I am a fan of olive oil, so I found this Flavor Your Life campaign for 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil really interesting! I got to attend a virtual Italian cooking class, watch an olive oil tasting session, learn about the history of olive oil and later, sample some Le Stagioni d’ Italia 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil for myself. I’ll be sharing a bit of what I learned here, and share how I used it to make a delicious dinner.
*I received this product for free from Moms Meet to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.
What is Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the first cold press of the fresh fruit of the olive tree. The olives are picked from the tress and then transformed into the oil using no heat or chemicals for the process. Only mechanical or physical methods of crushing, centrifugation and filtration are used.
After the oil is produced, it must be evaluated by a panel of experts trained by the International Oil Council. They will determine the quality of the oil based on its chemical components (like acidity and peroxides) and the sensorial analysis of taste and smell. They will be looking for a fruity taste and harmonious balance. If any defects are detected in the fruitiness, bitterness or spiciness, then the oil cannot be declared Extra Virgin.
In contrast, the extraction method of regular olive oil can be done using chemicals or high-heat equipment. Unfortunately the more aggressive process can remove the important and very healthy natural nutrients and minerals contained in the olives. This can mean a big difference in your health, as the nutrients in olives have been known to be good for your heart and your brain.
Le Stagioni d’ Italia from Field to Table
Le Stagioni d’ Italia means “the seasons of Italy” and represents the connection to nature and land
in Italian farming. They guarantee sustainable farming practices and take great pride in bringing authentic Italian foods from seed to shelf. All of their foods are packaged in their their state-of-the-art production facilities in Northern Italy.
Their 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil is vegan, gluten free and contains no additives or preservatives. It has the robust flavor notes of artichoke and almond, with a medium bitter and spicy aftertaste. The scent is green, ripe and fruity with a leafy feel. It is superior category oil that is rich in polyphenols and antioxidants. It works well both in cooking and drizzled on as a finisher.
How to Use Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Different olive oils will have different flavors, so it’s good to experiment ! Delicate oils work best for salad dressings or as a condiment over mild foods. Pair robust oils with hearty foods like steak or spicy soup. The high smoking point of 400°F makes it great for cooking and pan frying, which is one of the way I put my oil to use.
I put the 100% Italian Extra Virgin Olive to use in three parts of our dinner. First I mixed up a bruschetta-inspired topping of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh garlic and basil. Then I pan fried breaded boneless skinless chicken thighs in a small amount of olive oil. And finally, I tossed the green beans in a bit of olive oil and sea salt. Dinner was delicious!
I highly recommend seeking out a high quality 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil that has been inspected and graded for purity. You can look for the European Union PDO certification (Protected Designation of Origin – also know as DOP in Italian) or PGI (Protected Geographical Indication – also known as IGP in Italian).
“PDO certified products must be produced, processed and prepared in a specific region using traditional production methods and have the sensorial qualities attributed to that region.
PGI is less strict and certifies that one stage of the process occurred in a specific region. Third party authorities constantly monitor these certifications.”