Those of us lucky enough to live around the Mediterranean Sea have a very close relationship with a tree: the olive tree. In fact, it has been a fundamental part of Mediterranean culture for more than 2,000 years.

This intimate link over the centuries with the inhabitants of the Mediterranean arc, the main olive oil producing area, and the intense consumption of its fruit, the olive, and its juice, the oil, leads us to believe that there is widespread knowledge of its origins, particularities, benefits and recommended uses.

Unfortunately this is not the case. For various reasons that we are not going to discuss here, there are many myths and falsehoods that are present in society about olive oil, negatively affecting a greater consumption of the healthiest vegetable fat, as has been proven by the numerous scientific studies that have been carried out.

Here is our little grain of sand to clear up doubts and help to deepen the culture of extra virgin olive oil, also known as EVOO.

  1. Does heating extra virgin olive oil diminish its health benefits?

Many people claim that extra virgin olive oil should only be used for salads or raw. It should never be heated as it reduces its health benefits. This is false.

Cooking with olive oil actually makes meals healthier. For example, a study published in the journal Food Chemistry showed that olive oil introduces phenols and antioxidants into vegetables when cooked.

  1. Is extra virgin olive oil good for frying?

It is common in recipe books not to recommend the use of extra virgin olive oil when frying because of its low smoke point. False.

Several studies have shown that extra virgin olive oil is the most stable cooking oil when heated, thanks to its high polyphenol content, which stabilises and protects the oil when it is subjected to high temperatures. This is why it is the most recommended for healthy frying.

  1. Is genuine extra virgin olive oil the kind that solidifies in the fridge?

Some olive oil “gurus” recommend putting extra virgin olive oil in the fridge to verify its purity and high quality when it becomes cloudy or solidifies.

This is false. There is no home test to check the authenticity of olive oil. Some oils turn cloudy in the refrigerator and some do not. The quality of a virgin olive oil is checked by physical, chemical and multi-residual analyses carried out by an accredited laboratory and a sensory analysis carried out by a panel test approved by the International Olive Oil Committee (IOC).

  1. Does the green colour of the oil indicate its quality?

A large number of consumers think that a very green colour indicates the high quality of the olive oil, the more intense the colour, the better the flavour. This is false.

The colour is not an indicator of the quality of olive oil. In fact, it varies from a pale yellow to a dark green colour, depending on the variables of the olive tree: the place where it grows, the climate and the time when it is harvested. It even changes in its evolution process from the time it is produced until its best-before date. In short, you can enjoy a magnificent extra virgin olive oil with straw-coloured tones or find intense green oils with defects.

  1. Are all olive oils equally healthy?

“What difference does it make to take olive oil or extra virgin olive oil if they have the same properties” say many consumers when choosing their vegetable fat. This is not true.

Extra virgin olive oil is pure olive juice, with no defects whatsoever, and has the most health-giving properties, which increase the higher the quality of the oil. This has a lot to do with its polyphenol and oleocanthal content. We must not forget that olive oil is the result of the mixture of refined oil and virgin olive oil, which gives it colour, flavour and health properties.

  1. Does olive oil expire or does it improve with time, like wine?

Some people think that olive oil expires, others think that over time it takes on attributes, becoming richer, like wine. In both cases this is false.

Olive oil does not expire. Its label does not mark an expiry date, but a best-before date. In other words, it is not harmful to the organism if the oil is consumed after the best-before date, but its qualities will deteriorate due to progressive oxidation and rooting. As juice, extra virgin olive oil gradually loses its properties and at a certain point defects begin to appear. It is at this point that it ceases to be extra virgin olive oil. Therefore, the date that appears on the back label of a bottle of extra virgin olive oil indicates the latest date by which its content maintains its properties as an irreproachable juice, without any defects whatsoever.

  1. Is olive oil with higher acidity better?

There is widespread confusion about the acidity of olive oil. In fact, many consumers (usually olive oil consumers) believe that olive oils with higher acidity are more intense than those with lower acidity. FALSE.

