Ask the Chef: What's the Difference Between Olive Oil and EVOO?

Photo by Ernesto Bruschi on Unsplash

Ask the Chef: What's the Difference Between Olive Oil and EVOO?

Ask the Chef

Ask the Chef: What's the Difference Between Olive Oil and EVOO?


Here’s a question that comes up frequently—both in the office and with friends. It seems even non-foodies have made the shift to using olive oil whenever possible, aiming for fewer saturated fats and a healthier approach to cooking. That good EVOO is more expensive, but is it worth it?

A comparison of the qualities of extra virgin olive oils on bottles provided by Gaea.

Photo: Gaea Olive Oil.

Our friends at Gaea, who make one of our favorite brands, have provided a great answer to this question. Here’s what they say:

What’s the difference between Olive Oil and EVOO?
  • The difference lies in the process used to extract the oil. Olive oil is treated and contains additives, reducing the quality, health benefits, and acidity of the oil
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil gets its “extra virgin” name by being awarded the highest-quality of olive oil that you can buy—meeting very specific industry standards
  • While olive oil produces a sand/yellow hue, high-quality extra virgin olive oil will have a golden-green color
Health Benefits of EVOO:
  • Antioxidants, with anti-inflammatory properties
  • May reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease
  • Loaded with vitamin E, which is great for your skin, hair, and nails
What to look for when buying EVOO:
  • “Extra Virgin” should be on the bottle
  • Quality extra virgin olive oil should be bottled in a dark glass bottle or can to preserve the freshness, by keeping light out and flavor locked in
  • A fresh bottle should have a harvest date within the last 12 month (can be found on the bottle)
  • Golden-green color

You’ll find other questions in our Ask the Chef series and other instructive pieces in our How-To Section.


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