The Classy Cruet olive oils are super premium extra virgin olive oils (EVOOs), harvested from expert growers from across the northern and southern hemisphere. EVOO intensity will be described mild, medium or robust. Our infused olive oils start with an mild or medium EVOO and then are infused with a natural herb, spice or fruit product.
What is olive oil?
Olive oil is a fat obtained from the fruit of the Olea europaea (olive tree), a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean region, California and in the Southern Hemisphere, where whole olives are pressed to produce olive oil. The oil is used in cosmetics, medicine, cooking and soaps, and was also used as a fuel for traditional lamps. Although originating in the Mediterranean countries, today it is used worldwide. Greece has the highest olive oil intake per person in the world. Greeks consume, on average, 24 liters per-person-per-year, Spaniards and Italians consume about 15 and 13 liters-per-person-per year, respectively. The use of olive oils in the United States is growing, but on average, no where near the consumption of the Mediterranean populations.
What is Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
Extra virgin is the highest quality and most expensive olive oil classification. It should have no defects and a flavor of fresh olives. Fresh EVOO is best if harvested in Oct in the northern hemisphere and in May in the southern hemisphere. Early fresh EVOO will have its best natural taste and highest nutritional value, demonstrated as the healthiest fat to consume with 73% monounsaturated fats. Over time, EVOO will oxidate with exposure to air by losing its flavor, taste and nutritional value, so it is best to store in stainless steel for up to 2 years or in dark green bottles for up to 9-12 months. Storage should also be away from heat or direct light.
In chemical terms extra virgin olive oil is described as having a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.8 grams per 100 grams and a peroxide value of less than 20 milliequivalent O2. The best premium EVOO will have free fatty acid as low as 0.1 – 0.2% which will have a low smoke point and can be used for cooking at temperatures up to 425 degrees. The first press EVOO must be produced entirely by mechanical means without the use of any solvents, and under temperatures that will not degrade the oil (less than 86°F, 30°C). In order for an oil to qualify as “extra virgin” the oil must also pass both an official chemical test in a laboratory and a sensory evaluation by a trained tasting panel recognized by the International Olive Council. The olive oil must be found to be free from defects while exhibiting some fruitiness.
Since extra virgin olive oil is simply pressed fruit juice without additives, the factors influencing its quality and taste include the varieties of olives used, the location grown and the countless decisions, production practices and the dedication of the producer.
Olive oil tasters describe the positive attributes using the following terms:
Fruity: Having pleasant spicy fruit flavors characteristic of fresh ripe or green olives. Ripe fruit yields oils that are milder, aromatic, buttery, and floral. Green fruit yields oils that are grassy, herbaceous, bitter, and pungent. Fruitiness also varies by the variety of olive.
Bitter: Creating a mostly pleasant acrid flavor sensation on the tongue.
Pungent: Creating a peppery sensation in the mouth and throat
HEALTH BENEFITS OF OLIVE OIL
The health benefits of fresh olive oil are extensive with new positive attributes discovered all the time.
In addition to bolstering the immune system and helping to protect against viruses, olive oil has also been found to be effective in fighting against diseases such as:
Cancer: The phytonutrient in olive oil, oleocanthal, mimics the effect of ibuprofen in reducing inflammation, which can decrease the risk of breast cancer and its recurrence. Squalene and lignans are among the other olive oil components being studied for their possible effects on cancer.
Heart Disease: Olive oil helps lower levels of blood cholesterol leading to heart disease.
Oxidative Stress: Olive oil, especially EVOO, is rich in antioxidants, especially vitamin E, long thought to minimize cancer risk. Among plant oils, olive oil is the highest in monounsaturated fat, which doesn’t oxidize in the body, and it is low in polyunsaturated fat, the kind that does oxidize.
Blood Pressure: Recent studies indicate that regular consumption of olive oil can help decrease both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Diabetes: It has been demonstrated that a diet that is rich in olive oil, low in saturated fats, moderately rich in carbohydrates and soluble fiber from fruit, vegetables, pulses and grains is the most effective approach for diabetics. It helps lower “bad” low-density lipoproteins while improving blood sugar control and enhances insulin sensitivity.
Obesity: Although high in calories, olive oil has shown to help reduce levels of obesity.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: Although the reasons are still not fully clear, recent studies have proved that people with diets containing high levels of olive oil are less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoporosis: A high consumption of olive oil appears to improve bone mineralization and calcification. It helps calcium absorption and so plays an important role in aiding sufferers and in preventing the onset of Osteoporosis