Acidity is a chemical parameter that has nothing to do with taste, it indicates the amount of fatty acids that deteriorate by degradation or fermentation in the raw material. In other words, the higher the acidity, the lower the quality, without affecting the taste. This is why you can find two extra virgin olive oils with the same acidity, but with very different flavours, both of which must have less than 0.8%. In the case of extra virgin olive oils protected under a Designation of Origin, this requirement drops to 0.3%.

  1. Is olive oil fattening?

If you have reduced or discarded olive oil from your regular diet because of the belief that it is fattening, you are wrong. FALSE.

Among the many other healthy properties of extra virgin olive oil is its satiating capacity, reducing that irrepressible urge to eat without measure.

Likewise, its high content of healthy fats facilitates the transformation of food, favouring digestion.

  1. Is consuming olive oil good for the heart?

Many people, especially those with cardiovascular problems, reduce their consumption of olive oil because they think that olive oil, being a fat, cannot be good for the heart. FALSE.

As a fundamental pillar of the Mediterranean Diet, extra virgin olive oil has beneficial effects associated with its regular consumption, demonstrated by many studies, including the Predimed project.

  1. Is cold extraction of olive oil the same as first pressing?

When we point out that our oils are cold-extracted, many consumers think that this is the same as first cold pressing. FALSE.

Cold pressing was done in old mills with presses in which an olive paste was pressed without heating. Nowadays, thanks to new technologies, the juice is obtained from the olives by extraction through mixers and centrifuges that separate the oil from the olive paste. If the whole process is carried out at less than 27ºC, the properties of the resulting oil remain unalterable.

Is olive oil fattening? How to read the nutritional table of extra virgin olive oil?

For a long time our food choices have been determined by calories. However, nowadays it is increasingly known that beyond the energy contribution of foods, it is also important to look at their nutrients. That is why extra virgin olive oil is a high-calorie food, but at the same time, one of the most beneficial.

Foods in their natural form can have varying amounts of calories, with vegetable oils being among the most energetic options.

Since oils are made up of 100% fats, they contribute 999 calories per 100 grams, making them one of the most caloric foods in the world.

However, in the case of extra virgin olive oil, which of course is very concentrated in calories, it is at the same time a very beneficial food, to the point of being called liquid gold because of its great value for the human organism.

Besides being a great source of calories, extra virgin olive oil offers antioxidants and polyphenols with anti-inflammatory effect for our body, being at the same time a supplier of unsaturated fats with positive effects on health.

What does each of the elements that appear in the nutritional table of extra virgin olive oil mean?

In general terms, the nutritional table contains information about the amount of energy (calories) and key nutrients found per 100 ml of extra virgin olive oil. They help us understand the amount of calories and the amount of nutrients in the foods we eat and how much they contribute to our diet.

But before inspecting a product’s nutritional table, you should stop to look at the product’s ingredient list. All the ingredients of a product are ordered by weight, that is to say, what contains the most is what should go first. If you detect that the first 4 foods are of good quality, natural, whole, high in protein, are not sugar, contain vitamins, minerals, then you are most likely choosing a good product. On the contrary, discard products whose ingredients include refined flours (more than 70% like wheat), sugar, margarine or hydrogenated vegetable oil (palm, sunflower), among others.

In the case of extra virgin olive oil, only one single ingredient must appear: olive juice, extra virgin olive oil. It may seem obvious, but the regulations state that you cannot label with the designation EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL if the product includes any additional ingredient.

Below is an example that will help us to explain each of the blocks that make up the nutritional table that appears on the back of the bottles of extra virgin olive oil that you can find on the shelf of your supermarket or regular store.

  1. Energy value per 100 ml

The energy value is measured by the calories per 100 ml of EVOO. It is expressed first in kilojoules (kJ) and then in kilocalories (kcal), the most commonly understood value.

This information is useful for comparing similar products per 100 g or 100 ml when the recommended serving size is not provided or when you plan to consume a larger or smaller portion than the serving size.

Calories are the sum of the energy provided by the three most important nutrients (fats, proteins and carbohydrates), so we should not value olive oil as a food in isolation by these. In fact, for the same number of calories, two foods can be very different: one of them could be rich in sugars, and the other of integral origin. It is therefore recommended to pay attention to how its fats are composed.

