|1. Disano||2. Del Monte||3. Figaro|
A healthy diet is the need of the hour, as lifestyle diseases are becoming common with time. Cooking oil is the most essential ingredient for any meal, and nothing can be healthier than olive oil.
It is one of the best oils, if you are thinking about transitioning towards ideal food habits and a healthier lifestyle. It is derived by pressing whole olives. It helps prevent various cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
However, like any other cooking oil, a large number of brands of olive oil are available in the market. Besides, there is a great deal of product differentiation, as many different varieties of olive oil exist. Therefore, one is prone to confusion while buying a bottle of olive oil for one’s pantry.
In this article, we will resolve your confusion by providing you with a buyers’ guide for olive oil. We will list down all the important factors that you should consider while buying olive oil, and also review some of the best olive oil for cooking in India. We will also answer some of the frequently asked questions with regards to olive oils.
Factors To Look For While Buying Best Olive Oil For Cooking In India
1. Type Of Bottle
Olive oil degrades in quality when exposed to light, heat and air. Therefore, it is necessary to buy olive oil in dark bottles or containers. The oil develops an unpleasant smell when exposed to too much sunlight. This is more so with the case of extra virgin olive oil. Thus, ensure that the packaging is done in a way so that the worst of the light is blocked, so as to get the best olive oil.
2. Best Before Date
For any food product, checking the ‘best before’ date on the packaging is a must. The expiry dates of olive oils vary depending on the type. The extra virgin olive oils have a shorter shelf life than the other types, as it is the most natural form of olive oil. The ‘best before’ date, however, can be a bit deceptive. This is because it is counted as the period after bottling, and not as the period from the harvest.
3. Type Of Olive Oil
There are four different kinds of olive oils.
1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This is an unrefined olive oil, and is of the highest quality. This type of olive oil has a golden green colour. It has a true olive taste and great aromatic properties. Our list of the best olive oil for cooking in India also includes extra virgin olive oil.
2. Virgin Olive Oil
Virgin olive oil is also unrefined. However, it is of a slightly lower quality than that of extra virgin olive oil. The colour of virgin olive oil is also lighter. It has a less intense flavour and less aroma as well.
4. Pure Or Regular Olive Oil
This is a blend of virgin olive oil and refined olive oil. The quality of this olive oil is not as good as that of virgin olive oil. It has a lighter colour, and a milder flavour and aroma.
5. Light Olive Oil
This is a refined oil and is of the lowest quality. The flavour and aroma of light olive oil is neutral. However, light olive oil has the highest smoke point, and hence, it is suitable for high temperature cooking.
4. Do Not Fall For ‘Cold Pressing’
While the term ‘first cold pressing’ widely appears on olive oil bottles, it is actually redundant. This is because extra virgin oil must come from the first (and usually the only) pressing. This is achieved without any extra addition, and at ambient temperatures not higher than around 26 degree celsius.
Top 10 Best Olive Oils For Cooking In India 2020
1. Disano Extra Virgin Olive Oil
As already noted, extra virgin olive oils are the best among all the different kinds of olive oil, and this DiSano olive oil is one of the best olive oils for cooking in India. It is created by first cold pressing of raw olives, and you can get its rich flavour when you cook with it. This product is manufactured and packed in Spain, where some of the best quality olives in the world are found.
The DiSano extra virgin olive oil is rich in antioxidants and vitamin E. It has zero cholesterol, and the saturated fat is low. It is the perfect cooking oil for lowering bad cholesterol. Besides, it is a completely organic product, and is perfect for maintaining a healthy diet.
It is also high in healthy fats, as it comes with MUFA and PUFA, which are unsaturated fatty acids. You can use this oil in salad dressing, flavouring, and also while cooking food. In addition, it is a perfect substitute for butter and ghee. You should definitely try this olive oil for yourself.
2. Del Monte Extra Light Olive Oil
Extra light olive oils are refined oils. This extra light olive oil, offered by Del Monte, is imported from Spain. The light flavour and aroma of this product ensures minimal change in the taste of the dish. It is ideal for Indian cooking, including sauteing and deep frying. You can make parathas, chapattis, and gravy using this olive oil.
It has zero trans fat and zero cholesterol. Besides, it retains all the active antioxidants from the olives. If you are looking for light olive oil for everyday cooking, this Del Monte extra light olive oil is one of the best olive oils for cooking in India.
3. Figaro Olive Oil
The best thing about this olive oil from Figaro, is its packaging. As already noted, olive oils remain best when stored inside a dark container, as light affects the quality of olive oil. Figaro’s olive oil comes in a metal tin packaging. Another advantage of this kind of packaging is that you do not have to worry about broken glass hazards.
Figaro is a trusted and an old brand, and it has been in existence for more than a hundred years. The antioxidants of this Figaro product are meant to boost your health. The MUFA and PUFA unsaturated fatty acids provide for a rich diet, while keeping cholesterol levels low. It is also a great substitute for butter and ghee.
