02 Aug

Olive oil is olive oil is olive oil, right?

Not quite. There are essentially three types of oil. While there aren’t dramatic differences among them, each is suited for specific cooking needs, according to the North American Olive Oil Association:

Extra-virgin olive oil has the most full-bodied taste and aroma of all olive oils. It is often used in salads and on vegetables, or as a dip for bread. It has the least acid and is the most expensive.

Olive oil, also called “pure,” is an all-purpose oil with mild flavor – a blend of pure and virgin or extra-virgin oil. It is more gold in color than extra-virgin olive oil.

Extra-light olive oil has the mildest flavor and lightest color of the three. It works very well for frying because it stays stable at high temperatures and won’t burn. It also works well for baking and can usually be used in place of vegetable oil.

Olive oil can often be used in place of butter or margarine, and in smaller amounts. For example:

1 teaspoon butter = 3/4 teaspoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter = 2 1/4 teaspoons olive oil

1/4 cup butter = 3 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup butter = 3/4 cup olive oil

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