  1. Fat composition

When the fat content is significant, as is the case in olive oil with 91 grams per 100 ml, we cannot fail to look at what its fats are. If there is a predominance of saturated fats, this is an unadvisable product if we want to take care of our health and blood cholesterol. On the contrary, if the fatty acids are mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, it will be beneficial for the organism as a whole. Regarding polyunsaturated fatty acids, they are essential, since the organism does not synthesize them and we can only get them through food. This is the case of extra virgin olive oil, rich in “good” fats which, for example, help to reduce LDL cholesterol levels.

In this section, it is important to ensure that the transaturated fat content is kept to a minimum, as they are unhealthy for the organism. They are created by industries where processed and hydrogenated fats are used. Since olive oil is of natural origin, it does not contain this type of fat that is so harmful to the organism.

  1. List of nutrients

In a healthy diet we must also try to control the rest of the nutrients that appear in the nutritional table.

In general terms, it is advisable to consume more of the nutrients that are at the bottom of the list, such as vitamins, calcium and iron, but be careful, sugar is at the bottom of this list, being the exception to this recommendation, since we must control its consumption.

In relation to the contribution of carbohydrates, it is detailed which of the total carbohydrates are sugars, being advisable that most of the products that we acquire do not present more than 10% of sugars. If sugars are not described, we must refer to their ingredients and see if they contain sugar, fructose, sucrose or honey among their ingredients. If these names appear in the list of ingredients, it is because the product contains sugars and should be taken into account in a healthy diet, and even more so in the case of people with high triglycerides or diabetes, for example. In the case of EVOO, its content is zero, and its consumption is recommended for people with diets that limit sugars.

As regards salt (sodium), the ideal is not to consume more than 2,000 milligrams in a day, according to the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Finally, in the case of extra virgin olive oil, it is worth mentioning its vitamin E content, which is higher the higher its quality. Vitamin E contributes to the protection of cells against oxidative damage.

We hope that all this information will help us to understand what we consume regularly, the nutrients in extra virgin olive oil and that we are not victims of misleading advertising.

Everyone knows that extra virgin olive oil is a very complete ingredient at a nutritional level, but it is common to doubt whether or not we can give it to our baby and when is the right time to start introducing it into his diet. The answer is clear: yes. We have to do it because it is very beneficial for their growth. In fact, its composition has many similarities with breast milk.

What are the benefits of olive oil for the baby?

Among the more than 150 components of extra virgin olive oil are vitamins A, D, E and K, and oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid, which helps control cholesterol by lowering LDL (“bad” cholesterol) and increasing HDL (“good” cholesterol). Here are some other benefits for your baby’s body.

  • Extra virgin olive oil is made up of 99.9% vegetable fats, rich in good calories, essential for your baby’s growth.
  • It is an important source of antioxidants that act on a preventive level in the oxidation of cells against free radicals.
  • It improves the assimilation of micronutrients such as vitamins A, D, E and K, and important minerals for the body.
  • It is a very interesting option to prevent and relieve constipation in the baby, as it helps to regulate intestinal transit. If consumed regularly, their stools are softer and intestinal inflammation is reduced. But remember that it is not an immediate and miraculous remedy, its effects are noticed in its daily consumption, and you should not give him “more oil” when he is constipated.

When can I give olive oil to the baby?

In view of the above-mentioned benefits, we are not exaggerating when we point out that babies should drink olive oil even before they are born. The consumption of extra virgin olive oil is especially recommended during pregnancy, both for the benefits it brings to the mother, as well as the help it provides to the good development of the fetus. In fact, it is well known the great importance of a healthy and balanced diet during pregnancy, which can even influence the baby’s body mass index.

Extra virgin olive oil can be introduced into the baby’s diet when complementary feeding begins, starting with small amounts, for example, with a drizzle on a slice of bread.

How can we give olive oil to the baby?

The best way to consume extra virgin olive oil is raw, as this way we take advantage of all its nutritional properties.

