Italy with respect to Spain and Greece has many more different varieties of olive cultivars (over 500), hence in Italy you will find a far greater array of flavours and textures in your extra virgin olive oil, catering for all palates. With respect to Spain, where olive trees are cultivated on an industrial, mechanical scale, Italy respects a more traditional cultivation and uses less pesticides.
2.WHAT IS EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL?
The definition of Extra Virgin olive oil is an oil obtained from the first cold extraction of olives. By cold extraction we mean that during the milling process the temperature must not exceed 27°Celsius. This guarantees that the oil does not suffer any damage. The olives must be picked from the olive tree (and not from the ground once fallen). The extraction process is purely by mechanical means and no chemical substances may be added (unlike other types of olive oils). Most importantly the Acidity of extra virgin olive oil must not be more than 0.8%.
3.WHAT IS THE ACIDITY AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
The acidity expresses the percentage of oleic acid and indicates the quality of the oil. More specifically this indicates how healthy the oil is and how this may be classified (whether extra virgin olive oil, just olive oil etc). The lower the acidity the higher quality of the olive. Acidity may not be perceived tasting the oil, only through laboratory analysis.
4.IS EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL GOOD FOR FRYING?
Contrary to popular beliefs, absolutely Yes. The fatty acids are more stable than seed oils (such as sunflower oil). Extra Virgin Olive Oil is ideal for frying since its smoke point is 210°Celsius whilst the ideal temperature for frying is considered to be 170/180°celsius.