Besides, this olive oil offers an exquisite flavour and aroma. It is made of hand picked olives straight from Spain. This Figaro olive oil is ideal for all types of cooking. It is suitable for sauteing, shallow frying or deep frying all your favourite dishes. It is also suitable for Indian cuisine. Overall, this is one of the best olive oils for cooking in India.
4. Borges Extra Lite Olive Oil
The good thing about using extra light olive oil is that you do not get the smell of olives in the dishes, as it is a refined oil. Hence, you can use it for cooking all kinds of dishes, and it happens to be a great substitute for other cooking oils. The Borges extra light olive oil is specially designed for the Indian market. It is ideal for frying, roasting and sauteing all your favourite dishes.
It offers 900 calories of energy, and it is good for the heart, as it comes with zero cholesterol and zero trans fat. Thus, you can maintain an extremely healthy diet when you use this oil for cooking. There are no added preservatives in this olive oil. Moreover, it is made from the best quality Spanish olives, and the manufacturing and packing of this olive oil is done in Spain. All of these things make it one of the best olive oils for cooking in India.
Since, unlike the last product that we reviewed, this olive oil does not come in a tin container, and instead, comes in a transparent bottle, you are advised to keep it away from sunlight.
5. Borges Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This is another product from Borges that we have considered for review. Unlike the last product, this is an extra virgin olive oil. This means that you get a stronger aroma, and you can enjoy the rich flavour of the olives when you cook dishes with it. It is made of some of the finest quality olives, cultivated under the Mediterranean sun.
This olive oil is rich in antioxidants, and offers 900 calories of energy. It contains 100 g of fats, of which 15 g is saturated fat. The maximum shelf life of this extra virgin olive oil is 24 months. The captivating flavour of olives is ideal for salads and dressings.
And like all the other products that we have reviewed so far, this Borges olive oil is also a Spanish import. This is indeed, one of the best olive oils for cooking in India, and moreover, it can also be used as a substitute for butter or ghee.
The Borges extra virgin oil comes in a plastic bottle, and hence, it is advisable to keep it away from sunlight and heat.
6. Oleev Active Olive Oil
The uniqueness of this product lies in its packaging, as the Oleev Active olive oil comes in a 5 litre jar. Before talking about the product, we must mention this jar because not only does it keep the olive oil from being exposed to light, but it also comes with an ‘oil-o-meter’ that helps you keep track of your cooking oil consumption.
Coming to the content inside the jar, this oil is a combination of olive oil and rice bran oil. It helps stay active and energized throughout the day. Besides, when you cook with this oil, there is 20 percent less absorption
than other cooking oils, thus, enabling you to enjoy meals that are less oily, and which are good for health. Besides, the extremely high smoking point of this oil is excellent for frying and deep frying Indian dishes.
In addition, this cooking oil is rich in Oryzanol, which happens to be a powerful natural antioxidant. It keeps cholesterol levels low, allowing you to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It also helps curb gastrointestinal problems, making meals enjoyable and healthy.
7. Bertolli Extra Light Olive Oil
Bertolli is a 125 year old brand, and is one of the leading olive oil makers in the world. This variant is an extra light olive oil, meaning that it is a refined oil. It is super rich in antioxidants, MUFA and PUFA unsaturated fatty acids, and vitamin E. It helps maintain optimum cholesterol levels, aids in weight loss, and keeps the heart healthy.
Since this is an extra light olive oil, it is specially filtered for a light taste. Thus, it will not overpower the flavour in your cooking. It can be a perfect and healthy substitute for butter, ghee, vegetable and refined oils.
Also, since it does not give out a strong olive flavour and aroma, it is an excellent all purpose cooking oil that can be used for sauteing, frying, roasting or baking. It can give a mild taste to everything, starting from appetizers to desserts.
As compared to other cooking oils, you only need 1/3rd the amount of Bertolli olive oil. It can further be reused for cooking and deep frying up to 6 times. Besides, this is an organic, GMO free product, and is extracted from real and finest olives. All these properties make the Bertolli extra light olive oil one of the best olive oils for cooking in India.
8. The Oil Factory Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This is a premium quality extra virgin olive oil that is packaged in a plastic jar, protecting it against heat and light, and therefore, retaining its quality for a long period of time. It has a shelf life of two years. This extra virgin olive oil is produced entirely by mechanical means, without the use of any solvents. The best quality olives have been used for this extra virgin olive oil.
The large quantity of 5 litres means that you can use it for a long time for cooking. Besides, it requires much lesser quantities of olive oil to cook a meal, as compared to other edible oils. Since this is an extra virgin olive oil, you get the best aromatic and flavouring properties of the olives when you cook with this oil.
This olive oil is low in fat, and it also helps to keep cholesterol levels in check. It is also good for those who have diabetes and hypertension. However, customer reviews of this product are not very satisfactory. A number of people have had complaints about its aroma and flavour.