The best ways to introduce it in the baby’s diet are:

  • Adding a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to the puree just before mashing it.
  • Adding a few drops to bread when we have already introduced it in their diet.
  • In any type of food we make: omelets, casseroles…
  • When the baby starts to chew solid foods such as vegetables, it is recommended to dress them by adding a little extra virgin olive oil.

What is the best olive oil for babies?

In the market you can find many different types of oil: extra virgin, virgin, olive oil and pomace oil. The one you should give your baby is extra virgin olive oil (also known as EVOO), because it is the one with the highest quality and the lowest acidity.

The varieties of olives used to make the oil give it different flavors: hojiblanca, arbequina, picual, cornicabra and a long etcetera. Among them there are relevant variations in terms of their fruitiness and level of bitterness and pungency (we remind you that bitterness and pungency are positive attributes of a high quality EVOO), so we recommend a learning process, starting with fruitier oils, such as the one from the arbequina olive, and gradually introducing you to the rich (and complex) world of extra virgin olive oils. In a little more than 6 months you will be able to enjoy oils with a marked herbaceous fruitiness and a significant level of spiciness and bitterness, such as our hojiblanca variety.

Although there is complete freedom to use an extra virgin olive oil of any variety, here the taste of each one rules, there are indeed recommendations for use in the kitchen according to its organoleptic properties.

The first thing to point out is that above these recommendations is the taste of each person. There are people who like dressings with more nuanced flavors in salads, as is the case of arbequina variety oils, while others prefer the more spicy and bitter aromas of extra virgin olive oil of the picual or hojiblanca varieties.


  • Preparation: salads, Andalusian fried foods, fried potatoes, breaded and battered, slow stews, canned raw or cooked foods (cheeses, cured meats…).
  • Uses: salads, fried foods, meat and game marinades, canned vegetables.
  • Recommended techniques: raw, long frying, casseroles.


  • Preparation: mayonnaise, alioli, vinaigrettes, strong fish marinades, hot and cold creams, pastas, stir-fries, canned vegetables.
  • Uses: mild salads, marinades for meats and blue fish, intense emulsions.
  • Recommended techniques: raw, preserves


  • Preparation: fried, salpicón, ceviche, sautéed meats, mollusks, baked potatoes, pizza dough, empanada, churros, doughnuts
  • Uses: salads, light fried foods, bakery doughs
  • Recommended techniques: raw, short fried foods, sautéed foods.


  • Preparation: mayonnaise, aioli, vinaigrettes, anchovies in vinegar, marinated salmon, seafood carpaccio, gazpachos and salmorejos, sautéed fish.
  • Uses: mild marinades, sauces, cold creams, pastry doughs.
  • Recommended techniques: raw, pastry


We insist, these are the recommended uses. However, ideally, you should not limit yourself to this rule. Experiment and play with flavors, trying the same dish with different varieties to find your perfect combination.

When buying olive oil in the store, we usually find labels with the denomination of an olive variety with which the extra virgin olive oil has been made. There are many doubts that customers transmit to us about the organoleptic and pairing peculiarities of each one of them.

We will try to answer your questions in the following article.


What are the main olive varieties?

More than 200 varieties of olives are grown in Spain. Each of them brings unique flavors and aromas. Each of them has different flavor and aroma characteristics. Here are the main varieties.


  • It is the predominant variety in the planet and in the Iberian Peninsula.
  • It is located in the provinces of Jaén, Córdoba and Granada.
  • It is an elongated, medium-sized olive with a beak in the center.
  • EVOO is characterized by herbaceous aromas and bitterness, due to its high content of natural antioxidants.



  • Its name derives from the whitish color of its leaf, which gives a clarity to the tree.
  • It is mainly found in Seville, Cordoba and Malaga.
  • It has a double use: as a table olive and olive oil.
  • Medium-sized round olive
  • The EVOO is characterized by its notes of different field herbs, artichoke, nettle… highlighting a characteristic spiciness.



