The Difference Between Citrus, Dipping and Infused Olive Oils

Posted by Olivia on Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

The Difference Between Citrus, Dipping and Infused Olive Oils

Extra virgin olive oil is a delicious base for endless flavor, that’s why we love so many other culinary must-haves like Basil Parmesan Dipping Oil, Blood Orange Olive Oil, Jalapeno Olive Oil, and Garlic Rosemary Dipping Oil. The question is, what’s the difference between citrus olive oil, dipping olive oil, infused olive oil, marinades and dressings? How are they made and what should you do with them? Here’s a few insights and tips from our dipping and infusing experts at The Olive Press:


  1. Citrus Crushed Olive Oils are often confused with infused olive oils. At The Olive Press, we may as well call them “Co-Milled Olive Oils” because they aren’t infused at all! And they aren’t always made from citrus either. We actually crush whole citrus or peppers with whole olives, so the flavor comes from the oil in the rind of the citrus or the pepper. Using this method, there’s no chance of flavor dwindling in these oils. In fact, the flavor is so deeply fused with the olive oil that it intensifies when you cook with it! Heat a pan with a drizzle of blood orange olive oil and your kitchen will begin to smell orange zest. Add it to a low simmer, like a glaze or reduction, and your senses will be enveloped by that fresh aroma.
  2. Infused Olive Oils are typically extra virgin olive oils with added herbs or spices to flavor the oil. Infused simply refers to adding flavor to already made extra virgin olive oil whether it’s herbs, spices, vinegar or roasted garlic. You can either leave the flavors in to create a marinade or dipping oil, or let it sit for a couple of weeks so the oil takes on the new flavor and filter it out. These oils are great for cooking, or finishing your pasta, soup, or dish with a drizzle of flavor. A great example is our Olio Diavolo, which is extra virgin olive oil infused with chilies and paprika, resulting in a red chili oil. Be careful when using anything fresh like garlic or fresh herbs. Fresh items are better to blend with olive oil for immediate enjoyment, if you’re infusing olive oil you should use dried herbs, roasted garlic, or brined garlic. Read more here.
  3. Dipping Oils are usually filled with delicious vinegars and/or bits of roasted garlic, herbs, spices and cheese. Anything goes here, especially if you’re putting something together just before serving! We love a little crushed garlic with fresh herbs, chili flake, balsamic vinegar and sea salt. As for bottling dipping oils, be careful with fresh garlic and herbs… or grab one of our best sellers! Basil Parmesan and Garlic Rosemary are hits at The Olive Press! Basil Parmesan is like a liquid pesto including Parmesan cheese, walnuts, and basil. Garlic Rosemary is on the savory side with roasted garlic, rosemary, Dijon and lemon. Now all you need is your favorite rustic bread and a glass of wine!
  4. Marinades & Salad Dressings can be a combination of any of the above. Usually a marinade will include vinegar to help penetrate the meat or veggies, but doesn’t have to. Here are the guidelines we follow for making the perfect marinade or dressing:
    • 3 parts olive oil to 1 part vinegar as a foundation. This can also be a great place to stop! This is a nice way to keep it simple, especially if you’re using a co-milled or infused oil and a fruity balsamic, like Jalapeno Olive Oil and Peach Balsamic Vinegar.
    • Next we add the mustard, usually in about the same volume as the vinegar.
    • Now the citrus – a great way to keep your dressing bright and pleasantly tangy.
    • Last but not least, the garlic and fresh herbs. Keep in mind this would be a fresh vinaigrette, not one to be stored, so fresh garlic is okay to use here.
    • Our go to dressing following this method would be Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil with White Balsamic Vinegar, Meyer Lemon Wasabi Mustard, garlic, lemon juice and thyme.

Now that these delicious products and creations are demystified, go grab your favorite ingredients and get to cookin!

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