Picture going to the supermarket to buy groceries for the week with a list of everything you need. You've written down 'Oil'. Then you reach the aisle and find a wide array of different varieties of olive oil. Right then and there you have to decide: Which one is the highest quality oil? What's the difference between one oil and another? I'll tell you about the different types of oil so you can always get it right.
EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
Without a doubt this is the best oil in terms of quality and the one you should always choose. It conserves all the properties of the olives, to the point that you could call it 'natural olive juice'. Of course it includes no preservatives or additives and its composition is the healthiest.
On the other hand, its acidity is below 0.8%, making for a very pleasant flavor and aroma. Here I must add that Carapelli goes one step further. In its commitment to the utmost quality they set their own ceiling of 0.5% maximum acidity, providing value added to their extra virgin olive oils. Now of course EVOO must have pleasant, identifiable sensorial characteristics.
VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
In this case, the olive gathering and manufacturing process is the same as for extra virgin olive oil. But there are obviously some differences. It's still olive juice, but you'll find a defect or two, however minimal these may be.
Because of this the acidity ranges from 0.8% to 2%, making it slightly less aromatic. If you ask me whether you can consume it, I'll tell you that you can. If you ask me whether I advise you to consume it, then I'll say no. You'll find many more benefits in a virgin extra than in just virgin olive oil.
It loses the 'virgin' moniker because it is the result of blending virgin and refined oils, and the acidity is over 2%. What does this mean? Poor quality. After a series of chemical processes that yield this type of oil, it loses its aroma and flavor, aside from organic compounds and antioxidants that we do find in higher quality oils.
OLIVE POMACE OIL
In many places they don't even consider it olive oil, because it is the result of mixing refined pomace oil and virgin olive oil. It is the lowest quality oil that can be consumed. It can be used, but I strongly advise you not to. Just think of it, I don't even recommend virgin olive oil or plain olive oil…
As you can see, within the different types of olive oil, extra virgin is the one that's ideal for your diet. It is healthier and more aromatic. It will give your dishes a unique taste. Next time you go grocery shopping, choose the best oil on the market and enjoy all the good things you can get from your dishes.