Calories per tablespoon: 119
Total fat: 13.5g
Saturated fat: 1.82g
Vitamin E: 4% Daily Value
Olive oil comes from California, France, Greece, Italy and Spain.
All olive oils are graded in accordance with the degree of acidity
they contain. The best are cold-pressed, a chemical-free process
that involves only pressure, which produces a natural level of low
Extra virgin olive oil, the cold-pressed result of the first
pressing of the olives, is only 1 percent acid. It's considered the
finest and fruitiest of the olive oils and is therefore also the
most expensive. Extra virgin olive oil can range from a crystalline
champagne color to greenish-golden to bright green. In general, the
deeper the color, the more intense the olive flavor. After extra
virgin, olive oils are classified in order of ascending acidity.
Virgin olive oil is also a first-press oil, with a slightly higher
level of acidity of between 1 and 3 percent.
Fino olive oil is a blend of extra virgin and virgin oils (fino is
Italian for "fine"). Products labeled simply olive oil (once called
pure olive oil ) contain a combination of refined olive oil and
virgin or extra virgin oil.
Light olive oil contains the same amount of beneficial
monounsaturated fat as regular olive oil and has exactly the same
number of calories. Light" refers to an extremely fine filtration
process and this olive oil is lighter in both color and fragrance.
It's rather nondescript flavor makes "light" olive oil good for
baking and cooking. The filtration process for the light-style oil
also gives it a higher smoke point than regular olive oil. Light
olive oils can be used for high-heat frying, whereas regular olive
oil is better suited for low to medium-heat cooking, as well as for
salad dressings and marinades.
Olive oil can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months. It
can be refrigerated and last up to a year. Chilled olive oil becomes
cloudy and too thick to pour. However, it will clear and become
liquid again when brought to room temperature.
Olive oil is obtained from the pulp of olives by separating the
liquids from solids. To make the finest, or extra-virgin olive oil,
the fruit is gathered when fully ripened, ground to a paste under
granite or steel millstones, layered over straw mats, and pressed in
a hydraulic press. Today, most olive oil is produced by just one
pressing. The resulting oil is separated from the juice by settling
or by centrifuge and then filtered. Olive oil of good quality is
ready to use, without further refinement.
Although olive oil is chiefly used as a food or in food
preservation, it is also used in soaps, certain pharmaceuticals, and