21 Jun

Olive oils: What’s the diff?

What’s the difference between 100 percent olive oil and extra-virgin olive oil? I usually use extra-virgin because that’s what the chefs on TV shows recommend, but my son bought the other kind. Should I use it?

By all means, use the olive oil your son bought. When sauteing, you should use it rather than the more delicately flavored (and usually more expensive) extra-virgin olive oil. Heating extra-virgin olive oil changes the flavor, so you might as well use less expensive olive oil. Save the expensive stuff for salad dressings and drizzling on vegetables, where the flavor of the oil can be appreciated.

Extra-virgin olive oil is usually, but not always, the first pressing of the olives. The less expensive olive oil comes from subsequent pressings. What makes an oil extra-virgin, though, is its level of acidity. The less acid, the better.

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