What Are The Different Types of Olive Oil & Does it Matter?

Plain and simple different types of olive oil help complement food flavor and support good health. Health benefits include improving the digestive system, reducing inflammation, helping repair damaged skin and hair, protecting against heart disease, and more. However, there are different types of olive oil, and before you rush to the store, you should know the types and why they matter.

What are the Different Types of Olive Oil?

There are actually five types of olive oil that come from the olive fruit (yes, olives are a fruit). The process of each olive oil type is slightly different, producing properties that support exquisite-tasting food and healthier lifestyles.

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Extra-virgin olive oil is the best olive oil, especially when cold-pressed. The cold-pressed method extracts the oil to prevent the natural content from being altered by high-temperature exposure. As a result, this oil has a lower acidity content than its standard virgin counterpart and retains most of its natural flavor and aroma.

Extra virgin olive oil preserves the most nutrients and showcases its bold flavor. Extra virgin olive oil is best for:

  • Salad dressings
  • Dipping oil
  • Finishing oil
  • Sautéing
  • Roasting
  • Light frying (like frying eggs)
  • Baking (in recipes where you want that classic olive oil flavor)

Extra-virgin olive oil has the most health benefits; some even drink it straight or take a spoonful daily.

Virgin-Olive Oil

The cold-press method extracts Virgin-Olive Oil, which contains a slightly higher acidity content than the extra virgin olive oil, between 1 and 4 percent. Virgin Olive Oil has a mild taste and can be a rare find in your local grocery store. This specific type of olive oil is temperature resistant and best used for low-heat cooking adventures.

Use Virgin-Olive oil like you use extra virgin olive oil; however, the taste is mild, and there are minor flavor defects in virgin-olive crude, making it slightly unpleasant to drink straight. So, like a true chef, you can hide the flavor defects when cooking with it. But this oil is best for marinades, sautéing, roasting, light frying, and baking.

Refined Olive Oil

This type of olive oil comes from black and ripe olive fruits. It isn’t the first choice for olive oils, primarily because of its low quality. Refined olive oil is only suitable for cooking, especially in high temperatures. It still contains the same fat and calories as other olive oil types and has the least virgin olive oil. Overall it is generally tasteless, colorless, and odorless.

Pure/Regular Olive Oil

Pure olive oil is not at all pure, as the name suggests. The refined oil is treated with heat and chemicals to remove the flavor defects. The blending method improves the quality of pure olive oil because it’s combined with extra virgin or virgin-type olive oil. The Extra virgin or virgin-type oil makes up about 15-25 % of the finished product. You can commonly find this variety at your friendly local grocery store, and it has excellent flavor.

Many chefs enjoy the high smoke point, which holds up well in high-heat cooking. Think:

  • Grilling
  • Sautéing
  • Frying
  • Roasting
  • Baking
  • Searing
  • Infused oils
Olive Pomace Oil

Olive Pomace oil is the lowest quality olive oil extracted from the residue left after the olive fruit is pressed and packed. The process involves removing the water and fat and leaving only the oil. Olive pomace oil is mixed with virgin oil to enhance the quality. This process makes it the least expensive and suitable only for high-heat cooking.

Love Italian Food? Visit Us Today!

We love sharing our knowledge with you! But, instead of worrying about which oil to use, come in today and join us or carry out a home-cooked Italian meal. You’ll find we use the freshest ingredients in our pizzas, pasta, subs, and more that will be cooked in the correct olive oil type and satisfy the entire family.