9. Kinsfolk Pure Olive Oil
So far, we have reviewed only extra virgin and extra light olive oils. This is the only pure olive oil that has made it to our list of best olive oil for cooking in India. Since this is a pure olive oil, it is a blend of refined and virgin olive oil, giving out a flavour and aroma which won’t be as strong
As those of extra virgin olive oil, but at the same time, not as weak as those of light olive oil. It is made of the best quality Spanish olives, and is manufactured and packed entirely in Spain.
The Kinsfolk olive oil has zero cholesterol, and therefore, keeps your heart healthy. It is an excellent choice of oil to maintain a healthy diet. It offers 900 calories, and has a fat content of 100 g, of which there are 13 g of unsaturated fats. Besides, this pure olive oil contains large quantities of antioxidants. It also helps curb gastrointestinal problems.
This olive oil can be used for frying, roasting, and sauteing your favorite dishes. It can also be a perfect substitute for ghee, butter, and refined oils. Much lesser quantities of this oil will be required for cooking when compared to other edible oils.
10. Sol Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This extra virgin olive oil offered by Sol is of excellent quality. It is imported from Spain and is derived from pristine and quality olives. It offers amazing health benefits, as it is rich in vitamin E and Vitamin K. Besides, it is loaded with antioxidants, and is abundant in monounsaturated fatty acids.
Sol extra virgin olive oil is an alternative to other edible oils, and you will require much lesser quantities of this oil while cooking, as compared to any other edible oil. Since this is an extra virgin olive oil, it is rich in flavour and aroma. It can be used as a salad dressing, on bread and in dishes. You can also use it for frying, roasting or sauteing your favourite recipes.
Using this oil for cooking will also be beneficial for keeping your cholesterol levels in check. The packaging used for this extra virgin olive oil, however, is a plastic bottle. This means that there are high chances of the oil’s exposure to light. Therefore, it is advisable to keep this olive oil in a cool, dry place, so that its quality is retained. Overall, it is one of the best olive oils for cooking in India.
FAQs on Olive Oils For Cooking In India
1. What Are The Advantages Of Using Olive Oil For Cooking?
There are a number of advantages of using olive oil for cooking. Firstly, it has got a high heating point. Therefore, it is a great oil for frying. Besides, it can add an extra taste to dressings, salads, dips, and bread. You can also use olive oil for light sauteing. It helps to balance the acidic effects of foods like lemon juice, vinegar, and tomatoes. In this way, it helps you stay free from gastrointestinal problems.
In addition, olive oil enriches the smell, taste and flavours of the dish. It can also act as a replacement for butter and ghee. You can use it in lieu of butter or margarine on your toast. Besides, olive oil can also be applied on meat during marination or while grilling it. For the chefs, olive oil is the first choice to prepare different kinds of sauces.
2. What Is The Best Olive Oil, And Where Does It Come From?
The best olive oils come from the Mediterranean basin. Spain is the largest exporter of olive oil in the world. In fact, some of the best olive oils for cooking in India that we have included in this article are Spanish imports. In the Mediterranean region, there is a more than a 6000 year old tradition of olive oil production.
3. Do All Olive Oils Taste The Same?
No. The taste of olive oils not only differ in accordance with their types (extra virgin, pure, etc.), but also a number of other factors, such as differences in climate, soil, and the sixty different varieties of olives grown for its production influence its taste.
4. Can You Tell From The Color How An Olive Oil is Going To Taste?
No. The only way, and also the best way, in which you can predict the taste of an olive oil is by actually tasting it. Colours of olive oil range from a light golden tint to a rich deep green. But you can tell from the colour how each will taste. Therefore, the quality of olive oil is something that you will have to discover on your own.
5. Doesn’t Olive Oil Have More Calories Than Other Oils?
Olive oils contain the same amount of calories as other oils. A tablespoon of olive oil will contain 100 to 120 calories, just like any other oil. However, a little bit of it goes a long way to add body and flavour. Therefore, you will end up using less olive oil than you would any other type of oil. In this way, your diet will be healthier.
6. Does Olive Oil Contain Cholesterol?
No. Olive oil is actually the best oil to maintain optimum cholesterol levels in your body. It contains mono-unsaturated fat, which reduces the level of LDL. LDL causes cholesterol to collect in the blood. Olive oil also does not affect the HDL which protects the arteries against cholesterol build up.
In today’s age, healthy dietary habits have become important, given our diminishing physical activity owing to our lifestyle. Olive oil is a great edible oil that can help us maintain a healthy diet. It helps keep cholesterol levels in check, and provides a number of other health benefits.
However, choosing the best olive oil for cooking might be a difficult choice. Not only are there a large number of brands that make olive oils, but the products are also differentiated in accordance with their types.
Hence, in this article, we have tried to help you by listing down all the important factors that you should look for while buying olive oil. We have also reviewed some of the best olive oils for cooking in India, and answered some of the frequently asked questions with regards to olive oils. Go through our buyers’ guide and make the best choice for yourself, as per your requirements.