How to choose an "Extra" high quality oil
It is frequent in the evaluation of many foods, and within certain limits justified by the evolutionary history of our senses, to give the word ‘good’ a range of content related to quality. In fact, "good" generally has a subjective connotation, referring only to taste and does not always indicate the quality of a product.
Gastronomy and oenology offer us countless examples of foods or wines of unquestionable provenance and quality, not pleasing to the palate of some diners, and therefore judged to be " not good" : it is clear that this assessment does not affect in any way the high quality of the food or the wine.
This is also true in the evaluation of olive oil. It is not uncommon , in fact it is quite common in the course of an assessment of extra virgin olive oils to hear phrases like: " This oil has an acidic odour ... it tastes a little bitter ... and even tingles in the throat when swallowing! ... This oil is rather good, is sweeter ... is more mature ! ... "
It the typical judgment in the presence of a freshly pressed oil to hear the phrase "slightly irritating " and expresses a common opinion very difficult to dispel .
As often happens in many industrially produced foods, due the constraints of keeping down costs, quantity is favoured over quality, as it is in the case of olive oil where less attention is given to the timing and method of collection and storage of olives, giving in to the bias of the ‘uneducated’ market to value a more " sweet "oil at the expense of underlying quality and nutritional value .
It is clear that for such oils , seemingly "easier" on the taste buds, they fail in all the organoleptic and nutraceutical criteria( whose role in preventing cancer and in cardiovascular and metabolic regularization we have plenty of scientific evidence ) which are present in 'extra virgin olive oil’ obtained by more stringent methods of cultivation, harvesting , extraction and conservation. In fact, a bitter and slightly tingling taste are usually synonymous with a high quality oil .
One of the main mechanisms that leads to aging is the oxidation of cell membranes and organelles contained in them : our tissues and our body age due to these oxidative processes. High quality olive oil is a powerful natural antioxidant. The presence of polyphenols, which the olive tree produces as a natural preservative of its fruit and its seeds, also causes that "tingle " in the throat. More oil is obtained from fresh and healthy olives , not too ripe, and pressed within hours of harvest and there is a higher concentration of polyphenols and sensory qualities related to their presence
It is therefore clear that the higher concentration of polyphenols in freshly pressed oils the higher the quality of the extra virgin olive oil , also in terms of its greater stability over time .