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Tuesday, November 28, 2023
In Italy, cooking is an art. The essence of the food is found in the perfect combination of the ingredients. Olive oil, sauces, spices, herbs and parmesan cheese play important roles in cooking the food. The Italians are known for the use of pasta, rice, beans, eggplant, bell peppers, zucchini, artichokes, escarole and, of course, tomatoes as something typically Italian, but also spinach, carrots, celery and potatoes. Fresh ingredients are the essential part of the meals. In a typical ordinary meal, pasta, rice or soup is served as “il primo piatto”. Meat or fish will be “il secondo piatto” accompanied by vegetables, and then an espresso coffee and dessert. Italian immigrants might forget their language, but they never forget how to cook Italian foods.
Olive oil is an important ingredient and vastly used by Italians for cooking; it is delicious and healthy. There are many grades of olive oil, but five of them are well known:
Extra Virgin Oil:
Extra virgin olive oil is derived from the first cold pressing of olives without refining.

Virgin Olive Oil:
Also derived from the first pressing without refining, virgin olive oil has an acidity level between one and two percent.

Olive Oil:
Olive oil has an acidity level of no more than 1.5 percent. It is obtained by blending refined oil with 1-15% extra virgin olive oil (the percentage & quality varies).

Pure Olive Oil:
Pure olive oil has an acidity level of no more than 1.5 percent. It is a blend of refined olive oil and Pomace oil, possibly with a small quantity of extra virgin or virgin olive oil.

Light Olive Oil:
Made with an extremely fine filtration process, light olive oil has a more neutral flavor and is the perfect choice when preparing baked goods.

Olive Pomace Oil:
It's a mixture of refined olive oil cake with virgin olive oil, with an acidity limit of 1.5%. It is a very poor quality in the ranking list of oils.

    Olive Oil – A Basic Necessity!
    Italian Traditional Cheeses
    Italian Regional Recipes

The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.


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