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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Olive Oil

"Italians...seemed never to die. They eat olive oil all day long...and that's what does it."
~William Kennedy
I LOVE olive oil and every time I am drizzling it on my bread, eggs, meat, fish, pasta, or even my face, I thank God for this beautiful liquid gold!
I like to think of olive oil as Marcella Hazan puts it, "The juice of a fruit" and like all juices it should taste like it's fruit, in this case the olive. And to obtain the optimum taste and health benefits of the fruit use it raw as much as possible. Mario Batali says to drizzle it on top of anything you have just cooked with it so if you fry and egg in olive oil drizzle some fresh from the bottle before serving. It is here that you will really grow to appreciate the many nuances of a good olive oil.
Speaking of good olive oil just what exactly is a good olive oil, where do I get it, and how much will it cost me? Well the first and most important thing is that is Extra-Virgin Olive Oil which comes from virgin oil production (Natural-No Chemicals) only, contains no more than 0.8% acidity, and is judged to have a superior taste. ~Wikipedia
After that you want to make sure it is fresh (Check the date) and then it's a matter of personal taste. Do you like a more pungent olive oil or a sweeter olive oil. Start by buying small bottles and experiment try it raw first and then cook with it. You may even want to host an Olive Oil Tasting! Once you find an olive oil that you like and can afford try and purchase it bulk from a warehouse club or an online source.
If you do buy it bulk here are some steps to keep it fresh: 1) Keep it away from heat.
2) Once you open the bottle it will not last indefinitely maybe a few months so you can pour some into a smaller bottle to keep on the counter and keep the larger bottle in a cool dark place, I keep mine in the pantry. 3) If you purchase olive oil in a large plastic bottle and plan on keeping it for more than 2 weeks pour it into a glass bottle, a large wine decanter works great, the plastic bottles can change the taste over time. 4) Check it periodically to make sure it has not gone rancid, it will smell kind of like bad nuts or old french fries!
Beauty Secrets of Olive Oil
Olive oil is not just for cooking it is also a wonderful little beauty secret shared by some of the most beautiful women around. Sophia Loren says her secret to maintaining her youthful looks is "the odd bath in virgin olive oil". BBC
And she also drinks a little bit every morning! The oldest women Jean Calmet , who died at 122, herself credited a diet rich in olive oil for her longevity. And as far as her youthful skin she said, "All my life I've put olive oil on my skin and then just a puff of powder."
I like to think of it as double moisturizer for use on the inside and the outside! When my skin is feeling dry and rough I take coarse kosher salt and olive oil into the shower. First I scrub the salt all over and then I rub olive oil all over my body. I also use this method on my face but instead of the salt I use corn meal. I rub olive oil on my face, neck, and hands in the morning and at night. I keep a small bottle of it in my bathroom for this purpose. And since I buy the big bottle of Extra Virgin that is what I use on my skin. It is a very affordable all natural, allergenic free, PABA free, antioxidant moisturizer compared to other moisturizers on the market!
I f you have found this post interesting and would like to read more on the benefits of olive oil check this site out! The Passionate Olive. Here you can learn more about olive oil such as: Did you know that you can use olive oil to remove ticks, smooth out wrinkles, remove eye makeup, relieve jellyfish stings, polish brass and guns, remove paint, condition hair, improve the appearance of nails and cuticles, soothe baby diaper rash, lubricate squeaky hinges, clean wax off of candle holders, polish pearls and diamonds? Did you know that it is also an antioxidant, can stimulate bone growth, calm an upset stomach, ease the pain of arthritis, treat ear complaints and sunburns, reduce the effects of alcohol, kill head lice, and soothe dry or chapped skin?

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