Culinista Kitchen®,  Health

We’re No Popeye…

by The Culinistas

But we still love olive oil!

Old wives’ tales say that Greek olive oil producers drank oil instead of water and that’s why they lived such long, prosperous lives.  Who knows, but dating back to 5000 BC, Greek civilians used to press olives manually by way of a mortar and pestle. Methods of extraction have progressed drastically, but the traditions and uses surrounding olive oil remain very similar to past generations.  Olive oil has been used for millennia for cooking purposes, during religious ceremonies, by athletes in the original Olympic games, in burial ceremonies, and in treating ailments like skin conditions, burns, wounds, ear infections, and countless others.

Olive oil is a staple for us, providing the necessary fat during cooking, and in keeping with our healthful, plant-centric mentality.  We favor Greek olive oil for its stronger flavor and aroma over Italian and Spanish versions. Greek oil contains higher levels of cycloartenol as well, which work to lower cholesterol.  In comparison to these other oils, Greek olive oil also contains higher levels of polyphenols, which assist in managing weight, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and neurodegenerative diseases.

Our favorite Greek olive oil is oilladi.  Oilladi originates from a small, family-run farm in the Peloponnese region of Greece, and was brought to the United States from a descendant of the family.  Their product is smooth, fruity, and peppery ‒ all of the qualities of a superior olive oil‒ and work perfectly across our dishes.

A special thanks to Sylvie Rosokoff for the beautiful photograph.