Extra virgin, please

Lately I had the opportunity to travel a lot to the south of Europe. This meant time spent in Greece, Spain, and Portugal.When traveling I like discovering local products. If possible I attempt to bring parts of my gourmet experiences back with me. Some, inevitably, don’t survive the trip. I had to say good bye to a bottle of wine from Portugal, a bottle of olive oil from Greece.

But mostly goodies and I make it back home in one piece. Once home, of course the question of storage comes up. I have to find place for all my new ‘possessions’! So every time new hidden places are found, so as to optimize my kitchen space.

Currently on display are: bottles of wine (mostly from Portugal and from the Romanian wine tasting), and olive oil bottles, from Spain (Andalusia), Greece and Portugal. While currently using a bottle of Cretan olive oil.

Previously typical for Mediterranean cooking, olive oil is now widely used. The flavor, color and fragrance differ very much from one producer to another, from one country to another and olive oil tastings are as popular as wine tastings for specialists. Graded according to their acidity, olive oils can be: cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil, virgin olive oil, fine olive oil and simply, olive oil. The difference among these types lies in their production process.

The bests, and hence more expensive ones, are the cold pressed and the extra virgin oils. These are obtained by the simple cold press of the olives, so all the oils are the natural ones, where almost no acidity is present. The following classifications are based on mix of oils, and contain up to 3% acidity.

I had incredibly good olive oils, as well as quite chemical ones. That’s when I decided no more, and started taking advantage of my trips to the sun to buy local extra virgin olive oils. Problem now is I don’t manage to go through them quite as fast as I thought, and there is a space issue being raised. But my taste buds – happy, happy!

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