Category Archives: Olive Oil

Olive Oil 101

Olive-Oil-Dished

Have you ever wondered what makes olive oil Virgin or Extra Virgin? This may come up as unknown to many people. At Chex, we found it helpful to do a little research to answer these questions you may have! more…

There are actually four kinds of olive oils; Virgin, Extra-Virgin, Light, and Pure olive oil. Factors that may influence the type can range from acidity percentages to the way it was pressed.

Let’s break it down.

Virgin olive oil is pure and unblended. It has a higher acidity than most – up to 2 percent. It comes directly from virgin oil production only, but is of a slightly lower quality. Virgin olive oil is considered to have good taste.

Extra Virgin olive oil is classically produced from the first pressing of olives. This allows it to be the most pure, the least acidic (less than 0.8 percent), and the best tasting! It is generally more expensive, but the most flavorful of all!

Pure olive oil is a blend of refined pomace and virgin oil. Pomace is produced by processing the leftovers of the virgin olive oil extraction. This blend only contains about 5 to 10 percent virgin olive oil and is much cheaper to produce! It may not have the best flavor, but it’s great for your frying and cooking needs!

Light olive oil may have you thinking that it’s lower in fat—well, it’s actually not! It simply means that the oil is made from refined olive oil. It is made using mechanical, thermal, or chemical means so it may be fit for consumption. This resulting oil is lighter in color and less flavorful.

Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar Usage Ideas

olive oil

Many of our customers are looking for ways to expand their daily usage of olive oils and balsamic vinegars. The opportunities are truly endless! Here’s a brief list of ideas to get your mind racing.

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Olive Oil

Culinary Applications

  • Of course, bread dipping
  • Make a vinaigrette with your favorite balsamic vinegar
  • As a marinade with balsamic vinegar, soy sauce or fruit juices (1 to 1 ratio)
  • Drizzle over rice, quinoa or couscous
  • Make homemade mayonnaise
  • Brush onto meat, fish or poultry before grilling or roasting
  • Use in homemade pasta sauces, soups and stews
  • Drizzle over potatoes and other vegetables for roasting
  • Drizzle over crusty Italian bread season with herbs and sea salt, and toast in oven/broiler

Non-Culinary Applications

  • As a moisturizer (skin, cuticles, lips and scalp)
  • To polish wood
  • To remove eye make up
  • Shine-up stainless steel
  • Deep condition hair
  • As a component in homemade skin scrubs
  • To remove sap, tar or paint from your skin

 

Crostini-with-Balsamic-vinegar

 

Balsamic Vinegar

  • Drizzled over fruits, cakes and pastries
  • Served with a gourmet cheese platter
  • To decorate plates prior to serving
  • To dip cooked meats
  • In place of refined sugar to sweeten up your homemade sauces
  • As a marinade with your favorite olive oil
  • Sauté mushrooms with olive oil and a splash of balsamic for touch of sweetness
  • Drizzle over oven roasted vegetables upon serving

The Perfect Homemade Vinaigrette

best balsamic vinaigrette

The Perfect Homemade Vinaigrette

Here’s a basic, but delicious, vinaigrette dressing recipe! This one takes about five minutes to make, and only requires six ingredients! Impress anyone at your next dinner party with this homemade salad dressing!

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Here’s what you need:

1/4 cup white-wine vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Pinch of sugar

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Prep: 5 minutes Total Time: 5 minutes Makes: 1 cup

Step 1: In a small bowl, whisk together your white-wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and sugar.

Step 2: Slowly add your olive oil. Whisk all together until emulsified!

It’s as simple as that! Homemade salad dressing.

How to Make Traditional Olive Oil (Video)

Olive oil has been a staple food in the Mediterranean for thousands of years, and some olive trees which are hundreds of years old still bear fruit. The process for making this product is relatively simple, especially as it is practiced in rural areas of Greece and Italy. Commercial olive processing is somewhat more complex, but it still relies on the same basic principle: crushing the olives to release the oil trapped inside. Here’s one of our favorite videos that maps out the process of making traditional olive oil:

Olive Oil For Your Skin

Olive-Oil-Olives-4You may already know that olive oil is very beneficial to your health -and great for your pasta- but olive oil can also help your skin!

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This is especially true if you have extremely dry skin or if you’re allergic to topical creams and lotions. This oil is a common remedy for dry skin and typically does not cause allergic reactions.

Here’s a few interesting facts about this amazing oil:

-Olive oil is closer in chemical structure to your skin’s natural oil than any other naturally occurring oil. It is perfect as a body, face or hand lotion.

-It’s a healthy source of omega-3 fatty acids, which often promote health and beauty.

-It can be used to firm and tone our skin! Simply combine equal parts water and olive oil in jar, shake it well, and then apply it to your skin!

-Olive oil is an extremely powerful antioxidant containing vitamin E and A, which is not only beneficial to your health, but also your skin!