olive oil


General English

  • noun an oil made from olives


  • The monounsaturated oil obtained from the ripe fruit of the olive tree. The first cold pressing of the hand-picked, destoned and skinned ripe fruit from a single producer is usually the finest flavoured and most expensive, and is treated with the respect accorded to fine wines. Most olive oil is hot-pressed or solvent-extracted from the whole fruit. Olive oils are classified according to the method of production and the acidity (free oleic acid) of the oil. The Italian grades are afiorato, extra virgin (extra vergine), superfine (sopraffino), fine (fino), virgin (vergine), and finally the pure or 100 per cent pure commercially blended oils. See under each heading for details.