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Which olive oil is best for cooking?
There are reasons why olive oil has thrived since almost the beginning of human civilization as an
essential element of the kitchen. Other than adding a beautiful smell and flavour to the dish, it also
packs a punch when it comes to health benefits. Preventing diabetes, fighting cancer, keeping cell
degeneration and cancer at bay – the list of the crucial benefits that organic olive oil brings to the
table is endless.
However, it is not an easy task to choose a particular olive oil for cooking, without having prior
knowledge about their taste, smell and intensity of flavours. There are quite a few options available
in the market.
Here are the different kinds of cooking olive oil available and the kind of cooking they are best suited
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This is the king of all the types of olive oil – the absolute best of its kind, the crème-de-la-crème of
the lot separated from the batch before the rest of it turns into refined olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil
comes in a light golden-green shade, a peppery, pungent flavour to taste and smells of freshly picked
olives. EVOO is suggested by experts, nutritionists and health practitioners alike as a great addition
to everyday diet. It is made from crushing the olive fruits and extracting the oil from them directly
via cold press, rich in natural polyphenols and antioxidants and less than 0.8% acid content. The oil
leaves quite an aftertaste in the mouth, thanks to the strong flavours of EVOO, which can be best
experienced as a salad dressing and marinades. It is also used in making dips and breads, and light
sautéing in EVOO will add a dash of delicious savour to the dish. But it can lose its flavour if heated
too much, which is why deep frying or heavy cooking is best avoided with EVOO.
Virgin Olive Oil
The closest you will ever get to a perfect alternative of vegetable oil for basic cooking and sautéing is
virgin olive oil. It has a slightly higher percentage of acidity than that of extra virgin olive oil, and less
intensity in flavours. You can expect it to be a great base for any home cooking.
Pure Olive Oil
After the removal of virgin oil, the rest of it is further processed and combined with refinery
chemicals, therefore taking away its natural essence. Pure olive oil is basically a carefully concocted
mixture of refined oil and virgin oil, together creating one with a higher burning point, thereby
facilitating easy cooking option.
Pomace Olive Oil
Pomace olive oil is made by cold-pressed extraction of oil from the fruits once they are done with
pressing for the first round. The remaining few percentages of oil is pressed and extracted from the
leftover olive pulp to be sold as an olive oil idea for frying and heavy sautéing purposes. But on the
other hand, it retains much of the original health benefits of olive oil – so wit is a win-win situation.
You walk into any departmental store, and a series of olive oil products, with different names on
their labels, are found standing one after another in the respective section. To decide which olive oil
you want, you first have to determine its future culinary purpose.