cooking with olive oil
one of the questions we are asked most often is what happens when olive oil is heated and/or used for frying. the important thing about cooking with any oil (olive or otherwise) is not to heat the oil over its smoke point. the smoke point refers to the temperature at which a cooking fat or oil begins to break down. the lower the acidity of the oil, the higher the smoke point. all refined oils (canola, vegetable, sunflower…) have close to zero acidity as the refining process removes all of the free fatty acids. extra virgin olive oil is a natural product and as such its acidity varies greatly from brand to brand. “extra virgin” olive oil is essentially oil that is cold-processed to prevent degradation of aromatic compounds and has higher levels of healthy fats and antioxidants. to be classified as “extra virgin” olive oil has to have acidity levels of 0.8 % or less (the lower the number the better the oil). our natural extra virgin olive oils are very low on free fatty acids (0.07% to 0.3%) which makes them excellent cooking oils.
how to heat olive oil
whether you’re sautéing, stir-frying, pan-frying, or deep-frying, use olive oil and this advice to make your high-heat cooking great:
a touch of a flavorsome extra virgin olive oil added at the table will add taste and healthful anti-oxidants. such is the mediterranean diet which has been shown to help prevent coronary disease and have other health benefits.