Olive oil is one of the most critical ingredients in many kitchens. From pan frying to dressing, olive oil is widely used in various recipes, thanks to its amazing flavor and versatility. It is a popular fixture in many Western and Eastern cuisines.
However, this highly prized liquid is a little more delicate than you may realize. Proper care of the product can ensure the maximization of olive oil regardless of how you use it.
That being said, there are just some things you must never do regardless of what bottle of olive oil you have, and here they are:
- Judging an oil by its color
There is a common myth that many olive oil lovers tend to believe and that the greener the oil, the better it is. Unfortunately, this is not true. Colour also is not an indicator of how the olive oil tastes. All the color means is from where the olives are harvested, how they are harvested, and how they are processed. All of these can lead to various, ranging from yellow all the way to dark green.
- Subjecting the oil to HOLA
HOLA stands for heat, oxygen, light, and age—all the factors that can deteriorate the quality of olive oil. Some things, like age, you can never control. However, you can control the heat, oxygen, and light. When you store your olive oil, store it away from light and heat and place the oil in an airtight container to protect it from oxygen exposure.
- Cooking at the smoking point
You should never cook olive oil at its smoke point because this is when the oil starts to burn. This, in turn, will release carcinogenic chemicals into the food you are cooking and hurt the oil’s quality.
That said, the smoke point of olive oil is between 320° to 470°F. A standard frying pan can go up to 250°F, while deep frying fixtures can go up to 360°F. Be mindful of the temperatures you are working with to ensure you do not burn the oil.
- Not paying attention to the expiry date
Olive oil is nothing like wine in the way that wine ages and gets better. Olive oil only gets worse as time goes by. Some olive oils only last around two years, and ones that are not filtered last even shorter. To ensure you do not unknowingly pour rancid olive oil into your dishes, always check the expiry date first to see if the product is still good. Of course, a product can still spoil way earlier, so be sure to always test the oil before going all out with it.
If you have made any of the above mistakes, at least you can stop now—for better olive oil and better food. Understanding exactly why these are problems in the first place can help you be a better cook. It can also help you manage your supplies more easily.
That being said, avoiding the above mistakes will be of no use if you do not use high-quality olive oil in the first place. As such, if you truly want to maximize your olive oil experience, be sure to purchase high-quality olive oil guaranteed to maximize flavors. It may cost a little more, but it is worth it to use a high-quality ingredient that tastes good and healthy!
The Olive Bar offers olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and more at its finest, certified to be organic and authentic. If you are looking for gourmet olive oil in the US, check out our offerings!