"Could you tell me the difference between an Extra Virgin Olive Oil and an Olive Oil?"
This is the question that a journalist of the Italian television program Report which aired in 2002 asked a number of people and no one was able to give the correct answer.
I am pretty sure that if today after about twenty years we ask the same question again only very few would give the correct answer.
And it is a real shame also considering that we are the second largest producer of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the world and the first country in the world for the number of varieties of olive trees.
And without looking on Google :-) do you think to know the difference?
If you are intuitively thinking that Extra Virgin Olive Oil is of a higher quality than an Olive Oil, you are halfway there .... Ok but is that the only difference?
No, in fact, just read the mandatory wording to be reported on the label to realize that an Extra Virgin Olive Oil compared to an Olive Oil
- it is of SUPERIOR CATEGORY, therefore of superior quality
- it is obtained DIRECTLY FROM THE OLIVES AND ONLY THROUGH MECHANICAL PROCEDURES, let's say it's as if we were making "an olive juice"
An Olive Oil, on the other hand, is a MIX of Olive Oils belonging to different categories with lower quality (Virgin Olive Oils, Refined Olive Oils) where a refining process has taken place which therefore does not make the product as natural as it can be the Extra virgin olive oil.
But then why if Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the best olive oil from a qualitative point of view, can there be many of poor quality ones on the market?
So how can we do to choose an Extra Virgin Olive Oil that is really high quality?
And are we sure that an EVO oil that we like so much is of high quality and one that we like less is not?
We will try to answer these and other questions in the next posts.