As one of the top olive oil producing countries in the world, Greece devotes approximately 60% of its cultivated land to the growth of this crop, making it a large contributor to the 230,000 tons imported to the United States each year. Additionally, Greece continues to lead the world each year in olive oil consumption, consuming nearly 18kg yearly, according to the European Commission.
With olive oil’s delectable versatility and as the foundation to the Mediterranean diet, the healthiest diet for the human body, it is no surprise that it has become one of the latest food trends inspiring many dietary patterns gaining popularity. These studies have shown that by consuming legumes, vegetables, olive oil, cheeses and yogurt daily, products that form the foundation of a healthy Mediterranean diet, the incidence of diabetes, heart related disease and high cholesterol have been proven to decrease.
To test whether or not an olive oil is of good quality, perform a hot potato test:
- Boil or bake a potato
- Pour extra virgin olive oil on top of it once cooked
- A high-quality extra virgin olive oil will smell pleasant, similar to freshly mown grass, olive fruits and olive leaves, the aromas associated with fruitiness. A poor quality olive oil will release a heavy, unpleasant smell when poured on a baked potato.
- Once the test is performed and the olive oil is of good quality, put the potato to use and create warm potato salad:
- Sea salt
- Olive Oil
- Wash and dry the potatoes
- Cover the bottom of a deep baking tray with sea salt and rest the potatoes on the salt
- Bake at 356 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the potatoes are thoroughly cooked
- While the potatoes are warm, peel them and break them up with a fork, mashing a bit
- Add the olive oil while mixing the potatoes with a fork
- Add salt, finely chopped herbs and pepper over the salad