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Storing your Olive Oil
If your olive oil is in a dark bottle we recommend placing it on your counter close to where you are cooking so you will always have it ready to grab. If you are going away for more than a week store your Olive Oil in a cool, dark place, like a pantry or cupboard; it does not have to be refrigerated. If you do put it in te fridge, a good extra virgin olive oil will turn into a solid so let it come back to room temp before you use it again.
How Long to Keep your Olive Oil
You, as consumers, are the end users of extra virgin olive oil. While you do not necessarily need to become experts, you must become aware of the special nature of this product and appreciate the difference between an excellent extra virgin olive oil and a mediocre, spoiled or false one. You must be aware of the perishable nature of extra virgin oil, a have some idea how to best use them.
Olive oil will last for about a year in the bottle opened or closed however, it is important to know when it was bottled so watch for the bottling/harvest date on your bottle.
Sautéing with Olive Oil
In pan frying or sauteing, olive oil acts a a means of transferring heat form the heat source to the food. In sauteing, besides preventing the food from sticking and enhancing its flavor, searing the food in hot olive oil helps crate a golden brown crust around it. This enhances the visual appeal of the cooked food an makes it tastier. One of the biggest myths is that you cannot saute with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The smoke point of olive oil is well above medium high heat required to saute vegetables, meat or seafood.
Drizzling with Olive Oil
One of our favorite things to do with Olive Oil is to drizzle...over everything. But especially over fresh salad, ripened tomatoes, a just-out-of-the-oven pizza, over al-dente lunguine. When choosing an olive oil to drizzle, we recommend a grassy, peppery oil (like our Robust EVOO) to really taste the freshness and add depth to your dish.
Preserving with Olive Oil
The use of olive oil as a medium for preserving food probably began as an extension of olive oil as a cosmetic balm for the skin. Just as covering the body with oil oil protects and enriches the skin, submerging food items in oil crates a hermetic environment, which helps prevent microbial and oxidation spoilage while at the same time contributing to its flavor. The natural antioxidants in extra virgin olive oil make it especially suited for this use.
Olive Oil as a Dressing
Vinaigrette is a classic dressing for salads and fresh vegetables. It is composed of three parts olive oil slowly added to one part lemon juice or vinegar with a pinch of salt while vigorously mixing. If done properly the oil will be suspended in the liquid to create a homogeneous consistency. In cases like this, where the the olive oil is the star, it makes sense to use the very best and most flavorful excellent extra virgin olive oil available.
Baking with Olive Oil
In baking dishes are turning up which highlight excellent extra virgin olive oil. In such recipes, both the richness and the enhanced flavor of an excellent extra virgin olive oil contribute the the success of the final dish. In order to really highlight the flavor of the oil a small amount could be drizzled over ice cream or cake. In baked goods such as bread and cakes, many bakers have begun to substitute olive oil for the fat generally used in the recipe which certainly makes the dish lighter and healthier.
Substituting Olive Oil for Butters, Margarines or Creams is easy; check out our conversion chart below:
Explore our Recipe Directory to find new ways to use your favorite Queen Creek Olive Oil!
There are some myths that have recently circulated about olive oil that we are constantly answering via email and our newsletter. Following are the two most common.
Myth: Heating Olive Oil Will Make it Saturated or Trans-fatty.
One common myth is that heating olive oil will make it saturated or trans-fatty.
This is not true. As far as making a saturated fat, according to Dr. A. Kiritsakis, a world renowned oil chemist in Athens, in his book Olive Oil from the Tree to the Table -Second edition 1998, all oils will oxidize and hydrogenate to a tiny degree if repeatedly heated to very high temperatures such as is done in commercial frying operations. Olive-pomace oils and virgin olive oils are both highly monounsaturated oils and therefore resistant to oxidation and hydrogenation. Studies have shown oxidation and hydrogenation occurs to a lesser degree in olive oil than in other oils. But in any case, the amount of hydrogenation is miniscule and no home cook would ever experience this problem.
The large refinery-like factories that take unsaturated vegetable oil and turn it into margarine or vegetable lard do so by bubbling hydrogen gas through 250 to 400ºF (121 to 204ºC) hot vegetable oil in the presence of a metal catalyst, usually nickel or platinum. The process can take several hours. You cannot make a saturated product like margarine at home by heating olive oil or any other vegetable oil in a pan. We don't know where this weird notion has come from. For more details, see Olive Chemistry.
Changing a cis-fat to a trans-fat does not occur on a home stove.
Myth: Cooking with Olive oil Diminishes The Nutritional Value of the Food.
Another myth is that cooking in olive oil diminishes the nutritional value of the food. This a misconception. The fact is that heating food will break down its nutritional value. High heat such as frying is worse than moderate heat such as steaming, which is worse than eating vegetables raw. It is not the cooking oil per se, but the high heat of frying. We are not aware of any edible cooking oil which by itself diminishes the nutritional value of the food cooked in it. Most nutritionists recommend lightly steaming vegetables or eating them raw. 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.