One of the things I missed in 2020 and until now is Influencer Events. That is why when I was contacted by our friends from MOMS Meet to attend a virtual Extra Virgin Olive Oil educational meet sponsored by Flavor Your Life, I immediately said “Yes”.
For full disclosure, as part of attending the event, I received free products and was also provided compensation.
This Flavor Your Life event was quite interesting. The first session was with an olive oil expert who gave a tour of an olive plantation in Italy while sharing some information about olive oil.
Next session was a cooking class with an Italian Chef who showed some authentic easy to prepare recipes. I can’t wait to try the risotto!
Lastly, there was a fun, live tasting which I really wanted to try soon.
How I wish you were able to attend the event too. Anyway, here are some facts I learned about olive oil from the event.
Olive Oil Tasting
Move over coffee, wine and cheese tasting. There is such a thing as Olive oil tasting and it quite interesting!
One of the highlights of the virtual event was a live olive oil tasting with the expert Alissa. It was very interesting to watch the first time tasters slurp and figure out the subtle flavor varieties of olive oil.
Did you know that to be able for an olive oil to get the “extra virgin” rating, it has to go through a panel of trained expert tasters to taste for defects and the presence of positive attributes of fruitiness, bitterness and spiciness?
While this type of tasting is quite new to most of the attendees, it is quite common in Italy. Looks like, I’ll be hunting for an olive oil tasting soon.
Baking with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
For years, I always thought extra virgin olive oil can’t be used for baking. The main reason is that this oil has a distinct flavor and that only neutral tasting oil is good for baked goods.
After the Flavor for Life event, I was so surprised EVOO is an excellent oil to use for baking. Not only does it help achieve a soft texture, the fruity taste also enhances the flavor of the other ingredients.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a high smoking point.
When I first started using olive oil in cooking, I have read that EVOO should only be used for salad dressings, dipping sauces or anything with very minimal heating. It shouldn’t be used for stir frying at all. The reason is that high temperature will change the flavor of the oil.
During the event, I learned that good quality Italian extra virgin olive oil actually has a high smoking point. It was be used for sauteeing, frying and yes, even baking. No wonder most of my Italian friends didn’t have to use any other oils.
Olives can’t be eaten as is.
For the longest time, I thought that the natural taste of the olives is just like the oil. The biggest take away from the virtual event is that raw olives are quite bitter and barely edible. That is why the olives that we consume are already marinated or processed already.
It is so interesting to learn that what I’ve grown to love all this years tasted far from the raw and unprocessed fruit. Yes, you read that right. Olive is a fruit.
EVOO should be stored in a cool, dark place.
Have you ever wondered why extra virgin olive oil bottles are often black? Finally, I got the answer from the oil expert. EVOO is made by pressing oil out of the olives without heat or chemicals. Thus the label, first cold press.
Aside from being made without heat, EVOO is also virtually free of acidity. The absence of preserving agents makes extra virgin olive oil prone to rancidity.
Since this oil is more delicate than highly processed ones, extra care should be practiced such as storing it in a cool, dark place, (never near a stove or inside the refrigerator) with a lid tightly screwed. Once opened, the oil must be used within six months to get the best flavor.
Do you have some interesting olive oil facts? Love to hear them.