What is the difference between Olive Oil (also known as Classic Olive Oil) and Extra Virgin Olive Oil? Although obtained from the same fruit, these two types of olive oil are different in a few ways. The main distinction that can be drawn between the two is that Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is generally considered of higher quality and the more flavorsome of the two. Olive oil producers need to adhere to very strict criteria so their oil can qualify for that much cherished “Extra Virgin” seal. In this article, we answer some of the internet’s most popular questions on the two types of olive oil.
Is Olive Oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil healthier?
Both types of olive oil share very similar nutritional profiles. Most sources online tend to favor EVOO as the healthier of the two oils, mentioning its richness in vitamins and good fats. The real difference between the two types of olive oil is that EVOO contains antioxidants whereas regular Olive Oil does not. Both types are healthy options and Olive Oil is the best fat for cooking in terms of healthiness due to its higher smoke point.
Which tastes better: EVOO or Olive Oil?
Taste is subjective, and not everyone will favor one oil or the other. EVOO has a stronger taste than Classic Olive Oil because the extraction method used to make Extra Virgin Olive Oil is meant to retain as much of the original taste of the olive fruit as possible. The United States Standards for Grades of Olive Oil and Olive-Pomace Oil officially recognizes that Extra Virgin Olive Oil has “excellent flavor and odor (median of defects equal to zero and median of fruitiness greater than zero)” while regular Olive Oil has “acceptable odor and flavor.” This does not necessarily mean that the flavor is less good, simply that regular Olive Oil is lighter in flavor.
Which has fewer calories: Extra Virgin Olive Oil or regular Olive Oil?
Both EVOO and Olive Oil contain around 119 kcal per tablespoon. For more information, read our recent article full of nutrition information for olive oil.
Is Olive Oil made the same way as Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
The extraction process for EVOO is different to that of Olive Oil. EVOO is the least processed or refined type of olive oil. EVOO is “cold-pressed,” which means it is extracted using only natural methods and standardized for purity, without being subjected to any heat which does alter the taste. To obtain Olive Oil, the natural olive oil goes through a refining process to remove all of the aroma and flavor substances including its natural antioxidants. In the final stages of the process, some EVOO or VOO is blended with the refined olive oil to create classic Olive Oil.
Can I use Extra Virgin Olive Oil in place of Olive Oil?
Absolutely, both types of olive oil are fine to use as salad dressings, dips, and for baking and cooking, although you should bear in mind their differing smoke points. However, due to its richer flavor and aroma, EVOO is generally used for dressings, dips, and for uncooked meals, while its less flavorsome counterpart Olive Oil, which has a higher smoke point than EVOO, is a much better fit for cooking.
Overall, Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is of higher quality and has a richer aroma and flavor. However, both types of olive oil serve different purposes. To continue comparing both olive oils, you may want to find out more about Italica’s classic Olive Oil and Italica’s Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil.