How to Choose the Best Olive Oil for Cooking

July 21, 2020 4 min read

Cooking with Olive Oil is an odd but controversial topic. Many people shy away from cooking with olive oil because of the taste. However, acclaimed chefs only use olive oil because of its beautiful properties. Olive oil claims many positive points besides its immaculate, aromatic taste because it contains antioxidants that offer many health benefits. 

Types of Olive Oil

It may seem overwhelming choosing the right variety of olive oil for cooking, but it is simple when you realize Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the best to use when you want a perfect dish. However, we will break down the three types of olive oil so you can see why Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the choice of many culinary experts. There are three different types of Olive Oil: Extra virgin Olive Oil, Virgin Olive Oil, and Extra Light Virgin Oil.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the finest of the bunch because of its robust flavor and the ability to transform dishes. However, it does come with a price tag, which is why many people only use this type of oil for special dishes. This should not be the case as Extra Virgin Olive Oil is reasonably priced when you look at how it impacts every meal. How this oil is made produces a quality that you can taste. Extra Virgin Olive oil is crafted from the finest Olives, which are crushed and rinsed with water. This “pressing” technique makes sure that only the most savory juices are extracted. These techniques are repeated over and over again to ensure the most oil is extracted.

Next, the “decant” process is done to remove the “substrate,” leaving the oil with a luscious and decadent appearance. What makes Olive Oil Extra Virgin is when you perform these same steps but with more professional and delicate techniques. These techniques ensure that none of the olive characteristics are compromised, leaving us with the purest quality product. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is also “pressed” the same day because this is how we are sure to retain all the essence that gives olive oil the marvelous aroma. Extra Virgin Olive Oil ensures that you are cooking with oil made from the finest olives that are processed using exceptional practices. A lot goes into making extra virgin olive oil, but that should be a testament to its quality.

Virgin Olive Oil

Virgin Olive Oil is made using the same process, but there is less technique and care in each step. This oil has less flavor than extra virgin olive oil, so some people will substitute this oil when cooking hot meals because when heated, the oil flavor is subdued. Although there is no harm in this, the taste of your dishes will be compromised because there is a loss of potent flavor that comes from extra virgin olive oil. Virgin olive oil isn’t high quality like extra virgin, so your dishes will lack the full-bodied flavor of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Extra Light Olive Oil

Extra Light Olive oil gets its name from its color and flavor. This oil has the mildest flavor from all the oils, which doesn’t make it ideal for cooking. This oil also lacks all the nutritional benefits of extra-virgin olive oil because of the heating process. Extra light olive oil should not be used for cooking because it provides no added flavor or health benefits.

Finding the Best High-Quality Olive Oil

You not only want to make sure to cook with Extra Virgin Olive Oil but also want to check the quality to make sure you are using the best product. To ensure you get the best olive oil, we have a few tips you can follow.

  • High-Quality extra virgin olive oil has a deep gold, green, or vibrant yellow color.
  • The taste of extra virgin olive oil should be intense, but not overpowering.
  • Quality extra virgin olive oil can also have a bit of spice and heat, or even be floral and fruity depending on its flavor profile.

Olive oil can have many different flavors and profiles, but you can always ensure La Merenda Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the finest quality.

Benefits of Cooking with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Not only will your dishes have optimum flavor, but olive also has a lot of nutritional value. Olive oil has a ton of healthy fats that keep your heart and immune system healthy. Olive oil can help you to break down and digest fats better because it contains Omega-9. The Omega-9 benefits you because they can help with inflammation or immune system issues; it can even improve your metabolism. Olive oil is also helpful for heart health because of the various antioxidants it contains. Cooking with olive oil maximizes taste, and you can have peace of mind knowing it is great for your health! 

Cooking with Olive Oil

There are so many recipes where olive oil makes the perfect companion. Finishing off a plate with a drizzle of olive oil can add moisture and a ton of flavor. Olive oil is not just a garnish because it has the power to bind ingredients to maximize their flavor. Cooking in olive oil can infuse your meats or fish with potent flavor. Frying with olive oil is also a healthier alternative to canola oil, which can block your arteries. You can also combine olive oil with citrus to create tangy sauces for an added kick to any meal. Not to forget, olive oil is essential for salads, vinaigrettes, and bread dipping! The bottom line is that olive oil is vital in your kitchen because it can make or break a dish.

Cooking can be a soothing and delicious experience, especially when you have olive oil by your side! There are many plates you can create with olive oil as the base; the possibilities are endless. Remember when you’re scanning the aisle for cooking oil, always choose Extra Virgin Olive Oil for its amazing taste and benefits.

If you’re curious to learn more about what makes extra virgin olive oil so special read, “Olive Oil vs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil-What’s the Difference?”


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