A bottle of olive oil can be found in every Italian kitchen, however it has also grown in popularity in the UK and other countries for cooking with. This is a versatile oil as you can use it for baking, frying, cooking and drizzling over salad (along with some balsamic vinegar.) Olive oil can also be used to preserve vegetables.
The harvesting of olives takes place between November and March. The colour of the olives harvested for making olive oil are between the green and purple stage. Olives start to oxidize as soon as they have been picked so in order to have pure fresh olive oil, they have to be pressed straight away.
The three types of olive oil that you mainly see on supermarket shelves are; extra virgin; classed as the highest grade and will have the purest taste, virgin; a grade below the extra virgin which is still tasty but the olives for this are pressed the day after they have been picked and pure olive oil which is the lowest grade of oil and is made from blending together virgin olive oil and refined oil (usually extracted from olive pulp, skin and pits.)