Olive Oil Lingo…

I used to just grab a bottle of oilve oil, but not anymore.  There is actually a lot of things to know before choosing the oil best for your purpose.  Here is some label lingo.

Cold-pressed.  The oil is extracted by a machine that presses the olives at low temperature, and this retains more flavor.  No chemicals are used.

Refined.  After extraction, the oil is processed to remove impurities, which includes pesticides, and then bleached.  This increases shelf life and improves color.

Unrefined.  No further processing is done after extraction. These cannot be used for high-heat cooking.  They also can spoil more quickly.  Always choose organic with unrefined oils, because pesticides are not removed.

Extra-virgin.  This is best for salad dressings, and has the lowest smoke point.  Not the best for higher-heat cooking.

Virgin.  It can be heated and used for cooking.

Pure.  It has the highest smoke point and can be used for frying or roasting.

Light.  This refers to the flavor of the oil and has nothing to do with the calorie count or fat content.

Lastly, there is a huge fraud in the olive oil industry.  Chances are that your olive oil is not olive oil at all.  To learn more watch this video from 60 Minutes…

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