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ETpro's avatar

Just how virgin should my olive oil be?

Asked by ETpro (34469points) July 30th, 2011

Olive oil comes in a bewildering range of grades and qualities—with a wide price range to add to the confusion. What grade and quality do you recommend for each specific application, such as cooking oil, oil & vinegar dressing, and replacing butter as a dip for beard, etc.

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12 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

NO dipping your beard into any kind of oil, puleeze.

chyna's avatar

You dip your beard?

Aethelflaed's avatar

I always go with extra virgin, no matter what it’s being used for. If you use low quality oil to sauté something in, it’s going to taste like you used low quality oil. It’s the same idea as wine: Never cook with something you wouldn’t drink by itself (or in this case, dip bread into). Costco/Kirkland has a very nice extra virgin olive oil that’s at a price a student can afford (or more accurately, a price a student who was raised to be a food snob can afford).

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t like the extra virgin, which is the first press, except for when I use it to dip bread, which I do very rarely. The first press, extra virgin, has more flavor, and is greener in color. It is recommended that it is cold pressed to give you the health benefits that are spoken about so often lately. The thing is, since it has a very specific flavor, I don’t recommend it for most salad dressings or cooking, except specific Italian or Mediterranean dishes. What I use most for every day is Bertolli Classico, which is yellow in color and perfect for dressings and almost all cooking in my opinion.

filmfann's avatar

Extra Virgin is from the first press of the olive, and it is the highest quality.
Last year, several olive oil manufacturers got in trouble with issuing a product that was mislabeled as Extra Virgin.
They were:
Bertolli
Filippo Berio
Carapelli
Mezzetta
Pompeian
Rachael Ray
Mazzola
Safeway Select
Star
Colavita

Try not to get one of those. I don’t know how this was resolved.

JLeslie's avatar

I forgot to mention, if you are going to use oil for dipping your bread, get a high quality first press, I like it with oregano and salt added to the oil.

incendiary_dan's avatar

As long as it’s not heat treated or “light” olive oil, you’re fine.

jaytkay's avatar

I agree with @JLeslie

Extra virgin is good as a condiment, as for dipping bread.

In cooking, nobody will notice what grade you are using. And for salad dressing, I think the taste of extra virgin is too strong.

filmfann's avatar

There are levels of olive oil.
Extra Virgin
Virgin
dry humped
finger banged
Slut
Paris Hilton
Amy Winehouse.

bob_'s avatar

“Made out at parties with strangers” virgin, okay.

”‘Explored’ during college” virgin, not so much.

Kardamom's avatar

Here is an article that pretty much tells you every thing you want to know about the different kinds of Olive Oils and how to use them, store them and the differences between them, and how to cook with them, and what to look for when tasting them.

ETpro's avatar

So much to now about olive oils. No wonder I was confused. Thanks to everyone

Ha! @gailcalled & @chyna, yes, I do like a good tasting olive oil on bread. I live in the Little Italy section of Boston. Here, it’s de rigueur more properly rigore with a fine meal to get some slices of a hearty Italian bread and a small, low-brimmed bowl for wiping on some olive oil and fresh herbs.

@Kardamom That link was terrific. Full of info. Thanks.

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