2/23/11

4 The Difference Between Pure, Light, and Extra Virgin Olive Oils


As part of the FoodBuzz Tastemaker program, I received three bottles of Crisco olive oils.  First, I had no idea that Crisco produced olive oils.  Second, I loved how they listed on the label suggestions for use of their olive oils.  This label says, "Best for Dipping, Dressings and Sauces."  Takes the guesswork out right off the bat!
The bottles, side by side, had noticeable color differences between the oils.  Extra Virgin is the darkest, followed by Pure olive oil, with Light olive oil being the lightest in color.




Did you know that extra virgin olive oil is a heart-healthy oil?  They have antioxidants that are naturally found in the olives, making it one of the better choices.  Olive oil also has a relatively high cooking temperature, which is great for pan frying or searing.

So what's the difference between the three oils, you ask?  Here's the skinny:


Extra Virgin: olives from the first pressing; no heat or chemical interaction with the oil.  Must have acidity of less than one percent.  Fruity taste.  Great for dipping, dressings and sauces.

Pure Olive Oil:  olives from the second pressing. Lighter in color, blander in taste.  A general purpose olive oil.  Best for grilling, sauteing and marinades.


Light Olive Oil:  Mixture of refined olive oils derived from the lowest quality of olives.  Has same calories as other olive oils.  Best for frying and baking.

How to store olive oils:  Air, heat and light will cause the oils to become rancid.  Cool temps around 60°F and stored in a cabinet away from the stove or direct sunlight works.  Refrigeration can extend the life of olive oils, although condensation can form in the bottle, affecting the flavor.  Olive oil stored in the fridge will become cloudy, although when brought to room temperature, will return to its normal state.

I love dipping a crusty slice of Italian bread into a mix of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar...
I used the other oils in making a tasty Italian dish that my family loved ~ stay tuned for the post!

Thanks, Crisco and Foodbuzz!

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