Why Olive Oil Is The One Ingredient You Need To Elevate Your Meals
Goya's extra virgin olive oils will make a dramatic difference in your cooking
What if we told you about a simple way you can make your everyday dishes better? Use more olive oil.
A staple in kitchens all over the world, olive oil is one of the most healthy and versatile ingredients you can find, and can be used for cooking, baking, for finishing a dish, and as a condiment. Extra virgin olive oil has a distinct flavor and pleasing fragrance attributes. When you cook with it, the flavors get incorporated into your food, creating savory nuances that can elevate a simple dish into extraordinary. If you keep a bottle of good extra virgin olive oil in your pantry, you won’t need much else beyond a few simple ingredients to create delicious, healthy meals.
The secret is in knowing how to choose good quality extra virgin olive oil, and then using it more effectively to transform simple, everyday food into fantastic meals. If you're wondering how to do this, let us help you make the most out of your olive oil.
How to choose your olive oil
The quality of your olive oil will make all the difference in your cooking, so don’t skimp! We recommend a premium* extra virgin olive oil that has been awarded in international competitions. Extra virgin is regarded as the best type of olive oil because it's extracted from perfectly sound olives using natural methods which retain its sensory qualities of taste and fragrances. (*From the Latin etymology "praemium," meaning "award" or "prize.")
Two easy tips when you are looking for your favorite olive oil:
1. Choose an award-winning olive oil. Finding your favorite olive oil is like searching for good wine. Years ago, the wine selections in the local shops were quite limited, and it was only when wine lists expanded that people began to discover a whole new world of wine to explore and fall in love with. It is the same with olive oil. There are literally hundreds of olive oil products available worldwide, and one of the best ways to find your good quality extra virgin olive oil is to select from among the few international award-winning extra virgin olive oil brands. We recommend you check the brand’s social media for mention of awards, or check the EVOO World Ranking Index which lists the world's most awarded olive oils.
Like wine or coffee, the place of origin has a profound impact on the quality and flavors of olive oil. Olives grown in different terroir (climate and soil) produce unique flavor profiles, like grassy, fruity, peppery or mild. Spain has, by far, the best places for growing quality olive oils that regularly rank in the EVOO World Ranking Index. Only a few of these award-winning brands are available in the Philippines. One of our best new discoveries are the beautifully complex, refined flavors of Spanish olive oils. And of these, a clear favorite is Goya’s Premium Olive Oils, a brand which has garnered more than 100 international awards.
2. Taste your olive oil and trust your senses. Don't hesitate to try as many extra virgin olive oil brands as you like until you find your favorite. Your preference will be very personal, so don't feel pressured to conform. Also check that the olive oil is not too close to its shelf life since olive oils lose their intensity and become rancid as they age.
Are you ready to start?
Put two tablespoons of olive oil into a wineglass. Warm the glass in the palm of your hand, while smoothly swirling the olive oil for at least one minute. Keep the mouth of the wineglass covered with your other hand. Now you are ready to taste the extra virgin olive oil.
Close your eyes. Forget everything around you and bring the wineglass (still covered with your hand) near your nose. Uncover the glass and sniff. When extra virgin olive oil is made with love (and using sound olives with the highest care in the extraction), it develops the same aromatic molecules as many other vegetables, fruits or herbs such as: green tomatoes, granny apples, bananas, almonds, aromatic herbs, even fresh grass. Whether or not you can identify the aroma, the first sensation you experience, as you put your nose to the cup, should be enjoyable. It should remind you of a walk in an orchard or in the forest.
After you've read this, you will surely take down that bottle of olive oil you have at home to try this test. Please do! It’s the best way to learn about your olive oil. If you can’t compare your experience with what we've described above, or if your extra virgin olive oil simply smells bad, just try another brand until you find one that you love.
Goya Premium Olive Oils
Goya olive oils are produced from olives grown in Andalusia, a region in Spain with some of the world’s finest olive groves. Olive oil making is an ancient tradition there, so much so that Andalusians have been exporting olive oil in amphorae since the time of the Romans. The unique climate and soil (the terroir) produce olives of excellent quality. This raw material, combined with a careful, scientific production process, results in Goya's line of olive oils, carefully designed to please modern palates.
Goya Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a coupage (a blend) of seven different olive varieties. It's a friendly, accessible olive oil that's easy to use in any dish. It's a balanced olive oil, neither too bitter nor too spicy, with aromatic notes of green apple, ripe banana, almonds and basil. Take a look at the aromatic profile in the photo below and you will be able to imagine the experience that Goya Extra Virgin Olive Oil can bring to a dish.
Goya Unico Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a gourmet olive oil with an intense fruity, green aroma and notes of herbs and green leaves, and hints of rosemary and artichoke. On the palate, it presents as a rich and elegant olive oil that harmoniously balances bitter and peppery flavors. Using this oil in your cooking can get you quite spectacular results, but do use it with restraint, especially in delicate dishes. Like salt, this particular olive oil can overpower the natural flavor of your dish. So before you start cooking with this oil, it's a good idea to consider two questions: Will the flavor of the olive oil will come through in the dish? And do you want to infuse the dish with this flavor? When used well, Goya Unico Extra Virgin Olive Oil can give beautifully nuanced flavors to dishes with deeper flavors, like pan-seared meats or heavy sauces.
A good rule of thumb
There's a lot of olive oils available in the supermarkets and delis. What is the best way to choose? Our rule of thumb is: buy the olive oil whose flavor you love. When you really, really like the taste and aroma of an olive oil, you can freely use it in your cooking without fear or fuss, knowing that its unique flavor profile can only enhance and elevate your dishes.
An even better rule of thumb: have two bottles of olive oil in your pantry. One should be a friendly, well-balanced olive oil like Goya Extra Virgin Olive Oil. You can cook with this knowing it will respect the flavors and aromas of your food. This oil will never overwhelm your food, and will only give it interesting depth of flavor. Your second olive oil should be more adventurous, like Goya Unico Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Its intense, robust flavors can make a dish an extraordinary sensory experience. Use this oil when you want to make something simple yet spectacular.
Make the most out of your olive oil
Use your olive oils as often as possible, and allow their unique flavors to elevate your dishes. Olive oil is perfect for pan-frying, sautés and roasts. You can drizzle it over everything, from cooked vegetables and fish, to bread or ice cream. Use olive oil in your marinades or in sauces for meat, fish and poultry. Substitute olive oil in baking, instead of butter or margarine. You can even use olive oil in a cocktail!
It can take time to learn to use olive oil in the best way possible, so be patient and approach it as adventure. We suggest you use olive oil in your everyday cooking, and do not limit its use to European or American dishes. Asian dishes, and especially Filipino food, can benefit from olive oil, too! Take the guinataang monggo, an ordinary and rather homely dish. Cook this following your usual family recipe, substituting Goya Extra Virgin Olive Oil instead of the usual cooking oil. Replace the shrimp with pancetta. Cook with careful attention. When it’s ready to serve, add a final drizzle of olive oil—and the humble monggo transforms into a spectacular dish that you will be proud to serve guests. The possibilities are endless.