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How to buy the best Extra Virgin Olive Oil 0Comments

Posted on March 21, 2013 by Italy Cooking Courses

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I am often told by those attending our Extra Virgin Olive Oil Tasting Tours of the difficulties in selecting a good olive oil when they shop at home.

They are not familiar with the brands, nor can they meaningfully translate the information on the label into helpful knowledge.

So, invariably, their selection is based on price or packaging, or what a famous chef recommends. Regrettably, they do not know what is meant by EXTRA VIRGIN, how to decipher the label, or simply decide if the quality of the oil will be good.

So, as  I am a certified extra virgin olive oil taster I have put together some information, and ten basic rules which will help you to choose the best Extra Virgin Olive Oil (“EVOO”) in the store where you shop.

extra virgin olive oil



First of all, contrary to other oils, extra virgin olive oil has lots of health benefits, which make it the best fat to be used both raw and for cooking.

It is rich in monounsaturated fats (the good ones!). Many other oils are rich in saturated fats (which are bad for us!).

Lots of medical research has proven that using not more than 4 tbsp of evoo per day can reduce risks of several heart diseases.

Extra virgin olive oil is also rich in antioxidants which help protect cells from damage.

Moreover, EVOO is extracted only by physical means, contrary to many other oils which need chemical solvents to be extracted or to be refined!

Finally, to enhance food’s nutrients and flavors you should never cook at high flame. This means that it’s not really important that the EVOO does not have the highest smoke point  (even though it is already pretty high!).



When you buy olive oil you should always look for the two MAGIC words EXTRA and VIRGIN on the label.

OLIVE OIL (without those two words), PURE, or LIGHT olive oils mean something completely different (they are refined using chemicals)!

An olive oil which is extra and virgin is a PERFECT olive oil. What makes it perfect is the combination of a low acidity level AND zero defects at the organolectic test conducted by a panel of certified extra virgin olive oil tasters.

To be extra virgin (or perfect) olive oil these things have to happen.


SIGN UP to find out about the meaning of EXTRA VIRGIN  and the 10 RULES  to buy the BEST EVOO!


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    cooking school italy wine tours pugliaStile Mediterraneo is a Cooking School located in Puglia Italy. Our mission is to improve people's quality of life through education and good food. Join our "Use Your Own Senses Revolution": learn to buy, taste and cook high quality food and live life fully through good food. During our culinary and wine tours in Puglia, you will taste the authentic Italy with local experts. You will learn the secrets of an ancient, simple and tasty cuisine, handed down from mother to daughter for centuries and today Unesco heritage. Stile Mediterraneo was founded by Cinzia Rascazzo (extra virgin olive oil taster, 3rd level wine sommelier, Harvard MBA). The principles taught at the SM Cooking School were inspired by the medical research conducted by Dr. Marika Rascazzo (a cardiologist) in her ebook. SM was featured in the New York Times, Forbes, Culinary Institute of America's video about Puglia and in the National Geographic. Our ebook was presented at Harvard Business School. Our events were hosted in Florida, Georgia, Boston, NYC, Montreal, Ottawa, Portland, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Germany, Austria. Lonely Planet and National Geographic recommended Puglia among the best 10 places in the world for 2014. Read more
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