Using Olive Oil

When it comes to olive oil, fresh is best and New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the freshest available. Our growers have it available for sale within months of pressing rather than the years it can take for imported oils to reach our shores.

Look for the OliveMark® so that you can be assured that the oil has been formally certified as New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Better than butter

Use olive oil instead of butter while cooking, especially as a finishing step by drizzling the oil on your dish. Drizzle it on everything, even on the most unexpected choices such as desserts.

Store in the dark

Store olive oil in a cool, dark place as the quality, health benefits, and taste of the olive oil deteriorates over time making it preferable to consume the oil within 24 months of harvest.

Don’t overheat it

It’s important not to heat olive oil (or any cooking oil) over its smoke point, the temperature at which a cooking fat or oil begins to break down, the oil smokes or burns, and gives the oil (and food) an unpleasant taste. Olive oil begins to lose its benefits and unique flavor when it starts to smoke. According to the International Olive Oil Council, olive oil stands up well to high temperatures, with a smoke point of 410ºF (210ºC). The higher the quality and level of polyphenols of the olive oil, the higher the possible cooking temperature.

Taste the colour

The health benefit of the oil comes from the level of natural antioxidants, or polyphenols. A high polyphenol content can be identified when the olive oil is tasted, and it creates an assertive, peppery astringency in the back of the throat.

Extra virgin

The finest quality olive oil on the market containing the highest level of antioxidants is the cold-pressed extra virgin variety. This means that the oil was not heated over a certain temperature during processing and that the olives were crushed exactly on time — when ripe but not too ripe. These specifications ensure that the oil retains more nutrients and has undergone less processing, making it more pure. An olive oil must be under one percent acidity and have no flavor defects to be labeled extra virgin. To get the greatest health benefit from olive oil, extra virgin should be your only choice.