Glossary

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: This comes from virgin oil production only– so through physical means only and no chemical treatment. It contains no more than .8% acidity, and is judged to have the best, most superior taste.
  • Virgin Production: The word ‘virgin’ indicates that the olives have been pressed to extract the oil; no heat or chemicals have been used during the extraction process. Hence, extra virgin olive oil is often referred to nowadays as the ‘first, cold-pressed’ oil.
  • Virgin Olive Oil: This oil also comes from virgin oil production, but has an acidity less than 1.5%. It has judged to have good taste.
  • Pure Olive Oil: Oils that have been labeled ‘pure olive oil’ are usually a blend of refined and virgin production oil.
  • Same goes with Light, or Extra-Light Olive Oil, which is also a blend of refined oil and some virgin production oil, but which many people wrongly assume to mean low-calorie, or low-fat.
  • Olive Pomace Oil: This is refined oil that may be blended with some virgin olive oil. It is technically fit for consumption but has almost no flavor.
  • Lampante Oil: This is oil that is not suitable for consumption. It is mostly used in the industrial market and comes from olive oil’s long-standing use in oil-burning lamps.
  • Polyphenols: Polyphenols are a group of chemicals found in many fruits, vegetables, and other plants such as berries, walnuts, olives, tea leaves and grapes. They are classified as antioxidants, meaning that they remove free radicals from the body.
  • Oleic Acid: Oleic acid is one kind of monounsaturated fatty acid. The term “oleic” is derived from oil, or olive oil, since it is predominantly composed of oleic acid.
  • Monounsaturated fats: These are a type of unsaturated fat that have only one carbon atom, which is why they are called “mono” unsaturated. These types of fats remain in a liquid state when at room temperature, but they become slightly solid when refrigerated. Olive oil has one of the highest amounts of monounsaturated fats (at 75%). Monounsaturated fats are widely considered “good” fats, and can be beneficial to your health when eaten in moderation. They help reduce the body’s level of bad LDL cholesterol and can help the body raise levels of good HDL cholesterol.
  • HDL- High Density Lipoproteins: This cholesterol is referred to as “good cholesterol” because it helps remove LDL cholesterol from the blood.
  • LDL- Low Density Lipoproteins: This cholesterol is referred to as “bad cholesterol” because too much of it can lead to heart attack, stroke and atherosclerosis.
  • Free Radicals: Free radicals are molecules that form due to the use of oxygen by the body. Free radicals are highly reactive and can interact with cells in the body and damage them. When coupled with “bad” cholesterol, or LDL, this can form a product called “oxidized LDL”, which attaches to the inner-lining of vessels and produces inflammation, establishing the foundation that can develop into atherosclerosis.
  • Atherosclerosis: Also known as “hardening of the arteries,” atherosclerosis occurs when cholesterol and other lipids accumulate on the inner surfaces of the arteries. Although it has no symptoms, atherosclerosis can lead to a heart attack, a stroke or even death.
  • Traditional Balsamic Vinegar: Made from an ancient recipe long exalted in Italian culture, the traditional style of balsamic vinegar is made from pressings of white Trebbiano grapes that are never allowed to ferment and turn into wine, but instead are cooked down to a syrupy reduction and then aged in wooden barrels along with a vinegar mother and can be aged for over 100 years. More often than not thought, they are aged for around 20-25 years in order to be considered Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale.
  • Condimento Grade Balsamic Vinegar: This is balsamic vinegar that has been made by a producer that has not been certified, or it has only been aged up to 12 years, or has been mixed with other, lesser grade wine vinegar that has not been aged at all.
  • Balsamic Vinegar of Modena: This is commercial grade product that attempts to imitate the traditional style balsamic vinegar. It is typically made of wine vinegar with food colorings, caramel, and sometimes thickeners like guar gum or cornflour to try to imitate the thickness and sweetness of the real traditional style balsamic vinegar. This vinegar has absolutely no aging involved.
  • Wine Vinegar: Wine vinegar is made from red or white wine, and as with wine, there is a considerable range in quality. The wine can be aged up to two years in wood barrels, sometimes developing more complex flavors based off the quality of the wine and the type of wood for the barrels. More expensive wine vinegars are made from individual varieties of wine, such as Champagne, Sherry, or Pinot Grigio.

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