Confused about Olive Oil Types

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n2cookin

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I had always been using Extra-Virgin Olive Oil for everything. But recently on a food show on the t.v. they were talking about the types of olive oils. I understand that the different types come from different pressing like first cold press and the other oils come from heating the olives for more oil. But I am confused, if you heat Extra Virgin Olive Oil are you now changing it from Virgin to just a plain olive oil? :ermm:

If so then should I cook with regular olive oil and only use the extra virgin olive oil for salad dressings?
 

sattie

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I'm curious myself n2c! I went to the World Market today and saw so many different types of olive oil... I too would like to know which olive oils are best for what.
 

PanchoHambre

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Extra Virgin Olive Oil is from the frist cold press (this nomenclature is dictated legally in Europe but in the US not really so the bottle shoud say "first cold press" Italy takes what they call their olive oil seriously

Other "olive oils" are from subsequent pressings

"light" olive oil is actually a blended oil with some olive oil content. It is not healthier or less calories or fat. I personally dont use it but some people like it for its taste and I believe it has a higher smoke point so can be preferred for frying.

Within "Extra Virgin" there is a great variation in qualilty and flavors ranging from the cloudy thick green stuff which is prescious as liquid gold and used mainly for flavoring/drizzling and not cooking to the stuff in the jumbo can. There is also EVOO from many countries like greece, turkey , spain etc all a bit different.... Honestly I usually buy what's on sale

here is a good link.

HowStuffWorks "Types of Olive Oil"

Sattie... I love World Market... we had one in Houston I miss it
 

Andy M.

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Olive oil grades are based on acidity levels. Extra virgin is required to have an acidity level below 0.5% (I believe that's the number). The other grades have higher levels.

Cooking with extra virgin means you are starting with the best tasting oil and that is what will effect the taste of your food.
 

black chef

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Jul 2, 2006
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i was once confused about using olive oil until i found-out about Frantoia.

i use rice bran oil for deep frying, sauteeing, in vinaigrettes, etc., but when i cook Italian dishes, and i want to bring-out the best in the dish, i start with Frantoia, and i go from there.
 

Robo410

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Extra virgin (filtered or unfiltered) is first press. This is where the flavor is.

Virgin is second press and may use heat extraction. Other grades such as "pure" are chemically extracted, and pomace oil is made from the washings of the pressing mats and grinding of the pits and chemical extraction...avoid that always. Best used for animal feed.

Virgin and pure are ok for cooking but have less or no flavor.

Different counties have different olive varieties and flavors.

Italian and French oils are "strong" with grassy notes and an acidic "bite" Spanish and Turkish are fruity. Greek oils can be very intense. etc.

You can pick up some pretty fancy olive oils at places like Marshalls and TJMax for very good prices.

Look for "Product of" not "bottled in" labeling. The first means it is from that country, the second means it is a blend of many countries' leftover oils.
 

Poppinfresh

Senior Cook
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Mar 8, 2006
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This one's an easy one to remember:

Extra virgin for everything. No exceptions. Done deal.

Yeah there are other types...don't even bother with them unless you're on a real tight budget.
 

Glorie

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Dec 4, 2008
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Washington State
I've heard that Extra Virgin is great for frying/saute and in salad dressings. Lite can be used in baking without tasting the olive flavor. I've never used any of the others
 

black chef

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n2cookin

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Nashville, TN
Thanks everyone for the tips and information on Olive Oils. I think I will just stick to Extra Virgin Olive Oil eliminating the extra bottles of Olive oils in the kitchen.
 

BreezyCooking

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Good for you!!! I agree - it's SO much easier to just use the best. While the Berio I use by the gallon obviously isn't an artisinal extra-virgin, it's fragrant & lovely in both salads & cooking. I love it.
 
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