Fustini's Oils and Vinegars

What are SELECT Extra Virgin Olive Oils? Three Things You Should Know

Robust. Buttery. Fusty.

When it comes to describing olive oil, there are a lot of words we can use. From the type of olive to the flavor it brings to your food, the characteristics that make EVOO.  Extra virgin olive oil is important when it comes to determining the quality of the product.

While we love infusing fresh flavors into our olive oils, such as Blood Orange or Tuscan Herb, we also pride ourselves on the SELECT extra virgin olive oils that incorporate their own flavor profile. This oil is produced from specific olives from specific locations, either northern or southern hemisphere countries based on the time of year. To be considered SELECT, these oils also rely on the flavor of the olive. Other factors such as the location, growing conditions and time of harvesting all factor into the flavor as well. You can also use the term “Single Varietal" or"Mono Cultivar” to describe these SELECT olive oils.

These varietal oils can be a staple in all your cooking, baking or food preparation. But what really sets them apart from the store-bought, bottom-shelf olive oil you’ll find in grocery stores? Here, we share three important things about SELECT extra virgin olive oils that make it an oil worth trying.

1) There are Several Types of Olive Varieties

Not all olives are created the same. The oils we feature each have their own unique flavor profile. Just like not all Jonagold apples taste like Honeycrisp apples, not all olives carry the same tastes.

The differences between these flavors come in the level of bitterness and ripeness. They also may have different levels of pungency, giving them a more smooth or bitey taste. The different varieties don’t relate to the quality of the oil but rather the flavor profile of the oil.

Here are the typical characteristics of some of our olive oil varieties, for each of which you can find an olive oil with that flavor. 

  • Arbequina - ripe fruit, low bitterness
  • Coratina - herbaceous, bitter, pungent, stable
  • Frantoio - fruity, herbaceous, medium bitterness, pungent
  • Hojiblanca - fruity, aromatic, low bitterness, pungency
  • Koroneiki - fruity, herbaceous, very stable
  • Peranzana - grassy, robust intensity
  • Picual - fruity, medium bitterness, high stability

Whether you’re looking for a very delicate flavor to use in all your dishes or a more bitter, pungent oil that pops some flavor, you can find it in SELECT olive oil.

 2) Olives are Harvested at Specific Times

The flavor of an olive, and therefore the oil made from such olive, also depends on the stage at which it is harvested. With a SELECT extra virgin olive oil, the flavor distinctions that come with different stages of harvest - or maturity stages - greatly influence the profile of the oil.

So what are these stages that have so great of an impact on the characteristic of olive oil? These three stages include;

Green Fruit: The green or immature olive is one that is firm in texture. The oil that comes from these is bitter, grassy and pungent.

Veraison: The veraison fruit is at the peak for oil production as it turns to a more yellow-green color. The flavor of these oils still has some bitterness and pungency but is not as strong as green fruit.

Black Fruit: As the olives continue to ripen, their color turns darker and tastes much less bitter and pungent. These olives produce a lot of oil and are often sweeter.

3) You Can Use SELECT in Many Ways

Just like flavor-infused extra virgin olive oils, you can use these single varietal olive oils in many ways as you cook and prepare your favorite dishes.

Cooking
Cooking up a recipe that needs oil? Using extra virgin olive oil will bring out its natural flavors. Remember that while it varies from oil to oil, the average smoke point of EVOO is 350 degrees, with olive oils with higher polyphenol counts having a higher smoke point. It’s also best to cook with robust green oils, which have the highest smoke point.

Need some ideas?
Sauté your onions and peppers for a fajita in Picual (green fruit)
Incorporate Hojiblanca (ripe fruit) in your next pan of brownies
Roast your meal’s meat in Coratina (green fruit)

Adding In
When you’re not preheating the oven or turning on the stove or grill and instead just adding in some flavor, you can also incorporate these healthy, flavorful SELECT olive oils. As you pair your food with olive oil, remember that robust oils go well with strong-flavored foods. Delicate oils go well with more mild foods. However, there are always exceptions to this trend depending on what you’re preparing and which flavors you want to bring out in the dish. When it comes to deciding which oil - robust - medium - or delicate - it often just comes down to a matter of preference and personal taste.

Need some ideas?
Drizzle Peranzana (ripe fruit) over popcorn for a great butter substitute
Dress your arugula and strawberry salad with Koroneiki (green fruit)
Drizzle Arbequina (ripe fruit) over your bowl of ice cream for a healthier alternative

Add variety with a SELECT extra virgin olive oil
Elevate the flavors of your favorite dishes with the unique and high-quality flavor profiles of SELECT olive oils. With such variety to choose from, there’s sure to be one (or several) you use in all your recipes.

 

 

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