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olive oil facts


Olive oil is a staple of the Italian diet, and is found in
every Italian kitchen. Whether it’s being used to help cook a pasta dish or
pieces of bread are being dipped into it, olive oil has become a part of every
element of Italian cuisine.


During your stay at our private villas in Italy, you’ll
be able to see first hand just how big of a part olive oil plays in the Italian
lifestyle. Not only will you be able to cook and taste authentic Italian olive
oil, but you can also see how the olives are grown and the oil is made at the
many olive groves found across the Italian countryside.

Before you experience Italy’s amazing olive oil for
yourself, find out more about this essential ingredient with our collection of
interesting facts.

The fresher the olive oil, the better it tastes. This means
fresh oil is best used for things such as salad dressing, while oil that is
more than a year old can still be used for cooking.

Extra virgin olive oil is the best olive oil you can get. It
comes from the first pressing of the olives, meaning that no chemicals have
been added to help extract the oil, and has a much cleaner taste than other
presses of the olive oil.

Four litres of olive oil can be produced from just one tree
in a single year. Olive trees can also live for hundreds of years, meaning they
can produce a lot of olive oil in their lifetime.

Olive oil has many health benefits. As it is high in oleic
acid, it can help to reduce blood pressure, while it is also high in
antioxidants such as Vitamin E, oleuropein and carotenoids.

Like with wines, olive oils are given different grades and
labels based on their taste, production methods, composition and place of
origin.

Italy is one of the world’s largest producers of olive oil,
producing around 15% of the world’s olive oil every year.

The olive tree was first brought to Italy from Greece in
around 1000BC, and has been a key element of the country’s diet ever since!

Although the product is referred to as an oil, olive oil is
in fact technically a juice, as it is made from crushed olives, just like
orange juice is made from crushed oranges etc.

Olive oil should be bought and stored in a dark-coloured
bottle, as it helps to block out light, which can damage your olive oil. The
light destroys the olive oil through oxidation, changing the structure of the
compounds within the oil.

An olive tree won’t instantly bear fruit. It can take as
long as eight years for an olive tree to fully mature and bear fruit.


Image: US
Department of Agriculture
, available under Creative Commons 2.0

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