Did you know that not all olive oil is equal? It’s not all the same quality? You can have several different brands of extra virgin olive oil and they can all be different. Even I didn’t know this, until recently. And I cook a lot with extra virgin olive oil!
Here are a few fun facts about extra virgin olive oil:
- Did you know that the flavor and color of extra virgin olive oil can vary depending on what time of year it’s harvested?
- The region, due to soil composition, will also have an impact on the color and taste too.
- Olives harvested early in the season, late August (varies by region), are under-ripe and produce oils that are greener, more
bitter and pungent.
- Olives harvested at the end of the season, late November into December, are over-ripe and tend to taste mild and buttery.
There is even an impact depending on where in Europe your trees are grown! Olive trees in Spain produce an oil that is typically golden yellow with a fruity, nutty flavor. Trees in Italy produce olive oil that is often dark green and has an herbal aroma and a grassy flavor. Greek olive oil packs a strong flavor and aroma and tends to be green. While trees grown in France produce an oil that is typically pale in color and has a mild flavor. That’s a big difference!
So, you really need to read those labels and choose an oil that is going to work well with your meal idea. Think of all the twists you can add to meals now! By just changing the origin of your extra virgin olive oil you can change the flavor of the meal.
I’ve been using Zucchi Extra Virgin Olive Oil for the past few weeks and I must admit I can tell the difference. I use extra virgin olive oil nearly every day to help grill or roast vegetables and since I switched over to Zucchi I am enjoying a lighter, fresh flavor than before.
Zucchi is different than my other oils I had been using. First, Zucchi is a family owned company that has been around for 200-years! Several generations of the Zucchi family have worked in the company. They are committed to creating the highest quality oils by sourcing from only the top olive oil growers and blending their oils in an artisanal manner. Zucchi’s difference can be found in their upscale taste, quality, traceability (with QR code) and the Italian Art of Blending. Find out more at www.zucchi.com/us
My absolute favorite vegetable in the summer is asparagus. I love to take a bunch, place it in tinfoil then drizzle Zucchi extra virgin olive oil on it. Then I fold up the packet and roast alongside my chicken for 35-40 minutes at 350 in the oven. The asparagus comes out perfect every single time. Then I just sprinkle a little salt and pepper and it’s ready to be enjoyed. Each spear is tender and melts in my mouth.
I also have a few tips on storing your favorite extra virgin olive oil too –
- Store in a dark cool place. Never on your counter top or near a stove.
- Use within 6 months of opening
- Keep lid on tight
- Use your oil within 18 months of purchasing
I used to buy a big bottle of extra virgin olive and keep it on the kitchen counter. Not anymore! I will be reading my labels and picking up some different oils based on where they are from. I can’t wait to experiment and see how they bring out new flavors in my meals! You can learn more about extra virgin olive oil and even try out new recipes at Flavor Your Life.