This post is part of our 'This Is Fire' series, where our editors and writers tell you about the products they can't live without in the kitchen.
As a chef and writer who’s regularly offered new foods to test out, it’s a rarity that I’m blown away by any food, let alone an ingredient that I’m highly familiar with and use on the daily. Such was the case, though, with a type of olive oil that I’d never come across before, when I was sent a bottle of it to try. Kyoord High-Phenolic Olive Oil is healthier than any other olive oil I’ve ever had, and it tastes rich, peppery, and luxurious.
I love this oil not only for its taste and health benefits, but because of how empowered it makes me feel to stealthily aid in the wellness of others.
Kyoord High-Phenolic Olive Oil
Founded by a molecular biologist who studied the effects of antioxidants on cancer tumors, Kyoord is the first major manufacturer in the United States that makes this special oil. High-phenolic means that the oil is high in antioxidants known as polyphenols; these are the nutrients that make olive oil so healthful and fueled the cultural success of the Mediterranean diet.
If you’ve ever noticed how expensive olive oils have a grassier flavor than inexpensive olive oils, then you’ve tasted polyphenols. There’s a lot of technical info about how good polyphenols are for you and why, but the TL;DR version is simply that they help your body fight against illness and aging. The more polyphenols an olive oil contains, the more strength it has to do that.
European oils with a certain polyphenol content carry a special label that denotes them as high-phenolic, but the United States doesn’t have an American version of that yet.
Though it’s new to us, high-phenolic olive oil is as old as olive oil itself. It’s made from specific varietals of olives that are harvested when green and unripe. The oil is dark and golden in color and has an earthy, peppery bite. Historically, olive oil producers kept this oil for themselves, as not many people were interested in paying more for the level of quality, bur with the rise of olive oil’s popularity as a health food, that began to change.
Price at time of publish: $49
Unless you’re made of money, high-phenolic olive oil isn’t an oil to cook with. Its polyphenol content doesn’t get fully lost with cooking, but it’s too pricey to justify using in lieu of a less expensive oil for situations in which the flavor won’t be pronounced. Instead, you want to feature this oil as you would in-season produce: Drizzle it over heirloom tomatoes or roasted vegetables, make a pesto, or dip your favorite crusty bread into a saucer of it.
Kyoord High-Phenolic Olive Oil is a reminder that even the most humble and basic of the foods we eat can have far more to offer us than we would expect.
I love this oil not only for its taste and health benefits, but because of how empowered it makes me feel to stealthily aid in the wellness of others. I mostly shifted away from private chef work years ago to write, but I remain the on-and-off chef and nutritionist for one celebrity I adore. One of the best compliments she’s given me about the food I prepare for her is that it makes her feel nourished and energized during incredibly busy periods, like tours. I’m always looking for ways to add more nutritious bang to every buck spent on my cooking ingredients for her, both for short-term energy and to contribute to her long-term wellness. No ingredient has made me feel as empowered about that mighty task as Kyoord does.
When the average person begins the journey of using food to enhance wellness, they tend to migrate towards unusual, hard-to-pronounce global ingredients. Kyoord High-Phenolic Olive Oil is a reminder that even the most humble and basic of the foods we eat can have far more to offer us than we would expect, provided they are crafted with care and intention. It’s also a stress reliever to be able to swap out an ingredient you are familiar with rather than learn the ins and outs of how to use a new one. A golden, unctuous olive oil that tastes unlike any olive oil you’ve tried before, Kyoord is a simple way to enrich your life–and the life of anyone you want to help stay well.
Bottle Size: 16.9 ounces / 500 milliliters | Material: Glass bottle, wooden top
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Ariane Resnick is a special diet chef, certified nutritionist, and bestselling author. She has more than 20 years experience in the food and writing spaces and believes in a joy-filled approach to health and wellness.