The olive’s fruit, also called the olive, is of major agricultural importance in the Mediterranean region as the source of olive oil.
“Olive oil” is how we refer to the oil obtained from the fruit of olive trees. People have been eating olive oil for thousands of years and it is now more popular than ever, thanks to its many proven health benefits and its culinary usefulness.
After olives are picked and washed, they’re crushed – sometimes between two big stones, but now more commonly by steel blades.
The resulting paste is stirred to release the oil droplets in a process called maceration, before being spun in a centrifuge to pull out the oil and water. After the water is removed, what is left is olive oil.
Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat and the cornerstone of the famous Mediterranean diet. Most people choose olive oil because of its many proven benefits to human health. Extra virgin olive oils offer even more: a world of fruity-bitter tastes that chefs are capturing to elevates dishes to a level they never thought possible.
Those famous health benefits and the flavor of olive oil depend on many factors, and there is a lot to learn if you’re interested in olive oil quality. Unfortunately, you can’t trust what the bottle says, and the best way to learn good olive oil from bad, is to know what to look for and learn how to taste it.