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7 Goof-Ups You're Making with Olive Oil

7 Goof-Ups You're Making with Olive Oil

All of us know that extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) is very good for the body. It contains healthy fats, antioxidants, and moreover, tastes amazing. It is gaining popularity due to its health benefits and has become one of the most commonly used oils. However, sadly, most people don’t know much about it yet. Here is a list of the top goof-ups people make when using olive oil:

1. Buying Plastic or Clear Glass Bottles- Oxygen and sunlight are the two biggest enemies of extra-virgin olive oil. So if you’re purchasing plastic or clear glass bottles, your oil is definitely going to be in trouble. When light comes in contact with the oil, it gets begins to get rancid. Here on, go for bottles that are dark-green or brown in color.

2. Keeping Your Oil Bottle near Heat- Keeping your bottle near the gas stove or near a window is a big no-no. Heat destroys the polyphenols in extra-virgin olive oil and lowers the flavor and quality of the oil. Always store your bottle in a cool and dark place.

3. Evaluating the Oil’s Quality by its Color- Many people look for color as an indication of quality. The color of the oil just indicates when the olives were harvested and pressed and not quality. The colors can range from anywhere from vibrant green to soft golden yellow. So don’t avoid the golden-yellow colored oil only because it looks different from what you are expecting.

4. Believing that one oil fits All Kinds of Cooking- Extra virgin olive oil generally falls into three categories: delicate, medium, or robust.

  • Delicate EVOO’s are great for baking, broiled or grilled fish, vegetables, milder cheeses, soups, and sauces.
  • Medium Intensity Extra Virgin Olive Oils are great for grilled meats and vegetables, heavier sauces, pastas, milder cheeses, and bruschetta.
  • Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oils are great for salads, heavier sauces, grilled meats, rustic dishes, pastas, risottos, and bruschetta as well.

5. Cooking on High Heat- High temperature cooking like frying and baking, destroys the antioxidants and alters the flavor of the oil. Make sure you don’t use olive oil for frying and for cooking at temperatures above 360°F.

6. Cooking with Robust EVOO - More robust, delicate oils should not be exposed to heat at all in order to protect their aromatic properties, flavor and quality. Use these oils only as finishing oils in cold salads, pastas, and bruschetta’s.

7. Storing the Oil for Long Periods- Have you stored a king-sized bottle of olive oil for years? Never repeat it again! The shelf-life of extra-virgin olive oil is 24 months and an over-stayed bottle would lose all its health benefits and flavor.

When it comes to the performance and flavor, not all olive oils are created equal. Some perform well at high temperatures, making them ideal for frying and sautéing. Some are super flavorful, but turn rancid when heated. How to differentiate between them all? And how to store them? How long will they last? So many questions! Thankfully, we've got the answers. 

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