Olive oil is one of the most common ingredients you’ll find in Italian cooking. From tossing it with pasta to using it to sauté meats and veggies, there’s almost a limitless amount of uses for olive oil.
This oil dates back to about 2500 BCE, where it was first used as fuel for lamps as well as religious purposes.
We want to highlight this amazing ingredient by answering some of the most common questions surrounding it!
What Exactly is olive oil?
Olive oil at its core is a liquefied fat produced from olives. It’s most commonly used as a cooking oil or for frying foods, but has almost a limitless amount of uses.
Olives are picked from Olive trees usually located in a subtropical climate like the Mediterranean. After the olives are picked, they go through a cold press process where they are pressed down until they produce an oil or technically a monounsaturated fat.
Some of the best olive oils are packaged in glass bottles and imported from subtropical climates.
What is olive oil good for?
From salad dressing to hair masks, olive oil has many great uses! Here’s a list of some of our favorite ways to use olive oil
- Spaghetti Aglio e Olio recipe
- Toss with your favorite Dagostino Pasta to keep from sticking
- Combined with balsamic vinegar for bread dip
- Drizzle on top of soup as per the Mediterranean diet
- A heart healthy replacement for mayo on sandwiches
- Infuse with garlic or seasonings for an infused cooking oil
- Drizzle on mild cheeses on charcuterie boards for an elevated flavor.
- Use it as a salad dressing
Because of the natural properties of oil from olives, many believe that it can reduce the risk and risk factors of heart disease. When it comes to the health benefits of olive oil, always consult a doctor or professional before changing your diet.
What makes olive oil "extra virgin"?
“Extra Virgin Olive Oil” is an olive oil that has a unique process. Refined oils are “purified” by the settling method or treated by an acid. Refined olive oil tends to have disappointing flavors, and a strong scent.
However regular olive oil or what is commonly referred to as extra virgin oil is a means that the oil is untreated and pure. It’s considered the highest quality of olive oil.
What are the different types of olive oil?
Some of the different olive oils you can find and purchase:
- Extra Light
- Organic Extra Virgin Olive oil
- Fruited or “Delicato” from Filippo Berio
- California (made from california olives)
- Seasoned or “Robusto” from Filippo Berio
As you can see, olive oil has a limitless amount of uses unlike others such as coconut oil. Olive oil is a very important element in food, health, cosmetics, religion and culture. As you can see it’s extremely versatile and is widely consumed. In recent years, the global consumption of this oil is about 3.1 million metric tons.
At Dagostino’s we pride ourselves on our extra virgin olive oil. Our oil is first press and cold-extracted from the best Sicilian olives. The olives are hand-picked from October to December each year. Golden yellow in color with olive green tones, the scent of fresh olives and a fruity flavor with almond aftertaste. We work with LSU’s department of agriculture for our products, and ensure our food scientists are present to verify the quality.
To create an authentic Italian appetizer, you can pair our oil with our house 12 year Balsamic vinegar and seasoning to create a rich bread dip.
We hope this guide helps elevate your next dinner.
About Dagostino Handmade Pasta
From Lemons to Premium Pasta
Our story started with lemon farmers in Sicily. In the early 19th century lemons would go on long voyages from Sicily to New Orleans, usually taking around 100 days. These Sicilians would create settlements in New Orleans and with them came pasta.
The Fresina Family, our founders, were some of these original lemon farmers and started creating handmade pasta in New Orleans in 1926. Since then, the D’Agostino and Hayward families have continued their tradition of creating premium handmade pasta using pure semolina flour and water then cutting the pasta through bronze dies and air-drying in wooden cellars.
Our pasta is still made the old-fashioned way, in our pasta factory, using the “delicate” method developed centuries ago. Small quantities of pasta are extruded through bronze, carefully looped over wooden rods, straightened, and then air-dried in wooden cellars. Celebrated for its delicate texture and classic flavor, our pasta is handmade, all-natural, and preservative free, producing the best tasting pasta available on the market today.
Our sauces are some of the most authentic sauces available outside of Italy. The sauces are handmade in small batches with a unique blend of fresh herbs and spices. Made without preservatives, each batch is carefully examined by our chefs and food scientists to ensure our sauces are the best tasting on the market.
You will experience our time honored family treasure in every meal.