Extra virgin olive oil was Mediterranean’s domain. Greece, Spain and Italy had the best olive oils, that dominated the markets all over the world.
Now olive oil has become a trend and other countries like Chili in South America, started to produce a good quality of extra virgin olive oil exporting it to the United States. Australia also has developed a quality extra virgin olive oil.
Although the old method of processing olive oil is the ideal method, the new producers think that harvesting the olives with machines, lessens the labor and improves the quality of the oil, because the olives get into the mill while they are very fresh. We know that the fastest the processing, the better the olive oil.
When I was growing up in Greece I remember the olives were hand-picked and transferred into the mill in less than two hours. Hand-picking the olives is a better, gentler method. That way the olives are not getting bruised, a result of oxidation of the olive oil. I don’t believe that the newer, faster methods are an improvement to the quality of the olive oil. When I buy extra virgin olive oil, I will check for the old traditional methods. “Cold pressed” and less then one percent acidity. I will check for the kind of oil the one that Homer called“liquid gold”.
Extra virgin olive oil is the one oil you can eat immediately after it’s process and retains all it’s antioxidants, vitamins and natural flavors, very important ingredients for maintaining good health.