Contributed by: NAPSA
Cooking With Olive Oil: What You Should Know
(NAPSA) - More people are discovering that olive oil is a healthier and more flavorful alternative to other oils such as corn, soybean and peanut. The increasing selection of olive oil found on store shelves reflects a variety of taste preferences, regional flavors and processing methods, but it need not confuse you. Here are some facts to help you decide which type of this nutritious and delicious cooking basic best suits the foods you love to prepare.
The color of olive oil has everything to do with flavor
As a commodity, olive oils are much like wines. Certain regions are famous for certain varieties, and olives, like grapes, are affected by changes in climate and soil. Different olive oil varieties offer different flavors for different uses. For example, light olive oil does not mean it is lower in calories but lighter in color and flavor, while extra virgin oils tend to be richer in color and flavor and therefore lend themselves to uncooked dishes like salad dressings.
Extra virgin oil is better for uncooked dishes
Oil derived from the first cold pressing (with mechanical pressure, but without heat), is referred to as extra virgin oil. Second and third pressings lead to oils with higher acidity. These are adequate for cooking, but will not taste as good in salads, marinades and other uncooked dishes. Grades lower than extra virgin are classified as fine virgin, regular virgin and pure (or virgin).
Olive Oil is produced around the world
In Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey and California. Three-quarters of all olives used to make olive oil in the world actually come from Spain (even if it says it is produced elsewhere, Spanish olives are likely used). You may want to sample a few oils to see which type of pressing you prefer. Companies such as Goya Foods import the highest quality of oils from Spain.
Here's a recipe that demonstrates just how delicious olive oil can be and how it can be a healthier cooking alternative.
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. Dijon-style mustard
- 1/2 tsp. Goya Cumin
- 1/2 tsp. Goya Chili Powder
- 1/2 tsp. Goya Adobo All-Purpose Seasoning with Pepper
- 1/2 cup Goya Olive Oil
Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Or whisk all ingredients together in a bowl.