Hello Everybody! Today, I wanted to talk about olive oil. It is what brings everything together and one of the most important components of the Mediterranean diet.
Without it you can’t really have a Mediterranean diet. From a culinary perspective olive oil is what provides the vegetables with so much flavor, it’s what makes it possible to consume large amounts of vegetables effortlessly and enjoy them.
From a nutrition perspective if you have bad olive oil you won’t get all the nutritional benefits it has to offer. So how do you know if olive oil is good or bad? Let’s see!
Studies have shown that many people do not know what a good olive oil is supposed to taste like. And since the majority of Mediterranean diet recipes include olive oil, it is important to know what to look for in a good olive oil. Bad or old olive oil can ruin a dish and your health. Good olive oil is important for its health benefits: old olive oil lacks those valuable antioxidants that are responsible for most of its health benefits.
In addition, have a savory breakfast with vegetables today and have at least one other meal with a vegetable dish like we talked in Day #3
You may think that you would know just by tasting if an olive oil is bad, but that is not the case, particularly when olive oil has not been part of your diet initially. A study from the University of California, Davis had found that 44% of consumers in the U.S. liked defects like rancidity, fustiness, mustiness and winey flavor in their olive oil.
Recognize if You Have Good or Bad Olive Oil
Add a small amount of olive oil (no more than 1 tablespoon) in an espresso cup or shot glass. Cover with your palm and swirl. Take a sip while sucking in some air too. Let the oil sit in the mouth spreading throughout, tasting and then swallow.
Characteristics of a Good Olive Oil
Fruity: Let’s not forget that olives are fruit, so a good olive oil needs to have some degree of fruitiness. This can come from ripe olives or unripe (green) olives. Olive oil should taste fresh, not heavy and “oily”.
Bitter: Yes, bitter is good. Bitterness is a characteristic of fresh olive oil. Olives are bitter. The degree of bitterness depends on how ripe the olive is. So, a bitter olive oil is a positive thing. However, depending on your taste you may want to find an olive oil that has a balance of fruity and bitter that you can tolerate.
Pungent: This is a peppery characteristic that you will feel at the back of your throat when you swallow the oil. You may even cough. Many people think this is bad, but it is not, it is actually of olive oil from unripe olives and of fresh olive oil. It also signifies the presence of certain antioxidants. And remember this peppery sensation should go away fairly quickly, it should not linger.
Characteristics of a Bad Olive Oil
Olive Oil should not have the following characteristics:
Fusty: This is common defect that appears when the olives are gathered in piles and may cause advanced fermentation. Fusty smells like or tastes like sweaty socks or swampy vegetation.
Musty: Basically, a moldy flavor that appears when the olives were stored for several days in a humid environment and developed yeast and fungi.
Winey-Vinegary: Exactly as it is described, no your olive oil should not taste or smell like wine. Again, this is due to fermentation of the olives.
Metallic: A taste that reminds of metal. Usually it is a result of prolonged contact with metallic surface during production but also storage.
Rancid: This is the most common defect; it is basically olive oil gone bad and you may have come across this taste when you eat old nuts or stale crackers that are made with fat.
Being aware of these defects can help in detecting some of these negative characteristics.
Now that you have an idea if what olive oil should taste like head over to these posts and learn how to buy the best olive and how to use it!
How to Buy and Use Olive Oil
5 tips that will get you the best olive oil. An insiders guide on how to buy the best olive oil.
You may have the best olive oil in the world, but that will not make any difference if you do not know how to use it correctly. Here is how to use olive oil to get maximum benefits and taste.
Good olive oil is a great addition to any kitchen, ideal for cooking, sautéing and salads, but there are so many other ways to add the goodness of olive oil to your food.
Baking with olive oil imparts another taste dimension, adds moistness and can make your desserts healthier.