Authentic olive oil contains a high amount of monounsaturated fat and is rich in Cancer fighting antioxidants.
Authentic olive oil was used quite frequently in Ancient Greek times - you can pour olive oil over many of the foods that you eat.
For example, pour some on top of your favorite hummus to give it a more Mediterranean flare or over your favorite pasta dish.
You can also use olive oil in a salad dressing mixed with lemon juice or aged balsamic vinegar to add this heart healthy oil to your meals.
Authentic olive oil comes with numerous health claims and this type of oil has been a favorite of many Mediterranean cultures.
Authentic olive oil comes from the fruit of the olive tree which is commonly found in the Mediterranean region of the world.
This unique oil is made by pressing the whole fruit and doesn't come from just the seeds like a lot of the refined oils.
Olives are one of the rare fruits that can be pressed "as is" which only adds to the taste, aroma, nutrients, and antioxidant properties of real olive oil.
Usually, the oil that comes from the first pressing is extracted without using heat (cold-pressed) or chemicals. Extra Virgin and Virgin Olive Oil will typically be the oils that come from the first pressing of the olives.
The virgin oils that are the least processed or "unrefined" will contain higher levels of antioxidants particularly vitamin E and antioxidant polyphenols.
And the best olive oil comes from small estates where the olives are hand-picked, pressed, and bottled at the estate. Also, there are many regions that grow olives and each place will have a unique and different taste.
For example: A Spanish olive oil which is golden in color will have a fruity and nutty flavor compared to an Italian olive oil which will be more green in color and have a more grassy flavor.
Look for cold-pressed and unfiltered oils that are packaged in dark glass bottles.
I have found a decent source for good olive oils are at your local health food stores.
However, shopping online is another great way to find a very special and unique olive oil.
And, if you can find a specialty store in your area that carries a wide variety of olive oils - that would probably be your best bet in finding an excellent oil.
Beware of "fake" olive oil which has become a real problem. Fake olive oil will not harden in the refrigerator like real olive oil.