Olive oil is a typical product of the Mediterranean. In addition, it has been very popular since ancient times. That is, it was a valuable bargaining chip for merchants thousands of years ago. For example, our ancestors used it both as a precious food and as a fuel for lamps. Even in modern times it is a very popular product. That is now almost exclusively for food purposes. In other words, its health benefits are universally recognized. Especially Italy and Spain are the main growers of the olive tree which is the plant from which the oil is obtained.
The olive tree is a fruit tree native to Asia Minor and the Middle East. Then the modern olive tree originated from the wild olive tree that still grows spontaneously in the Middle East today. In addition, there are historical traces according to which the ancient Greeks were the first to cultivate it. That is, they discovered the qualities of this wild plant. Then they practiced what can be called the domestication of a wild plant. In particular, the ancient Greeks and other peoples subsequently carried out a work of crossbreeding and selection. In other words, a slow improvement of this plant species was made. Then they turned it into a vital plant for food production. In addition, it is known to produce health benefits. In other words, it now represents a typical element of the Mediterranean landscape.
That is, it has the characteristic of giving a characteristic appearance to the territories in which it is present. Especially thanks to its characteristic gnarled trunk and the characteristic of being evergreen. Then another feature of this plant is that it can also be millenary. In other words, in favorable environmental conditions some olive trees have far exceeded 2000 years of age. Moreover, the fruit of this plant is a globose drupe containing a stone surrounded by a fleshy pulp. Then these fruits ripen in the fall. That is, between October and December according to the environment and the olive tree breed.
USE OF OLIVE OIL
Olive oil is a typical product of the Mediterranean diet. That is, it is widely used in cooking both cooked and raw. Moreover its benefits are universally recognized. In particular, nutritionists often describe the benefits of food use of this product and its health benefits. That is, if used cooked it has the advantage of having a high smoke point. In particular, it can withstand temperatures up to 210 ° C. So it is more resistant to high temperatures than all other edible oils. For example, it can be used for frying but also for baking many foods. First of all, however, its best and healthiest use is as a condiment for salads or vegetables. That is, few foods are as tasty and healthy as a vegetable-based salad such as lettuce, cabbage or radicchio, for example.
Then to it you could add tomatoes, carrots, peppers. Still the flavor of these vegetables could be enhanced by a little vinegar. In addition, the type of vinegar that could be used depends on personal tastes. For example, many prefer the common wine vinegar. But others like to dress their salad with a different type of vinegar. That is, balsamic vinegar or even apple or rice vinegar. Moreover, Mediterranean cuisine has evolved by generating recipes based on the great variety of foods made available by nature. In particular, the richness of vegetables that can be grown in this area of the world has inspired the birth of a great variety of culinary preparations. Then, over the centuries, olive oil has become a fundamental ingredient of a large number of recipes. That is, it is difficult to imagine the Mediterranean diet and its benefits without thinking of olive oil.
OLIVE OIL AND CULINARY ART
For many years now the art of cooking has not only been a means of gratifying the sense of taste. But it has also become a very important tool to produce benefits for human health and increase their longevity. That is, for many years now, food self-sufficiency has been a widespread condition in many areas of the world. For example, in most of the nations of the planet, food is increasingly available every month of the year. But it is not uncommon for this abundance to become harmful. That is, millions of people around the world suffer the negative effects of this abundance. For example, it is not uncommon for someone to eat a diet high in saturated fat. That is mainly those of animal origin. In particular, saturated fats are contained in products of animal origin. For example, lard and butter are rich in it.
OLIVE OIL IS THE BEST FOR COOKING FOOD
Then the use of margarine is not recommended. Especially because even if it has vegetable origin it contains hydrogenated fats which are very harmful. First of all, olive oil is the basis of the excellent sauces typical of Mediterranean cuisine. In fact its benefits are universally recognized. That is, the tomato sauce is prepared with tomato sauce or San Marzano tomatoes cut into small pieces, olive oil, carrots, onion, salt and basil. In particular, it can be used to dress pasta, rice or as an ingredient in other recipes. Then, in recent years, the habit of not frying carrot and onion but of boiling everything together with the tomato is spreading.
That is, this is a much healthier cooking method. In particular, because the precious olive oil does not undergo alterations due to heat. In addition, the olive oil has been officially certified as an essential ingredient in the famous pizza. That is, a traditional Italian preparation that requires in addition to tomato and mozzarella also extra virgin olive oil. Then it is traditionally used as a preservative for typical products preserved in oil. For example dried tomatoes, aubergines, mushrooms or even tuna.
For example, they are first cooked to reduce the bacterial load. Then they are preserved in extra virgin olive oil. Especially this type of preservation is very effective because it removes the availability of water from the bacteria that alter food. That is, the essential substance for the life of any living being. In other words, both macroscopic and microscopic. Then in addition to its usefulness as a preservative medium, olive oil improves the organoleptic properties of the food.
ORGANOLEPTIC PROPERTIES OF OLIVE OIL
It is scientifically proven that the Mediterranean diet has very positive effects in producing health benefits, on longevity and on the prevention of many diseases. That is, such as cardiovascular diseases, heart attacks, atherosclerosis, hypertension, stroke. In addition, all aspects of this diet were analyzed to understand what were the reasons for its usefulness in protecting health. In fact its benefits are universally recognized. Finally, the whole scientific world has reached a unanimous termination. That is, a good percentage of the benefits of the Mediterranean diet are due to the regular consumption of olive oil.
For example, it contains phytostreols and polyphenols which are very useful for health. Then it contains large amounts of vitamin E which has high antioxidant powers as well as being a fertility ally. Furthermore, this oil is rich in one of the main essential fats. That is, linoleic acid which belongs to the family of omega-3 fatty acids. In particular, they have a high protective capacity against cardiovascular risks. first of all because it is rich in monounsaturated fats. Then its stability to oxidation and heat make it suitable to be used for frying and for food preservation. Finally, it is very useful to replace fats of animal origin, i.e. saturated ones with unsaturated ones of vegetable origin. In particular, it is advisable to use the extraordinary organoleptic properties of extra virgin olive oil.
doc. Massimiliano Mangafà