Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What does 'Extra Virgin' really mean?
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is the highest quality olive oil that you can buy, and is considered to be an unrefined oil since it is not treated with chemicals or altered by temperature. It is derived from the first pressing of the olives, and may be called “extra” if it has less than 1% free oleic acid, and if it demonstrates exceptional flavour (with a light peppery finish), aroma and colour. As extra virgin olive oil is not refined, it not only preserves the pure olive taste, but also the natural vitamins, minerals, and valuable antioxidants. Simply said, extra virgin olive is “the best”.
Does Extra Virgin Olive Oil spoil?
As with any natural product, olive oil does have a shelf life and is perishable. After all, extra virgin olive oil is fresh-squeezed juice and not a refined product. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is very sensitive to light, air and heat. Thus, we take great care in ensuring that our Berbati Extra Virgin Oil stays fresh as possible when the olives are harvested and soon after crushed. The oil is stored in vacuum sealed stainless steel tanks, with no exposure to light or oxygen, and kept in a climate controlled environment.
To keep your oil fresh and to prevent the health benefits and nutrients from breaking down, we recommend the following:
- Choose olive oils that are stored in tinted containers
- Do not open the bottle until you are ready to start using it
- Store olive oil in a cool, dark place away from heat and light
- Keep your olive oil away from the stove and oven
- Always reseal your bottles securely after use to ensure limited exposure to air
- After opening a bottle of oil, use it up quickly and replace it with a fresh bottle
- Look for the expiry date on the bottle
Can you cook with Olive Oil?
Absolutely! The Mediterranean countries have traditionally been cooking with olive oil for hundreds of years. Substitute butter and other oils with your extra virgin olive oil and taste the results. Use olive oil in your baking for your bread, roasted potatoes and other recipes. Use olive oil to fry French fries or eggs. In your salad, use olive oil, salt and oregano to complete a great salad. Check out the substitution chart below for the conversion numbers between butter/margarine and olive oil.
Olive oil is an excellent and healthy alternative to butter, margarine and other refined oils. Packed with polyphenols, amino acids and healthy, monounsaturated fats, quality olive oil can be a key factor to not only establishing a balanced diet, but also to add depth and flavour to the foods you love.
What is the smoke point of Olive Oil?
Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a smoke point around 405 to 410 degrees Fahrenheit, which is well above the 350 degrees Fahrenheit that is required for most frying. If the olive oil is higher in acidity and/or contains impurities (common with lower grade, mass produced oils), the smoke point lowers to around 250-350 degrees. One reason for the lower smoke point is because of the particulate matter in the oil burning first. The alternatives (i.e. canola, soybean and corn oils) are significantly less stable, contain little to zero polyphenols and can break down into dangerous, toxic byproducts at high temperatures due to accelerated oxidation. Olive oil, coconut oil and palm oil are the most stable of all fats when heated.
Substitution Conversion Chart
|Butter or Margarine
|Extra Virgin Olive Oil
|2 + 1/4 teaspoon
|1 + 1/2 teaspoon
|1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
|1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon