Prized around the world for its flavor, adaptability, and nutrition, olive oil is a healthy liquid fat native to the Mediterranean. It’s the result of pressing or crushing freshly picked olives and separating the oil from the fruit. The extracted oil is olive oil.
The culinary uses of olive oil are practically endless. For many cooks, it’s a must-have for sautéing, roasting, baking, and marinating, as well as cold applications like drizzling, dipping, dressing, and finishing. Two exceptions are stir- and deep-frying; these cooking methods require an oil with a higher smoke point.
Make Olive Oil
Types of Olive Oil
The main varieties of olive oil are extra virgin olive oil, virgin olive oil, and olive oil.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The best type of olive oil is extra virgin olive oil. To earn this top-quality status, the oil must be either cold-extracted or from the first cold pressing. Both methods are free from high heat and any industrial refining, meaning that extra virgin olive oil is pure, natural, and untreated. EVOO has a maximum of 0.8% acidity and no visual, aromatic, or flavor imperfections. Taste ranges from mild, delicate, and buttery to fruity, robust, full-bodied, and peppery. Due to extra virgin olive oil’s superior flavor over other olive oils, it is the best variety to use for cold applications, as well as low-heat cooking (under 375 degrees Fahrenheit). Extra virgin olive oil is far and away the most abundantly nutritious of all olive oils.
Virgin Olive Oil
Virgin olive oil, like extra virgin olive oil, is made from the first pressing of olives, but it is granted up to 3% acidity and slight sensory flaws.
Products labeled “olive oil,” “pure olive oil,” or “lite olive oil” hover near the bottom of the quality pyramid. They’re made of refined oils, with little flavor, a higher acidity, and none of the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil. Pure and light olive oils have a higher smoke point (468 degrees Fahrenheit) than extra virgin olive oil, so they are best for medium-heat cooking.
Olive Oil and Moroccan Cuisine
Olive oil is a major element of Moroccan cooking. Moroccans make use of olive oil’s mellow flavor and healthy fat for nearly every dish in our arsenal, from beet salad [link to recipe] and spiced lentil stew to grilled fish, slow-cooked lamb, and chicken tagine [link either to recipe or tagine sauce]. Olive oil is often served alone in a dish as a delicious dip for bread.
Morocco’s association with olive oil goes back to the time of the ancient Romans. The city of Volubilis near modern-day Meknes was renowned for its olive production. Today, Volobilis is a spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you can still see ancient stone olive presses.
Is Olive Oil Good for You?
A mainstay of the famously healthy Mediterranean diet, olive oil – especially extra virgin olive oil – is widely praised as the healthiest cooking fat. Its nutritious wonders include supporting brain health and our immune, nervous, and cardiovascular systems. Extra virgin olive oil is packed with vitamins and minerals, anti-inflammatories, monounsaturated fatty acids, and polyphenols – powerful micronutrients rich in antioxidants.
Polyphenols and Olive Oil
Good-quality olive oil is naturally high in polyphenols – micronutrients found in plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, berries, tea, chocolate, and, of course, olives and olive oil. Their regular consumption is thought to soothe inflammation, while improving digestion and brain health. Polyphenols work like antioxidants in that they reduce free-radical damage (from environmental stressors like smoking and pollution) to the body's cells. Virgin olive oils, like Mina Extra Virgin Olive Oil, are considerably richer in polyphenols and offer far more health benefits than refined olive oils.
Olive Oil for Skin and Hair
The uses of olive oil extend far beyond the kitchen. In fact, people have been reaping the beauty benefits of olive oil since the time of Cleopatra. Olive oil is naturally loaded with anti-aging antioxidants, including mega-hydrating squalene, so it is an excellent ingredient to moisturize and nourish your hair, skin, and nails. You can even use it as a preshampoo hair treatment (this trick goes back to the ancient Egyptians): liberally work warm olive oil into the ends of hair and scalp. Leave in for around 15 minutes before shampooing out. On dry hair, you can simply apply a few drops of on ends after styling instead of shine serum. And since olive oil is such an amazing and natural all-around moisturizer, you can use it as a healing treatment on dry skin (including cuticles and eczema patches).
Mina Moroccan Olive Oil
Our olive oil is made from Moroccan Picholine and Beldi olives grown on a single-estate family farm in Morocco, where they are carefully picked at peak ripeness from the trees, washed, crushed into a paste, and cold extracted. This natural cold-extraction production process uses a centrifuge to separate the oil from the fruit all while retaining the utmost flavor, nutrition, and purity.
The result is a premium, 100% natural extra virgin olive oil with a single traceable origin, exceptionally high polyphenol levels, and remarkably low acidity (less than 0.2% – four times lower than the legal requirement for extra virgin olive oils and lower than most brands on the market).
Our all-purpose extra virgin olive oil is deliciously light without overpowering, making it a versatile staple for kitchens around the world. Use it to drizzle, dip, grill, bake, fry, sauté, mix, marinate, make salad dressings, and more. No matter how you enjoy it, rest assured you are using a high-polyphenol olive oil naturally made without the use of high heat, industrial refining, synthetic chemicals, additives, or preservatives. Mina EVOO is completely free of GMOs, pesticides, insecticides, and herbicides.
Mina Moroccan Olive Oil and the Single Origin Movement
Mina is a leader in the single origin olive oil movement. Our extra virgin olive oil is 100% sourced from one family-run farm in Morocco, so its great taste can be directly traced from your kitchen back to our trees. Our never-blended extra virgin olive oil is a commitment to nutritional quality, full traceability, and overall excellence.