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A primary component of Italian cuisine, olive oil is one of the most versatile and essential ingredients in the world of cooking and provides a variety of health benefits when used in place of saturated fats in your diet. Olive oil is one of the few cooking oils produced through natural extraction instead of chemical extraction, which protects the oil’s nutrients. Extra virgin olive oil offers additional health benefits that decrease the body’s risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer and more. Learn more about the difference between extra virgin and classic olive oil below.
Classic olive oil has the same health-promoting monosaturated fats as extra virgin olive oil but doesn’t contain the same antioxidants because it isn’t made from the first cold press process; the heat used in extraction for pure olive oil disperses the antioxidants. It also has a milder flavor with a hint of fruitiness and a lighter color than extra virgin olive oil. This oil is best used as an everyday cooking oil for sautéing, grilling, roasting, frying and baking, or as a good base for spice-infused dressings and hearty sauces because of the subtle flavor. Additional uses: