Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Liquid Gold & its Treasures

Words: Crush

One of the oldest myths about Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is that you can’t cook with it. This is, quite simply, not true. Authentic EVOO (unrefined or blended with other oils) is highly stable when heated. EVOO not only has a high smoke point, but most importantly, it does not break down into harmful compounds like other oils do when heated at high temperatures.

benefits of cooking with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The smoke point of Extra Virgin Olive Oil is between 200 and 220°C, which is much higher than needed for most cooking styles, including frying. Contrary to popular belief, even when olive oil reaches smoking point, it will not become carcinogenic.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Health Benefits

Besides cooking, drizzling and baking with EVOO, there are bountiful health benefits too…

At a time when health is at the forefront of our thoughts, we should not compromise on the quality of the oil that we consume. More and more scientific evidence is mounting to support the very important role that the natural antioxidants in EVOO play in protecting the body against various cancers — especially colon and breast carcinoma. These antioxidants neutralise the free radicals in the body, formed by normal metabolism, as well as by many of the pollutants to which we are unavoidably exposed.

If you’re looking for effortless and delicious ways to give your health a daily boost, quality EVOO is incredibly good for you and a great choice. It is the healthiest fat available, and in certain regions where olive oil is a staple part of diets, people tend to live longer and healthier lives.

Beyond the flavourful taste of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, there is an abundance of health benefits.
Here are our top 5:

  1. Helps lower bad cholesterol
  2. Reduces the risk of heart disease
  3. Protects from oxidative damage
  4. Helps prevent cancer
  5. Helps prevent or delay the onset of diabetes

SA Olive Awards

Suggested combinations

The best flavour combinations are obtained when using the most appropriate style of oil with a particular food. More intensely flavoured foods are best complemented with more intense fruity olive oils, while, for a special dessert, very delicate olive oils will enhance the subtle flavours, without dominating the dish.

  • Use the more intense oils for grilling meat, sautéing garlic and onions, on toast with ricotta, swirled into hot soup and even for ice cream.
  • Use medium-style oil for cooking fresh tuna, chicken, on salads, and for baking.
  • Use delicate oil for making mayonnaise, in desserts and over fresh fruit.

Try these recipes with EVOO

Whether making a salad or baking some bread, olive oil will make just about any dish sing.

Mint, Lemon & Olive Oil Marinated Zucchini Salad

Filled with all the goodness of fresh herbs, zesty lemon and zucchini, this salad uses medium-style Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which is perfect for marinating veggies and drizzling over salads.

Recipe for Mint, Lemon & Olive Oil Marinated Zucchini Salad

Olive Oil & Herb Crusted Loaf with Chunky Olive & Feta Dip

The key ingredient in this crusted loaf is Extra Virgin Olive Oil. To keep the flavours balanced, either a delicate or medium style oil is recommended.

Recipe for Olive Oil & Herb Crusted Loaf with Chunky Olive & Feta Dip

Join the rEVOOlution and enjoy the best health and flavour benefits! Check out these recipes and more tips for cooking with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

SA Olive Awards

Look out for the winning Extra Virgin Olive Oils from the 2022 harvest. These gold, silver and bronze winners will be showcased at the SA Olive Awards event on the 8th of September 2022, at the picturesque venue, Laborie Wine Estate in Paarl.

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