  • Third in production volume in Spain.
  • Originally from Mora de Toledo, it is grown mainly in Toledo, Ciudad Real and Madrid, although it can also be found throughout Extremadura.
  • Elongated, asymmetrical and with its characteristic horn shape that gives its name to the variety.
  • It has a golden yellow color with slight greenish reflections that anticipate the fruity attribute.
  • It presents a harmonious balance between sweetness on entry, bitterness of green leaves and spiciness of medium intensity. The texture of this olive oil is fluid and velvety.


  • Originally from Catalonia, specifically in Tarragona and Lérida, its resistance and precocity to adapt to super-intensive cultivation has made it expand rapidly throughout the Iberian Peninsula.
  • Small olives and large stone olives
  • They are fresh and young oils that due to their composition are more delicate than other varieties against oxidation.
  • EVOO is characterized by being predominantly fruity with notes of banana, almond and apple.


According to Carmen Ruscalleda. The famous chef explains how to use extra virgin olive oil in the kitchen. This is her Decalogue.

  1. Raw

When you eat it alone with bread, or with bread and tomato, or dressing raw or cooked vegetables, extra virgin olive oil is the main protagonist.

  1. Raw and crushed

With fresh or dried herbs (with parsley and sage to make a green oil), or in a vinaigrette (it is very important because it is the great binding agent of vinaigrettes).

  1. Emulsified sauces

In minced, in mayonnaise (with a good extra virgin olive oil they become of a very different category). Mayonnaise can be flavored with a tomato confit or sautéed herbs and turned into a red or green mayonnaise.

  1. Confit

Slow heat or low temperature vacuum confit. To confit very slowly some quail legs or mushrooms. In this case, the extra virgin olive oil becomes a semi-preserve that you can then use to finish a pasta or rice dish.

  1. Fried foods

We must lose our fear of fried food. Frying is healthy if the extra virgin olive oil is good and has not been denatured, and if it is used wisely. Evidently it has a short life for frying, but for blond potatoes or tempura it is very important.

  1. Sofritos

It is necessary to use a good extra virgin olive oil for frying because it will leave the sofrito in the perfect point and will preserve it even better. I always have at home an onion that I have sautéed for many hours only with olive oil. I make them in strips and when I finish I put them in a little bag and put them in the freezer. I do the same with a tomato and some peppers. And this way, those noodles, that rice, those potatoes will never be “more of the same”.

  1. Roasts

In the casserole or in the oven, with just one meat or mixing them, something very typical of Mediterranean gastronomy. The extra virgin olive oil will help to caramelize and bring out all those fantastic juices of roasted meat.

  1. Baking

With shorter roasts, for fish, which require less temperature because they have a more delicate texture, or for vegetables. It is important the extra virgin olive oil thread, which will make sweat the flavor of the product and will become a perfumed sauce of the same extra virgin olive oil.

  1. Paellas

In rice, fideuás, you start first frying the pasta to make it dry and then it is perfect, vigorous. In this case the quality of the extra virgin olive oil is very important.

  1. In pastry

In pastry making it pairs very well with chocolate, not only cold. But a “ganache” type chocolate, warm and melting, with a touch of extra virgin olive oil and salt, is magnificent. And a creamy ice cream, which can be almond or vanilla, with a touch of extra virgin olive oil is fantastic.

All the efforts and care dedicated to the forest of more than 7 million olive trees come to an end, with the cooperative Oleoestepa SCA beginning the period of early harvesting of olives for later cold extraction of olive oil in the associated oil mills.

Like last season, Oleoestepa celebrates it by launching an unfiltered, extra virgin olive oil in a limited edition, mostly of the hojiblanca variety, grown in the region of the Estepa Denomination of Origin, with a fruity olive aroma. green with light touches of ripe olives, with hints of leaf and grass, highlighting the intensity of its fruity, as well as its balanced bitterness and spiciness.

This unfiltered extra virgin olive oil is characterized by the rustic appearance provided by pieces of olive pulp, which give it a more natural appearance, recommending its consumption raw with a slice of bread or in salads.

This limited edition is available in a 1-liter glass bottle and soon also in a 5-liter plastic bottle. Its high quality is guaranteed by the Protected Designation of Origin Estepa, which gives it a high content of vitamin E. Its environmental sustainability certified with the Integrated Production seal.

You can buy now by clicking here.