Fancy ingredients sometimes go hand in hand with fancy terminology, and Texas olive oil is no different. It is considered a fancy ingredient by many, and a kitchen necessity by gastronomical enthusiasts.
Taking a closer look at the labels of your favorite bottles might raise a few questions about the terminology used. You might be wondering, what exactly is first cold pressed olive oil? Let's take a look.
What Is First Cold Pressed Olive Oil?
First pressed oil, simply put, is Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or EVOO for short). For an EVOO to be considered extra virgin, it must be extracted with a particular method called first cold pressing.
The method involves crushing the entire olive fruit at the same time (the “first press”), while the processing temperature is kept at no more than 80.6 degrees Fahrenheit (the “cold” part of the process). Most manufacturers of EVOO actually work at lower temperatures than that.
The controlled temperature of the environment ensures that the EVOO obtained in the process retains its quality and flavor. Higher temperatures result in reduced quality oil that is not considered extra virgin.
After the first pressing, the fruit is not processed further to produce EVOO. Instead, different oils are made by repeated crushing under higher temperatures to produce additional oil from the fruit. The quality of the products obtained through this method is nowhere near that of EVOO and neither is the taste, flavor profile, or health benefits.
Benefits of First Cold Pressed Olive Oil
EVOO is well known for its flavor profile and nutrients. As a critical ingredient in the Mediterranean diet, it has many beneficial properties that maintain its popularity in the food industry and within the beauty and health industries.
Some people swear by drinking a tablespoon neat daily to offer an added boost to gut health and digestion, while others use it as part of a daily skincare routine. EVOO owes its dense nutrient profile to the extraction method.
- Nutrients - It is what's inside that counts. Using heat during the extraction process can damage nutrients, making temperature a critical component of the extraction method. Cold-pressed varieties are packed full of nutrients that you expect from top-quality EVOO.
- Taste - The signature flavor found in the best bottles of EVOO is attributed to its producing method. While it is understandable that the soil conditions in which the olives are grown and the types of olives used are all factors in the final flavor, the method in which it is produced is essential too. Heat or additional crushing can change the final product's flavor; that is why EVOO is only pressed once at a specific temperature to ensure that it tastes precisely the way it should.
With that in mind, it is clear what you can expect from your EVOO: a wealth of health benefits and a taste profile to delight the taste buds and elevate any dish. Whether you like your EVOO on your plate or on your skin, you are bound to experience the benefits soon.
First Cold Pressed vs. Cold Extracted
Modern times call for modern methods. In the old days, the Mediterranean fruit was squeezed between mats using mechanical pressure to separate the oil from the fruit; this traditional method is widespread in Europe, except a hydraulic press is used instead of a mechanical one.
However, many modern producers have opted for a more refined process; a centrifuge that uses gravity and force to extract the oil from the fruit. The temperatures are also kept on the cooler side to ensure no heat damage is done to the product or vital nutrients are removed, impacting the final taste.
So, What's The Difference?
There isn’t much difference as both methods are used to produce some of the world's best extra virgin olive oils. Some producers prefer the traditional hydraulic press method of extracting the delicious oil for authenticity and as a way to stay in touch with the rich history of the world's finest ingredient.
Other producers prefer the convenience of a centrifuge. Both methods work well and produce high-quality oils that harness the full flavor of the fruit without compromising on taste or nutrient values.
The Texas Hill Country Olive Co. Difference
When choosing the right kind of oil, you might want to consider Texas olive oil to add to your pantry. There are several reasons for this; our locally produced EVOO is readily available all year round and pairs beautifully with farm-to-table fresh produce found in your local supermarkets and farmstalls.
Another reason to consider local is freshness; the products don’t need to travel additional distances or risk being stuck in a warehouse while clearing through customs only to make it to a shelf in a store. Instead, the distance it needs to go is much shorter, ensuring that it lasts longer and tastes better.
At the Texas Hill Country Olive Co., each bottle we produce is first cold pressed as a way to respect our heritage and roots, with the added bonus of not compromising on flavor. With a wide variety of EVOO flavor profiles and types, you can find the perfect bottle of locally produced Texas olive oil quickly and effortlessly in our shop.