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Known "the Gold of the Eastern Mediterranean", olive oil offers almost as many varieties as wine! As around 95% of all olive oils produced worldwide come from around the Med, it's hardly surprising it's such a popular ingredient in regional pasta, vegetable and seafood dishes. For many Mediterranean countries, olive oil is not just an dietary standby but also an industry and indeed a cultural icon. France and Italy, for example, even engrave their coinage with olive tree design motifs.
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No discussion of olive oil would be complete without mention of its richness in vital nutrients such as unsaturated fats like the linoleic acid that help maintain good cardiovascular health. Protecting and moisturizing the skin, the antioxidant polyphenols is another important ingredient. Small wonder, so many leading skincare and cosmetic brands now use olive oil as a raw material because of its efficacy – or that olive oil has become such an essential part of so many families' daily lives!
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HOW OLIVE OIL IS MADE

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Olive oil is extracted from the fruit of olive trees via a simple process dating back thousands of years. Workers first use sticks to beat and then collect fallen fruit from their refiner's olive trees before pressing their harvest in a millstone. Once waste has been removed, the remaining juice is poured into a precipitation tank for oil-water separation and extraction. A healthy olive tree can produce about three to four liters of olive oil annually for literally hundreds of years.

The preservation and usage of olive oil are both equally simple. During refrigeration, the oil develops a muddy colour, becoming clear again when returned to room temperature. That said, it's ultimately vital that olive oil is stored in a cool place as strong light will destroy its nutrients. Once used in cooking, olive oils cannot be recooked as heat removes their antioxidants and nutritional value. If stored properly, olive oil can be kept for up to 18 months without refrigeration.

THE QUALITY OF CHOICE

Faced with so many brands on their local supermarket's shelves, many shoppers become confused as to how to pick a high quality olive oil. Fortunately, city'super has taken the trouble to bring the world's finest quality olive oils to Hong Kong. Whether required for immediate consumption as a dip for bread or reserved solely for cooking, we're sure to have the perfect choice!
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1. TERRANIUM MARFIL IVORY EVO OIL HK$490
   
This oil has uses a very unique type of olive with an exceptionally high polyphenol content. Effectively a 100% natural antioxidant, it promises sound medicinal value and is believed to help in the treatment of trauma.
2. MOULIN DE VILLEVIEILLE EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL NIMES HK$200
          
Produced in Moulin, France, this oil is bright green in appearance with a juicy, crispy fresh texture accompanied by a fruity aroma and long finish.
3. MOUNT ZERO ORGANIC EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL FRANTOIO HK$179
          
Made from fresh Manzanilla and Frantoio olives and offering refreshing herbal aromas, this oil has a slightly fruity fragrance and a subtly nutty finish. As such, it is a multi-functional oil which is ideal for all type of cuisines.
4. IL MOLINO ORGANIC D.O.P. EVTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL HK$175
   
This low acidity olive oil boasts a yellowish, green colour alive with the aroma of its constituent herbs, thistles and dried fruit. Initially slightly sweet, its taste develops a somewhat bitter taste from its thistles before finally finishing with a delightful white pepper flavour with a hint of fruit.
5. SAN LEANDRO ORGANIC EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL HK$53
   
Pressed from fresh olives and free of artificial ingredients, this cold press extracted oil is filtered and bottled for optimum health and safety. Its taste is mellow and smooth with a rich aroma that makes salads seem incredibly appetizing.
6. MOULIN DE VILLEVIEILLE EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL PICHOLINE HK$160
          
This oil eliminates its source olives' fruit flavour, balancing both bitter and spicy tastes. As such, it is the perfect accompaniment for a wide range of cuisines. Whether cooked or served cold as a dip, it adds new dimensions to much loved dishes.
7. EL MIL DEL POAIG ORGANIC EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL HK$2,399
          
This oil is lovingly blended from specially selected Valencia North Maestrat Farga olive trees. Young yellowish green olives with a very low acidic content are picked by hand and then cold pressed. Boasting a healthy aroma rich in floral, apple and almond scents, this particular oil is a perfect accompaniment for a wide variety of tastes.
 
 
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