Why olive oil
Why olive oil and not butter or why do we in Arapina bake with olive oil?

When we first started trading at markets a lot of people asked: ‘Why butter-free?’ which was usually followed by the admission ‘we love butter’. Well guess what: We like butter as well! We do think however that there are healthier alternatives out there, which can also offer a better texture when it comes to cakes. And this is of course the favourite product of Greeks and Mediterraneans; olive oil. As a matter of fact, after communicating our precious secret to our customers, we did find a few people around using olive oil as well, and for those who liked our cakes, we are proud to say that we have started a little trend! It came to our surprise to see our regular customers coming to our stalls week after week to share with us on how to best use olive oil to their cakes, desserts and sweet making, and how much they impressed their friends and family with the ‘new’ lighter addition to their cook books.

For those who are still sceptical here is some more info:

According to our sources, butter is a concentrated source of milkfat (80%) with some water and non-fat milk solids. It is made from milk, cream or both. The nutritional information of butter is 100 calories per tablespoon, 12 grams fat, 7 grams saturated fat, 3 grams monounsaturated fat, 31mg cholesterol, 82 mg sodium. On the contrary, olive oil seems to be a bit higher in calories, however it does seem to have the ‘good sort of fat’ as nutritionist would agree, and no cholesterol, or sodium. On top of that, olive oil contains nutritional elements such as vitamin E and phenols, which butter does not. Overall if one had to offer a concrete definition of olive oil, then it could be said that: ‘Olive oil is the natural juice, which preserves the taste, aroma, vitamins and properties of the olive fruit. Olive oil is the only vegetable oil that can be consumed as it is – freshly pressed from the fruit’. We would add that olive oil is high in monounsaturated fats (easily absorbed by your body) and antioxidants. As the famous chef Yotam Ottolenghi quote on his best-selling cookbook regarding olive oil: ‘We use olive oil almost everywhere, even in some cakes, where it adds moisture and a rich depth of flavour. Choose your favourite olive oil and keep buckets of it’.

Our tip: Choose extra virgin, cold pressed, olive oil for the highest health benefits. If you would still like to go for butter, choose raw, organic or fresh unsalted butter.

Michaela Pontiki