Lets see if you can guess one of my favorite items that I use everyday? Hint: this item is not just for your kitchen. Can you guess it? Olive oil and its uses are numerous! It is a key component in cooking, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, soaps and even provides fuel! Olive trees are one of the oldest known fruit trees. Although first discovered in Asia, olive oil has heavy roots in the Mediterranean where olive oil could be considered a show of wealth and is also used in religious ceremonies for Catholicism, Christians and Judaism.
You can image how much I love olive oil, however NOT ALL OLIVE OIL IS CREATED EQUALLY. There is a controversy currently unfolding in the culinary world. Here’s the issue: Olive oil is not currently being regulated in the United States. The result? The processing and dilution of olive oil that claims to be 100% olive oil.
My best recommendation is 100% Olive oil. Wondering what to look for? Well let me tell you a little about the process of extracting olive oil. 1) Harvest the olives and clean them. 2) Grind the olives into a paste and press the oil. 3) Separate the Olive Oil, Water and solids. 4) Let this rest to settle naturally and then bottle. Extra virgin olive oil is from the first press so it holds the most health benefits. Researchers have found that olive oil can be useful for cardiovascular diseases. I’ve also seen reports of olive oil reducing high cholesterol, calming earaches, and aiding in digestion. It’s no secret that olive oil is also great for dry skin and stretch marks! It’s no wonder that my Grandfather and Great Aunt would drink a tablespoon of olive oil everyday!
Now, just because it says 100% Olive Oil… DOESN’T MEAN IT IS. Look for Extra-virgin Olive Oil that is produced locally. This may mean the smaller, more expensive bottles in the supermarket, but it most likely contains more pure oil from the olive.
I have chosen to purchase olive oil from a few local growers who have also been featured on the show. To name a few in our area, there is Corto Olive Oil, Calivirgin Olive Oil and California Olive Oil. A good rule of thumb? Know a little bit about the growers! A little research goes a long way. After all, good stuff on the inside means feeling and looking good on the outside!