Olive oil is "graded" according to its flavor, color, aroma, as well as its acidity, which is the most important element in determining grade.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil:
Olives are hand-picked, cleaned with pure water, then crunched and malaxated and finaly cold pressed. Extra virgin olive oil is derived from the first cold pressing of olives without refining. The oil is extracted from the olives by mechanical means (pressure) which do not modify it's basic properties. This results in a completely natural product which maintains the taste plus chemical and biological characteristics of the olive. It is characterized by an acidity level of less than one percent. It is considered the finest and fruitiest olive oil and is therefore also the most expensive. It can range from pale champagne to greenish-gold to bright green in color. In general, the deeper the color, the more intense the olive oil flavor. Nearly 75 percent of Greek olive oil is of this much sought after premium extra virgin grade. This compares to 50 percent of Italy's production and 30 percent of Spain's. The ideal climate of the country contributes most favorably to Greek olive oil's overall superiority. Greek olive oil is richer, with fruitier flavor, intense aroma and distinctive bright green color. Extra virgin olive oil's naturally intense taste is especially complimentary when drizzled over seafood just off the grill, to dress salads, the finishing of sauces and anywhere that richly flavored olive oil will enhance the finished dish. Our "Eliki" olive oil is one of the top brands in this category. We do not sell lower grades of olive oil.
Virgin Olive Oil:
Also derived from the first pressing without refining, virgin olive oil has an acidity level between one and two percent. Although its flavor varies in intensity, virgin olive oil is milder than extra virgin olive oil.
All of the following grades of olive oil involve products that contain refined oils in significant portions and we do not recommend them to our customers due to a number of reasons that have to do with their low nutritional value as well as with their inclusion of chemicals that are harmful to the human body.
Olive oil has an acidity level of no more than 1.5 percent. It is obtained by blending refined oil with 1-15% extra virgin olive oil (the percentage & quality varies). Olive oil from Greece is superior to other olive oils because it contains a portion of good quality extra virgin olive oil. Much lighter in taste and color, olive oil is used for frying or for flavoring certain dishes requiring a more subtle taste than with the richness of extra virgin olive oil. Since olive oil consists primarily of refined oils, which are industrial products of very low quality, we do not recommend it to our customers.
Pure Olive Oil:
Pure olive oil has an acidity level of no more than 1.5 percent. It is a blend of refined olive oil and Pomace oil possibly with a small quantity of extra virgin or virgin olive oil. Since pure olive oil consists primarily of refined oils and Pomace oil, which are industrial products of very low quality, we do not recommend it to our customers.
Refined Olive Oil:
All virgin Olive oil, extracted by cold pressing, which does not conform to the COI (International Oleical Council) standards, is refined to correct the taste and lower the acidity level to 0,3%. This oil is again an industrial product, it has very low nutritional value and lacks all antioxidants and other ingredients that the true 100% extra virgin olive oil has. We do not recommend it to our customers.
Olive Oil Cake Refined:
The oil extracted from olives cake by solvents, has to be refined in order to take off smell and color and lower its acidity to 0,3%. Stay away from this staff. It is bad for you.
Olive Oil Cake (Pomace):
It's a mixture of refined olive oil cake with virgin olive oil, with an acidity limit of 1,5%. Stay away from this staff. It is bad for you.
Spanish Olive Pomace Oil Warning
"Light & Extra Light" Olive Oil:
The olive oil that you see on the supermarket self advertised as "light" or as "Extra Light" olive oil contains the exact same number of calories as regular olive oil and is a mixture of refined olive oils that are derived from the lowest quality olive oils available through chemical processing. These oils are so bad that cannot be consumed by humans without refining. These types of oils also contain significant portions of other lower cost oils such as Canola and Hazelnut oil which have virtually no flavor of their own. They may contain some extra virgin or virgin olive oil (1% maximum). The term "light" or "extra light" refers to the lighter color, fragrance, and flavor obtained by an extremely fine filtration and refining process and not to the amount of calories that the oil contains. We recommend to our customers to stay away from these products because they are industrial products of very low quality.