What types of flavored extra virgin olive oil are there?
There are three main types of Extra Virgin Olive Oil available.
Infused Olive Oils
When to use and not use.
Infused olive oils are made by blending the flavor into the olive oil after it is produced. It can be very hard to blend the flavor, to achieve an intense taste. The same batch of spices is used to blend the flavor into numerous bottles. As a result, there will be a variation from bottle to bottle. Bottles blended at the beginning of the process will have a more intense seasoning. Bottles blended at the end will have a more subtle taste.
When used for cooking, the flavor in infused oils can actually cook right out. So if your aim is to cook with oil that has a profound effect on the palate, it will be a miss. If you want to cook with a flavored olive oil, we recommend either crushed or dipping.
Whether you receive one of the first bottles to be infused or one of the last, the flavor in the bottles diminishes and degrades over time. The shelf life of infused oils in and of themselves even, is not typically very long. Infused olive oils have a natural shelf life of only one month. When made commercially, chemical preservatives are added to combat this problem. These companies also utilize chemical preservatives and salt, to keep the oil stable and to prevent bacterial growth.
Crushed Olive Oils
Taste profile and nutrition.
Crushed olive oils are exactly what they sound like; they are crushed. If the oil being made is lime olive oil, then the limes are “crushed” or pressed with and at the same time as the olives. Crushed olive oil has more of a buttery taste as opposed to a peppery kick, because mature olives are used. This is done so that the crushed flavor can more easily overpower the flavor of the oil. While this may result in a more pronounced lime flavor, nutrients are lost and the polyphenol antioxidants are not as rich.
The shelf life of crushed oils is much longer than that of infused. Crushed olive oil can only be made during the end of the harvest season in December; when the olives would be matured. If you are going to purchase a bottle of crushed olive oil, we recommend you do so at the beginning of the new year. This way it is more likely to be fresh and have a shelf life of approximately two years. If there is no batch number or production date, most companies will put a best by date on their bottle. While we love the flavor that a crushed olive oil can bring, our focus at The Golden Leaf is fresh whole food gourmet nutrition.
Dried Spices or Dipping Oils
The in bottle difference.
Here at The Golden Leaf we are big on all natural. We insist on it. It is frustratingly hard to find products and companies that do not add chemicals, preservatives, syrups, sugars and other harmful ingredients. Nothing beats the real thing in both taste and health and we have developed the platform of our business around that motto. Our balsamic vinegars are made with flavor concentrated freeze-dried fruits and dried spices; supplanting the need for both chemical preservatives for shelf life and added sugars for flavor.
Our olive oils are made with their own set of dried spices in every bottle. No infusion which loses flavor over time or has a painfully short shelf life without preservation. With real dried spices in the bottle, our extra virgin olive oils actually becomes more flavorful with time, not less. Our extra virgin olive oil has very potent flavor, from a plethora of individual spices in each bottle.
With this method, less is more. You don’t need to use very much of it to add flavor while cooking and you can’t cook the flavor out of it. When using the olive oil as a glaze or garnish, again less is more. Drizzle it over food, add a dash for cooking or simply use it for dipping; adding real pieces of sun dried tomato and roasted garlic to your baguette. This extra virgin olive oil is so flavorful that only a dash is needed to add flavor and a savory finish to each dish.
Once you are finished using the bottle, store it in a cool dry place away from sunlight. A cabinet or cupboard is the perfect spot. With no life-shortening infusions or chemical preservatives, it will keep for the shelf life of the olive oil or two years and actually retain more flavor with each passing day.
Our Sicilian Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a very healthy option. The Frantoio, Leccino and Rajo olives are handpicked and harvested just before they are ripe, to maximize both flavor and taste. Vital nutrients such as polyphenols, which are also rich in antioxidants, are maximized as well. Polyphenol rich, fresh olive oil has a distinctive peppery kick and is full of heart healthy Omega 3