We get this question all the time so we decided to ask the experts at Colavita, the makers of Rachael’s EVOO:
A basic definition of EVOO:
First cold produced from select olives, Rachael Ray’s EVOO is the natural juice squeezed from olives one day after the harvest. No heat or chemicals are used in extracting Extra Virgin Olive Oil. “Extra” is the highest grade for the best, unrefined and unprocessed oil of the fruit. To be graded as Extra Virgin, the oil must exhibit superior taste, aroma and color. And to meet the most exacting labeling standards, it must also have less than 1% free oleic acid. Thus, the “Extra” in Extra Virgin Olive Oil means “premium,” or simply, “the best.”
Sometimes the best way to understand the difference between olive oils is to understand the production of EVOO. This FAQ section on our website might be useful.
Another way to help explain EVOO is to compare it to other oils.
Three things make olive oil superior to other oils: taste, nutrition and integrity.
Taste is the most obvious difference between olive oil and the commercially popular vegetable oils such as corn, soybean and canola oils. These oils are tasteless fats. You would not want to eat a piece of bread dipped in vegetable oil; for the same basic reason, many chefs refrain from adding tasteless fat to the foods they prepare. When you cook with oil, get the most flavor and texture you can. Olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, adds a flavor and textural dimension lacking in other oils, making it a suitable substitute for butter and margarine in almost any recipe. In fact, more and more restaurants are serving Extra Virgin Olive Oil, both plain or flavored with salt and pepper, as an alternative to butter for bread.
Nutritionally, olive oil contains more monounsaturated fat than any of the popular vegetable oils. Monounsaturated Fats increase the HDL (good) cholesterol and reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. It also contains “0g” of Trans Fat and Carbohydrates and less saturated fat than butter and no cholesterol. Olive Oil naturally contains beta-carotene, Vitamin A and E and other antioxidants. Consumption of olive oil is linked to lower incidences of certain forms of cancer. Olive oil is very well tolerated by the stomach. It can help protect against ulcers and gastritis and lowers the incidence of gallstone formation. Olive Oil can lower the risk of coronary heart disease and atherosclerosis by reducing blood cholesterol levels. Olive oil can reduce the risk of diabetes and, possibly, a delayed onset of complications in established diabetes.
Moreover, vegetable oils are industrial, processed foods. Vegetable oils are generally extracted by means of petroleum-based chemical solvents, and then must be highly refined to remove impurities. Along with the impurities, refining removes taste, color and nutrients. Extra Virgin Olive Oils are not processed or refined. It is said that you do not make Extra Virgin Olive Oil, you find it. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is essentially “fresh squeezed” from the fruit of the olive tree, without alteration of the color, taste, and nutrients or vitamins. Because of the integrity of the product, and its antioxidant components, olive oil will keep longer than all other vegetable oils.
You can find Rachael’s EVOO along with other pantry items in our SHOP