type of olive used for its production. In the case in its flavour, it is one of the organoleptic properties of olive oil, along with the aroma and colour.
The olive varieties that can be used to obtain olive oil are many. The most well-known and widely used ones in Andalucia include the picual, hojiblanca and lechín olives. Each one is grown in different provinces of Andalucia.
Oil production in Andalucia
Andalucia is the cradle of the olive and since time immemorial has been one of the largest areas of production of this delicacy. In recent years, practically 70% of domestic oil production has been done in this community.
Within Andalucia, the province that produces the most is Jaén, with almost 400,000 tonnes or what represents 40% of production in our community, followed by Córdoba, Seville and Granada.
Furthermore, Andalucia is home to more than 300 of the 600 olive oil plants that exist in Spain. The countries that receive our oil include Italy, USA and France.
10 health benefits of olive oil
To obtain the most benefits from consuming olive oil, select the highest quality one: extra virgin olive oil. Try the ones made with different olive varieties and choose the one whose flavour you most like, from the bitterest fruity ones to the sweetest ones, via the ones with a slight almond aftertaste.
Different scientific studies have concluded that consuming olive oil reports numerous health benefits. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, among others, help to prevent numerous cardiovascular and other diseases.
Here is a list of 10 benefits of consuming olive oil:
- It reduces bad cholesterol in the blood.
- It lowers blood pressure.
- It improves diabetes control.
- It reduces the tendency towards the formation of thrombosis.
- It has anti-inflammatory effects.
- It helps to prevent cancer.
- It slows down cell ageing.
- In pregnancy, it promotes good foetal development.
- It promotes calcium absorption and therefore good bone condition.
- It lowers the risk of having different cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.
Where to buy the best extra virgin olive oils
You will get the most olive oil properties beneficial to health by consuming extra virgin olive oil. Here are some establishments where you can choose from a select range of brands of this liquid green gold.
Buying cooperative olive oil directly
Extra virgin olive oil is one of the most widely used products, since it is the main ingredient in our diet. This is why it is always in Andalucian cuisine.
For this reason, one of the best options for buying this liquid gold is to purchase olive oil directly from the cooperative or from the oil mill where the farmers themselves bring their olives to produce it.
At these places, you can also choose from different formats from 5 litres to 250 mL (ideal for gifting).
- Dcoop Carretera de Los Corrales s/n – Navarredonda, 41650 El Saucejo (Sevilla) – Google Maps
- SCA COOPERATIVA SAN BENITO C/Extramuros s/n, 29320 Campillos (Málaga) – Google Maps
- Oleoestepa Calle El Olivo, s/n. Apartado 90, 41.560 Estepa (Sevilla) – Google Maps
How to consume extra virgin olive oil?
EVOO is one of the most widely used and consumed products globally due to its high number of benefits and above all its versatility.
There is little to add to this because who has never enjoyed a toast with a good olive oil? It quite a delicacy.
Salmorejos y gazpachos
In addition to consuming raw (natural) oil on toasts, we can also consume it or rather use it in the preparation of traditional recipes like salmorejo or gazpacho. Given that it depends on the type of oil you use, it will have a more or less intense flavour.
Salads and dressings
Here it is clear that depending on the type of salad we are going to eat or “cook”, the ideal oil would be a certain type.
Extra virgin olive oil for frying
Extra virgin olive oil is a product that perfectly bears high temperatures, however it is true that when subjected to intense heat, its nutritional properties change which is why it is said that fried food are unhealthy.
While of course, like everything in life, balance is key, even if it is not recommended, who doesn’t like a lovely piece of fried fish?
Curiosities about olive oil
Why is the oil called “extra virgin”?
The “virgin” denomination indicates that the extraction process is carried out only using mechanical methods, without solvents.
The best containers
The best containers are not, as was previously thought, terracotta, but rather opaque glass or stainless steel, since these prevent the oxidation of chlorophyll, which is responsible for the oil having such a characteristic green colour.
Whey do professional tasters use a blue glass?
So as not to see the colour of the oil and not be influenced by the colour, since this does not influence its quality.
Approximately 90% of the olives picked globally are used to make oil and only the remaining 10% are allocated for eating.
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