For millennia an olive tree and its fruits are known in the Mediterranean region. This precious gift of nature is a living heritage connected with many areas of life of the local population. Olive oil nourishes, preserves, protects, stimulates, heals and inspires.
A high level of consumption of olive oil is considered to be a distinctive feature of the traditional Mediterranean diet. For centuries, olive oil is widely used in Greece and other Mediterranean countries, as it is known for its medicinal and nutritional properties. All the Mediterranean countries and regions have their own culinary traditions, and in all of them, olive oil plays its special place.
Studies have shown that olives and olive oil contain a large number of antioxidants. Olives contain up to 16 g / kg of hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol and phenylpropionic acids. Olive oil, especially the extra virgin olive oil, contains the least amount of hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol, but contains a lot of lignans.
The tree, which the inhabitants of ancient Athens received as a gift from the goddess of wisdom, is grown in the country for at least 3000 thousand years. Greece today ranks third in the world for the production of olive oil, as for the quality it always holds the first place.
Olive oil, gives people strength, health and endurance, as Hippocrates said. It is ideal for frying thanks to its special chemical composition which makes it much more useful than any other oil. Studies have shown that olive oil is up to 5 times more resistant to high temperatures than seed oils (when oil does not withstand high temperatures, its structure breaks and substances that are harmful to health are formed).
The best containers for storing oil are dark glass bottles, because glass is a stable and inert material. A dark color is necessary because the oil is oxidized if it comes in contact with light. Keep it in a dark and cool place. When stored in a bottle, the shelf life is 9 months. In metal, it can be stored for up to 18 months.
The quality of the oil is determined by the smell and taste, but not by its color. Gourmets taste the oil in special blue glasses. For those who want to make such a tasting at home, you should pour some olive oil in a glass of white wine. Then hold the glass in your hands for about 20 seconds to warm the oil and release its flavor.
The smell of good olive oil has notes of fresh olives, herbs and leaves. If the oil is of poor quality, the smell is heavy and not pleasant. Take a sip of oil and hold it in your mouth. Feel the whole palette of taste, and then swallow. Oil of good quality leaves a slight bitterness in the mouth and a sensation of spicy burning in the throat. The feeling of bitterness and burning is associated with a powerful anti-inflammatory substance contained in olive oil.