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Olive Oil Questions, Options, Favorites


Shiva
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  • 1 month later...

Why not try some California oils? WeOlive, a franchise in California has a large selection and knowledgeable staff to sort out your taste preferences. If you purchase domestically you reduce the carbon footprint of shipping oil and glass from Europe and you support a growing local economy (read farmer). California will require, as of 1 January 2009, that all olive oils labeled extra virgin meet criteria established similar to the IOOC requirements.

I simply buy olive oil in the gallon tin cans at the supermarket, because they tend to be less expensive than the olive oil in the glass bottles. Speaking of California olive oils, I concur with Raoul Duke. Check out: California Olive Oil Council, All U.S. Olive Oil Companies :cool:

Buttercup: You mock my pain.

Man in Black: Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.

-- The Princess Bride

If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy -- Red Green

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Just chiming in to say I love love love love the Nunez de Prado extra virgin olive oil, and haul it back from Whole Foods in NYC whenever I'm there for a visit. I use it for salads, light sautes, finishing soups, on bread, etc. That said, I use a standard Wegmans light non-extra virgin olive oil for cooking where I'm not looking for the flavor of the olive oil to come through, or where it will be cooked so long that the flavor of a good extra virgin is likely to dissipate.

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My everyday olive oil is a spanish evoo, brand name Crismona. It's on the lighter side but has a clear olive flavor, fruity but with a bit of pepper bite to it. No bitterness. It comes in a 5 liter jug, $43, which last me a long time, I probably buy two a year. Just keep it in a cool, dark place and it won't turn rancid. I have a small cruet near my stove that I refill as needed.

For anyone in the Boston area, I highly recommend Capone's in Somerville (Union Square) for their good selection of olive oils--that's where I buy the Crismona. They keep open bottles of their evoos and vinegars behind the counter, so you can taste everything before you buy.


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It comes in a 5 liter jug, $43, which last me a long time, I probably buy two a year.

You go through 10 liters of olive oil a year?! You're my new hero :wub:

So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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For everyday line lube at home, I use Trader Joes 100% Pure Olive Oil. It is decent quality and has a good taste, IMHO. I have been nursing a bottle of DaVero Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil that I was given as a gift by a chef at the James Beard awards ceremony for the help I gave her as a student volunteer. It is stunning stuff that I only use for salads and other applications where the flavour is noticable. I have not been able to find it locally, so I have reluctantly switched to Trader Joes Unfiltered Organic as my nice stuff.

Thanks again for the oil, Chef!

Dan

Edited by DanM (log)

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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  • 2 months later...

I was sent This

I almost always use olive oil-for most things including frying-eggs,schnizel etc. I tried looking at other sources and the info is confusing.

Besides the smoke point, does anyone know what is healthier? This info seems to change all the time, what was not considered good,I often read is now good like coconut oil.

I try to avoid frying mostly, but it is nice here and there.

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The issue with olive oil is that good olive oil (Extra Virgin or EVOO)has a distinct flavor which will impart a taste to whatever you are frying/sauteeing. It's not unpleasant, but it is different to the refined frying oils like canola. The link that you directed readers to makes two very important points. Firstly, don't deep fry with it and don't let it heat beyond the smoke point. Olive oil is too dense for deep frying and above the smoke point,it will make your food taste terrible.

Always smell your olive oil before you put it on a salad or in a vinaigrette. Despite its use-by date, EVOO starts to deteriorate from the moment the oil is in the bottle. It's shelf life is about 12 months depending on the storage conditions - and don't keep it beside the stove. Like good red wine, keep it cool and dark, but not in the fridge.

Olive oil that smells rancid or slightly off can still be used for shallow frying. During the heating process, the rancid smell disappears and no unpleasant taste goes through to the food.

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There's a more comprehensive smoke-point chart here. Note that refined oils have higher smoke points than their unrefined counterparts mostly because you're removing fine particles suspended in the raw product; these are what burns and cause smoking. Wombat3788 is correct that extra-virgin olive oil isn't appropriate for deep frying, but that's also true for most unrefined fats. Refining not only increases the smoke point, it makes oils more bland in flavor, so as you go up the scale, the type of oil you use for frying becomes less important from a flavor standpoint. On the other hand, I couldn't count the number of Mario Batali recipes that start by heating extra-virgin olive oil to smoking, and he seems to be doing okay with this cooking thing.

