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Facts

 Conversion Chart - Butter to Olive Oil

Butter/Margarine Extra Virgin Olive Oil  
1 teaspoon 3/4 teaspoon
1 tablespoon 2 1/4 teaspoons
1/4 cup 3 tablespoons
1/3 cup 1/4 cup
1/2 cup 1/4 cup + 2 tablespooons
2/3 cup 1/2 cup
3/4 cup 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon
1 cup 3/4 cup

*NOTE: When recipe calls for butter, use 3/4 to 1 conversion. When recipe calls for any type of oil (vegetable, canola, etc.), substitute same amount of our olive oil.

 Products Nutritional Info EVOO Flavored Oils

Products Nutritional Info Flavored Oil

Products Nutritional Info Gourmet

Products Nutritional Info Balsamics

 

What You Should Know About Your Olive Oil

Not all extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is created equal. Many poor-quality oils are diluted with old oils, common-seed oils, preservatives, chemicals, fillers, etc. The U.S. does not have a controlled standard for classifying oils, so there are many that hold the label "EVOO" without actually holding the true values.

Because olive oil is perishable, it is best consumed fresh to optimize flavor and health benefits. Certain chemical components such as free fatty acids (FFA) and peroxide values increase over time, degrading the oil and causing rancidity.

When olive oil is exposed to air, light or heat, it deteriorates and can become unfit for consumption. Rancid oil is harmful. Once purchased and bottled, our oil should be used within 12 months. To keep oil fresh as long as possible, keep your olive oil in the dark bottle it comes in from our store, and store in a cool, dark place (such as a cabinet; refrigeration not necessary).

Defining the Positive Characteristics of Olive Oil

Becoming familiar with the chemical composition of olive oil will help you choose an oil that enhances your cooking and intensifies the dining experience. These four key characteristics will help you make an educated decision about which olive oil is right for you.

POLYPHENOLS: Polyphenols are a class of antioxidants found in a variety of foods that determine the level of bitterness and pungency (whether it is mild, medium, or robust/bold). Polyphenols such as Oleuropein, Oleocanthal, and Hydroxytyrosol impart intensity connected with pepper, bitterness, and other desirable flavor characteristics. Recent studies indicate that these potent phenols are responsible for many of the health benefits associated with consuming fresh, high-quality extra virgin olive oil. The higher the polyphenol level, the healthier the oil. A polyphenol value between 220 and 400 can be considered high, and some oils have even higher levels. Phenols in olive oil decrease over time or when exposed to heat, oxygen, and light. Consuming fresh, well-made olive oil with high polyphenol content is crucial when looking to obtain the maximum health benefit commonly associated with consuming extra virgin olive oil.

OLEIC ACID: Oleic acid is a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid found in olive oil. Olive oil is generally higher in oleic acid than other vegetable fats. The range found in EVOO is between 55-85%. Extra virgin olive oil high in oleic acid has greater resistance to oxidation. The higher the oleic acid, the better the oil; the higher the nutritional value; and the better the shelf life of the oil.

FFA (Free Fatty Acid): Based on IOOC standards, the maximum limit for free fatty acid in EVOO is 0.8g per 100g (.8%). A low FFA is desirable. FFA speaks to the condition of the fruit at the time of crush. The higher the FFA, the greater the indication of poor quality fruit caused by damaged crops, overripeness, insect infestation, overheating during production, or too much of a delay between harvest and crush.

PEROXIDE VALUE: Based on IOOC standards, the maximum peroxide value for EVOO is 20. A very low peroxide value is desirable. Unsaturated free fatty acids react with oxygen and form peroxides, which create a series of chain reactions that generate volatile substances responsible for a typical musty/rancid oil smell. These reactions are accelerated by high temperature, light, and oxygen exposure.

The chemistry of an olive oil is dictated by many factors including time of harvesting, crushing quickly, olive variety, and the entire quality of process.

Examining the make-up of olive oil helps us understand the potential health benefits, determine the shelf life, and even predict how the oil will react when combined with other ingredients in our recipes.

Health Benefits

In addition to adding depth to the flavor of food, olive oil offers many health benefits.

Substituting olive oil for other fats in the diet may keep hearts healthy, reduce inflammation, lower the risk of certain cancers, and assist with controlling diabetes and weight gain. Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat; it lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) without affecting good cholesterol (HDL). Saturated and trans fats — such as butter, animal fats, tropical oils and partially hydrogenated oils — do exactly the opposite.

Substituting olive oil for saturated fats or polyunsaturated fats may:

  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Inhibit the growth of certain cancers
  • Benefit people with diabetes
  • Lessen the severity of asthma and arthritis
  • Help your body maintain a lower weight
  • Reduce gastrointestinal problems (gall stones, ulcers and gastritis)