Leyendas del AOVE
• There are two types of olives, green and black. Untrue: there are neither solely green nor solely black olives – there is only one type. In fact, all olive varieties are green in the early stages of development, and then during the ripening process they become darker until eventually they are black in colour.
• There is only one variety of olive: Not at all: there are hundreds of different varieties of olive. An extra virgin olive oil can be made from just one individual variety of olive, in which case it is calles “single variety”, or it may be a blend of several varieties, and thenit will be called a “coupage” (or a blend).
• First milling/First pressing: In the case of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), the olives are picked, then they are milled and the juice is extracted… and that, quite simply, is it. For EVOO, the olives go through the process just the once, hence to talk of a “first” milling erroneously leads us to believe that the process is repeated more times (the same is true of “first” pressing, although it should be pointed out that that olive pressing is vastly less common than olive milling).
• Extraction by mechanical means: To classify as extra virgin, an olive oil can ONLY be extracted by mechanical means. In the EVOO category, no other method of extracting the oil is permitted. Empahsising this aspect may lead consumers to believe that the EVOO in question is of higher quality than those extracted by other means, when in fact all EVOO’s are extracted by mechancal means only.
• Olives are harvested when they are falling off the trees: this may well be a harvesting method, but it is certainly not one used for olives destined to produce a quality EVOO! In this case, the olives are usually picked directly off the trees, early in the season and at the optimum moment of ripening. Harvesting may be done solely by hand or with the aid of different mechanical tools .
• If an EVOO is bitter, spicy and peppery, it is not good: The bitterness and pepperiness found in good quality EVOO’s are caused by the presence of polyphenols in the oil, substances which are particularly beneficial to our health. In most cases, the higher the amount of polyphenols in the oil, the more bitter and spicy you can expect them to be.
• If an EVOO is NOT bitter, spicy and peppery, it is not good: Once again, how wrong! Although we have explained that the presence of bitter and peppery attributes in an EVOO are synonymous with healthy oils, this does not mean to say that those EVOO’s which do not have these properties are bad quality. Some olive varieties produce high quality EVOO’s which have the usual range of significant nutritional properties, but whose specific polyphenol content may be lower, hence the oil may be less bitter and spicy. Nonetheless, these EVOO’s maintain their levels of other nutritional components.
• The words “Extra Virgin Olive Oil” are always synonymous with high quality: Unfortunately this is not the case! The rules are such that a vast, huge number of oils are allowed into this category, and hence the range extends from the very, very best to more humble, ess deserving examples.
• Seed oils are better for frying: Untrue! When frying, one of the most important aspects to bear in mind is the so-called “smoke point”. This is the temperature at which the oil starts to produce smoke and at which its chemical composition changes – it begins to produce harmful substances. Extra Virgin Olive Oil definitely has a higher smoke point that seed oils, and is therefore more suitable for frying.
Please help us to spread these facts and raise awareness about the true nature of Extra Virgin Olive Oil…