About Olive Oil
The terms “Virgin”, or “Extra virgin” olive oil refer to its acidity, with “extra virgin” olive oil being the least acidic. “Extra virgin” olive oil is that which is produced from pressed olives alone (no seeds, no leaves), without any further processing. The color is greenish, if olives were green when pressed, or darker when olives were dark brown or black when pressed.
Clarity is a very important aspect of quality, although not the only one. The only exception, where lack of clarity is not an indication of low quality, is the case of the first run at the olive press, in which case the olive oil produced is light green and not very clear, but of excellent quality if all other factors are observed.
Level of acidity increases over time, especially if stored olive oil is exposed to light and to temperatures of over 15 C, for long time periods. If stored properly, it may retain its quality for up to 18 months. Better if stored in air tight glass containers. Also, taste and smell deteriorate over time.
A basic ingredient of Mediterranean Cuisine, olive oil is said to be raising “good” cholesterol.