Thursday, February 26, 2009

Learning More About .....

Olive Oils.

It's beginning to all click up here in headville.

'Tis a pity that someone like me who really enjoys kitchen life is just discovering what the differences are among all the various olive oils out there. Yeah, reallly! I'm JUST learning when to use EVOO (thanks, Rachel Ray for the acronym) and when to use the other "pure", "light", etc types, and I'm JUST beginning to get why all the other grades of "olive oil" (those that aren't virgin) are cheaper and have far less flavor. Can I share what I've been researching?

EVOO: the fairest of them all!!!! Or the yummiest....It gets its name "extra virgin" because the olives are from the first pressing and the actual oil is from a process that is chemical-free, cold-pressed, involves only pressure which produces a low level of acidity (usually less than 1%),and results in the most flavorful and most fruity olive oil. Hence, it's much more expensive. EVOO should be used for nearly everything (except frying), particularly for drizzling in salads, dipping breads, making vinaigrette's, marinades, and so forth. If you want to, for instance, have a delicious caprese salad, anything other than EVOO should not be used if you want it taste delish.

Virgin Olive Oil: this oil comes from a second pressing of olives. Usually contains an acidity of about 3 %. Less care is taken in the fruit for this oil.

Pure Olive Oil:Pure olive oil, usually called just olive oil, comes either from the second cold pressing or the chemical extraction of the olive mash left over after the first pressing. This grade is also called commercial grade oil. Pure olive oil is much lighter in color and blander in taste than virgin olive oil. It is a general-purpose (all-purpose) olive oil. Pure refers to the fact that no non-olive oils are mixed in. For deep frying, the olive oil grade "olive oil," is excellent because it has a higher smoke point (410ยบ F) than virgin or extra virgin oils.

Light Olive Oil:undergoes considerable processing and only retains a very mild olive flavor. "Light" does not refer to being lite in calories or fat content. Has, in fact, very little taste. Should NOT be used as a subsitute ever, for extra-virgin olive oil.

Sum Up
Extra Virgin Olive Oil reigns supreme in quality and taste. "Pure" and "Light" kinds of olive oil are falsely marketed as olive oils, and lack in taste and quality. If you're looking for a healthier oil to use in your all-purpose cooking and don't care for the flavor, then ere on the side of purchasing any grade of olive oil. If you DO care about the taste, splurge the extra few dollars, and get the EVOO. Divine!

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