Ciao, Graza!

With the arrival of Graza 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil at Boketto, we’re sharing a collection of 5 fun facts about nature’s delicious love juice, olive oil. 


If you eat high-quality olive oil, you’re guaranteeing a more painless existence.

Living longer is important, but do you want to know the best part? Olive oil has an antioxidant in it called oleocanthal, and oleocanthal mimics the effects of pain medication. It’s similar to ibuprofen.

Extra virgin olive oil is the healthiest fat worth selling. It’s full of monounsaturated fats like oleic acid and antioxidants such as vitamins E and K. All of these are brilliant for reducing inflammation, but olive oil’s nutritional superpowers only start there. Consuming olive oil reduces the risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, and early research suggests it might prevent cancer. Some doctors even use high quality olive oil to treat rheumatoid arthritis. 

 

How do you know if olive oil is high quality?

Olive oil can taste grassy or peppery, fruity or buttery, bitter, astringent, or nutty. Sometimes it’s all of those things at once. The list of adjectives goes on and on. 

Every variety of olive tastes different, and so does every olive oil. But it should always be complex and layered. If your olive oil doesn’t taste exciting by itself, it won’t taste exciting in your food. 

[ Graza Drizzle oil is special. Because it’s made with young olives, it has lots of delicate flavor compounds in it that are destroyed when it heats up. Honestly, though, Drizzle tastes so good it would be a shame to cook with it. Squeeze some on a summer tomato. You’ll see what we mean. ]

 

Contrary to popular belief, extra virgin olive oil has a pretty high smoke point.

Have you heard you should’t cook with olive oil? That's because of the “smoke point” or the temperature at which an oil burns— and when it starts to taste acrid. Luckily, even if you exceed an oil’s smoke point, it’s totally safe to eat unless you’re reusing the oil several times. So as long as you’re not operating a fast-food spot, you should be fine.

Besides... Italians have been pouring EVOO on pizzas baked in 900℉ ovens for centuries. It’s safe to say, in your home kitchen can use it to do just about anything.

[ Graza Sizzle oil’s smoke point is technically 410℉. Thanks to the super stable Picual olive, Sizzle was born for the heat. If you would put it in or on top of an oven, use Sizzle. Chicken Cutlets, Sheet Pan Veggies, Fried Rice, or even Chocolate Chip Cookies! ]

 

Light, heat, and especially oxygen are the enemies of excellent olive oil.

Despite this, most olive oil comes in glass bottles, so you can see what you’re getting. That might look great on a shelf, but even a tinted clear bottle lets light get in, and a cap you have to remove invites oxygen to the party. 

Got a glass bottle of oil in your pantry? Don’t panic, just store it right, use it up quickly, and you should be fine. Store your olive oil in a cool, dry place far from the stove, bonus points if it’s dark. If you have a cave handy, that would be ideal. Or, you know, a cabinet works too.  

[ This is another reason why we love Graza. Their oils come in an opaque, squeezable bottle with a cap that you never need to take off. Chefs have been using squeeze bottles in their kitchens for quite some time, and we think that life in the kitchen is a whole lot better with plenty of squeezing. ]

 

“Extra virgin” is just a fancy term for the first pressing.

But to be certified extra virgin, the oil needs to have an ‘excellent flavor and odor’ and undergo testing to ensure it contains precisely what the producer says it does.

[ Graza olive oils are certified extra virgin in Spain, which means it meets some incredibly exacting standards. ]

 

The best olive oil is the freshest olive oil, regardless of its origin.

To choose the best, find out how recently the olives were picked. Go to your kitchen right now, and check out your olive oil. Does it say when it was bottled? That doesn’t matter. Look again. See a “best by” date? That might mean something, but probably not. If the bottle tells you when the olives were picked, that means you can trust it to be delicious. That date is called a harvest date, and ideally, you should purchase olive oil within a year of harvest. 

That’s because real extra virgin olive oil (yeah, there’s lots of fake stuff out there) is essentially cold-pressed juice that’s been separated from the rest of the olive using a specialized mixing process called malaxation. Because it’s a raw product, extra virgin oil starts changing the moment it comes off the tree. 

[ Graza is transparent about its sourcing— it’s picked, pressed and bottled exclusively from one farm in the Sierra de Cazorla mountains in Jaen, Spain. That farm only grows picual olives, an incredible, hand-harvested variety that rarely leaves Spain. ]

   

Discover more about our newest obsession, Graza Squeezy Single Origin Olive Oils.

 

 

FAQs originally published at graza.com