Used in everything from dressings to dip, olive oil is a staple that no kitchen should be without. While we might take it for granted, there is actually a lot to consider when purchasing and using this healthy oil. With a little help from books like Peggy Knickerbocker's Olive Oil: From Tree to Table and Cat Cora’s Kitchen by Gaea, we've compiled some fun facts about this essential ingredient — a few may surprise you!
- Olive trees thrive in Mediterranean climates, and especially in locations like Spain, North Africa, Italy, Greece, and California.
- The term "cold-pressed" signifies that no heat was applied during the process of extracting the fruit's juices.
- Olive oil that's not labeled "extra-virgin" is likely a combination of extra-virgin oils and refined virgin oils. While less nuanced in flavor, it's a solid choice for dishes that involve high heat cookery, but should be avoided as a finishing oil, in salad dressing, and the like.
For more olive oil fun facts, keep reading.