Texas Olive Oil: Everything You Need to Know

As the world shifts towards healthier alternatives, many realize that health starts in the pantry. It begins with something as simple as the ingredients you choose to cook with or add to meals. In particular, oils such as olive oil are often the starting point for many home cooks. Companies and local producers such as the Texas Hill Country Olive Co. understand this simple fact and have created an offering to provide you with different types of Texas olive oil to suit any cooking style or need.

Texas Olive Oil: Everything You Need to Know

There are often a handful of questions that come with using new ingredients; here are the most commonly asked questions about olive oil.

What Is The Difference Between Types Of Olive Oil?

While you might think that there is only one kind and you can pick any bottle off the shelf for any meal, there are a few different types, and each has its benefits and uses.

  • Virgin – This particular type of oil has a slightly higher acid content and is not as flavorful or qualitative as extra virgin.
  • Extra Virgin – Also known as EVOO, it’s widely considered the crown and glory of the oil world. This is the purest type and comes from the first pressing of the olives. It is full-flavored and aromatic while being slightly less acidic. The oil is cold-pressed and retains its health benefits and flavors as it is not heat treated.
  • Unfiltered – Not as common as the other types; it is slightly cloudy and not as commonly found or used.

You might find yourself wondering which is the best type to use? EVOO is perhaps the best, full of flavor, and packs a mighty health punch. It is also one of the most versatile types to use as it can be used in both savory and sweet applications; it adds to the overall flavor composition of your meal.

How to Find a Good EVOO

When sourcing EVOO, try to find locally produced options as they might just surprise you with quality and flavor. There are, however, a few more tricks to finding the best bottle of Texas olive oil.

  • Don’t treat it like wine – You might want to do the fancy thing and treat it like a fine wine; however, older does not mean better in this case.
  • No clear glass – It might seem like an attractive addition to your kitchen display; however, clear glass is not suitable for storing your EVOO, as it can begin to lose its flavor and aroma. Stick to dark glass options.
  • Temperature is critical – Avoid purchasing from stores that have their shelves stocked in warm and brightly lit areas, as both are not good for the quality of the oil. Instead, buying directly from the producer will ensure that you get a fresh bottle kept in proper conditions and will last you till the very last drop.
  • The critical dates – Dates are essential when choosing the right EVOO; use-by and sell-by dates are vital to getting the most out of each bottle.

Another benefit of purchasing directly from producers is that you can often find additional products that complement and pair well with each type of oil. Whether it is a blend of herbs or balsamic vinegar, you are sure to find the best flavor profiles from locally sourced products.

What to Look For When Buying Texas Olive Oil

When buying fresh fruit and vegetables, you know what to look for; browning and soft spots, holes from insect bites, etc.… It might not be as simple with a bottle of oil. Instead, the hints lie within the language used on the labels.

Blended options usually mean it might have as little as 10% olive added to other seed and vegetable seed oils, rendering it a cheaper option with very few benefits. Stick to pure “100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil” for the best quality and results.

Is It Safe For Cooking?

Absolutely. Some within the culinary community will tell you not to cook with an EVOO – that it is a finishing oil to be drizzled over meals and used to dress salads. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

There are ways to cook with it to ensure the best results. Its smoke point is relatively low; it is best for low heat cooking when it won’t exceed 356F. Baking, light sauteing, or even slow roasting are perfectly safe methods to use. You can, however, use it in marinades for meats and vegetables that you will throw onto the grill.

The Many Flavors of Texas Olive Oil

It might not be like wine when it comes to age; it is similar in that it comes in a range of flavor profiles depending on the type of olive used and the age of the olive when pressed. Texas olive oil comes in various flavors, each with its benefits and uses.

  • Delicate and light – These are made with older olives from the latter part of the harvest; they are ripe and offer a smooth taste. Buttery with very little bitterness is one of the best ways to describe this flavor.
  • Medium – Made with a mixed bag of early and mid-harvest olives, this is the middle ground and best option to go for when starting. It is often full of fruity notes and tends to have a peppery finish.
  • Robust – Bold and intense are the two best ways to describe this flavor profile. Made with young olives, there is a balance between the peppery finish and bitterness.

No matter what kind of EVOO you choose, it will add a layer of delicious flavor to your meals and help to create a solid foundation to build on.

Finally, Is Olive Oil Safe to Drink?

Yes! Many people across the globe and in the Mediterranean, in particular, drink a tablespoon of it daily to help digestion and for added health benefits such as antioxidants. Just make sure you are sticking to good quality EVOOs that are unadulterated with other ingredients.