As for health, much depends on which side you're on in the cholesterol hypothesis debate.

Edited by Dave the Cook
To welcome wombat3788! (log)

Dave Scantland
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dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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If you align yourself with Taubes' (et al) worldview, the nutshell is that higher levels of satfat and monounsat and lower levels of polyunsat are what is desirable. Along those lines: Coconut oil is very good. Ghee and animal fats are very good. Olive oil is very good. Peanut oil is okay. Corn and canola, not so much.

I think there is much to recommend Taubes, but your mileage and worldview may vary.

John Rosevear

"Brown food tastes better." - Chris Schlesinger

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Well first of all I cannot yet have a worldview as I still don't know enough-just read a bit heard a bit... :unsure:

I also heard that many olive oils that say extra virgin or have that 0.5% or whatever -is not really what it is claimed to be. Is this possible? This is what we have on the supermarket shelf-who knows?

Now I don't usually deep fry except for french fries and then I mostly use canola and add a bit of olive oil (I thought for taste!).

I always keep the bottle next to the stove-uh oh won't do that anymore!

And now to look up Mario Batali and Taubes

Thanks

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That's a sweeping statement, dhardy123. Olive oil comes in lots of grades, and they're useful for different things. That special extra-virgin that you keep just for vinaigrettes and finishing probably deserves pampering. On the other hand, I've found decent, if not great, EVOO in clear glass bottles. It's fine for shallow frying and sauteeing, where the fruitiness comes through but subtleties of a kid-gloves-handled, terrior-soaked, $30-a-pint oil would be wasted.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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I'd like to point out that oils that rancid oil doesn't start to smell bad until it's really very unsafe to use. Oil can be rancid and smell fine, odor is not the best indicator of rancidity. The free radicals formed as the oil deteriorates can promote the growth of cancers.

I add a dose of BHT to all of my oils when I open them, and I store them in the fridge in the smallest bottles possible, to minimize exposure to air. I also discard unused oil after a few months.

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McGee (p 340) is pretty straightforward: light damages the chlorophyll in the oil, resulting in "'photooxidation' and stale, harsh aromas." He says to store extra-virgin olive oil in a dark place (and in a can, though a dark bottle seems like it would be almost, if not as effective). Cool is good, too, because it retards all chemical reactions.

My point wasn't that that wasn't true. It was that if you're using up EVOO at a pretty good clip and storing it in reasonable conditions, degradation isn't likely to catch up with you. And . . . if you're using that much, an expensive product isn't practical, or even desirable.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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that was what I thought-I don't buy a very expensive brand but it is decent-we use it up quite quickly-on salads in light frying, in humus/tehina/eggplant etc. I would say within a month and a half we finish a bottle or less even. We are, at weekends especially a bunch of people.

Now sometimes we get oil from people that press it-this comes in a rather large can and I have no idea as to its quality as nothing is even written on it- direct from small presses. I guess I can ask them...

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True extra virgin olive oil is fine for frying. The biggest problem is finding true extra virgin olive oil since the term isn't regulated here, so the majority of the oils sold as "extra virgin" are really refined-virgin blends. For a better understanding of "extra virgin" please take a look at my articles on Culinate:

Extra virgin, extra confusing. Do you trust your olive oil?

How to speak olive oil. What the labels really mean

You might also want to look at the International Olive Oil Council's info. True, they're an industry group, but they also have some of the best current research about olive oil. And what it shows is that oils with higher levels of polyphenols are more stable for frying. Only well-made extra virgin olive oils have such levels. The whole "low smoke point" issue is bogus, too. Extra virgin olive oil has a smoke point well below the best temperature for frying.

People in the olive belt around the Mediterranean have been frying in olive oil for centuries.

Jim

olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

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For a better understanding of "extra virgin" please take a look at my articles on Culinate:

Jim

I see that Google has you listed as an olive oil geek. Interesting.

And what kind(s)/brand(s) of olive oil do you use, please?

Edited by Darienne (log)

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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