Monday, May 18, 2015

Everything you ever wanted to know about olive oil

First, it's yuh-um!

According to the Institute of Food Technologists, the olive tree is native to the Mediterranean basin--oil was produced as early as 4000 years BC.

Olive oil is not only a food, but medicine, lamp fuel, soap and skin softener.

Olives are shaken out of the trees with special vibrations.

Spain is the largest olive oil producer--followed by Italy and Greece. It is also produced in AZ, TX, GA, FL, OR, and HI.

A range of types of olives are used to produce oils of different flavors.

The term"virgin" means produced with no chemicals.

Extra virgin is the highest quality--followed by virgin, refined, and olive pomace oil.

Pomace and vegetative water--coproducts of production--are being explored as foods and cosmetic ingredients.

A while back, I was invited on a press trip to Majorca off the coast of Spain to a conference on olive oil. The dinners and buffets featured a staggering array of olives of every type. Platter after platter--every color imaginable.

Consuming the polyphenols and other factors in olive oil has been credited with helping prevent breast and other cancers.

This is making me hungry.

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