1. Food
Send to a Friend via Email

Video:Guide to Olive Oil

with Steve Geffner

Olive oil is a big part of Greek cooking, and there are a few different types of olive oil with different uses. This video from About.com will give you an overview of the different types of olive oil.See Transcript

  • All Videos
  • All Food Videos
  • Greek Food Videos

Transcript:Guide to Olive Oil

In this video, you will learn about olive oil.

Greece has a long history as one of the world's foremost olive oil producers. Greek olive oil is considered by many to be some of the world's finest. Approximately 70% of olive oil made in Greece is "extra virgin"; that is, most oils produced in Greece are made without chemical additives and are harnessed from the first pressing of the olives.

Types of Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil is considered the finest of any olive oil grade. It has an acidity level of 0.8% and lower, a distinctly bitter flavor, and an excellent aroma.

Virgin olive oil, though also produced using the first pressing of olives, is a lesser grade olive oil. Though the quality is lessened and the acidity can reach 2%, virgin olive oil can have a wonderful flavor and a nice aroma.

Another grade of olive oil is sometimes labeled simply as "olive oil," "pure olive oil," or "light olive oil." This olive oil is the result of combining poor quality, refined olive oil with a small percentage of higher quality extra virgin or virgin olive oils. For this kind, chemicals are used to treat the oils, resulting in disruption to the natural olive flavors.

Because "pure" or "light" olive oils carry more subtle tones of flavor than do extra virgin olive oils, this grade is preferred by many for frying.

Storing Olive Oil

Olive oil is similar to wine in that flavors and aromas are effected by weather and geography, as well as the type of olive used; however, olive oil is perishable and does not age well. It should be used within a couple of months after it's opened.

To properly store olive oil, keep it in a sealed glass jar in a dark and cool place. Excess heat and light can speed up the aging of the oil, badly effecting its taste.

Uses for Olive Oil

Olive oil plays a major role in most Greek cuisine. From salads to sautés, Greek olive oil provides wonderfully strong flavors to a variety of dishes.

For example, a popular side dish in Greece is sliced Greek potatoes fried in extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil is also drizzled over sourdough bread and sprinkled with sea salt for a simple, yet delicious snack.

Thank you for watching. For more, visit About.com.

About videos are made available on an "as is" basis, subject to the User Agreement.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.