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Who Buys Light Olive Oil?

formerlyfingers Feb 21, 2007 07:38 PM

It is an insult to the senses, not to mention proud producers of extra virgin, and it tastes like nothing!!! No color, no aroma, no fruitiness, no viscosity.....these are the very qualities that make olive oil special. Aren't they?

I catered a dinner recently in someone's home, and asked for olive oil, and was handed a bottle of "light" olive oil. The hapless woman didn't have a clue that she had wasted her money on clever marketing in a health crazy age! The stuff inside might as well have been canola or sunflower oil.

Does anyone use this stuff for any good purpose? It was sad, very sad.

  1. SweetPea914 Dec 6, 2007 05:46 PM

    Unfortunately that is what my Mother uses. She thinks she hates Olive oil. However I have used it in recipes and she didn't notice any difference! Apparently once she had a veggie dish drowning in EVOO and thinks she doesn't like it still! Some people just don't get it.
    Either that or, I truly believe some poeple think it is light as in it has less calories. I see NO reason to ever use light olive oil.

    1. ElsieDee Mar 29, 2007 03:22 PM

      In re-reading this thread and the replies, but most specifically the OP's original comments, I think that some of the confusion comes from the word "Light."

      Does "Light" refer to the fat/cholesterol content of the food item (such as light mayo or light sour cream), also sometimes called "Lite" in labeling. OR does "Light" refer to the flavor of the food item?

      I think that the "Light" in Extra-Light Olive Oil refers to the flavor of the oil (as in it has a light/almost non-existent flavor when compared to regular or extra-virgin). I purchase and use extra-light specifically because of the non-olive oily flavor, not because I think of it as being healthier or "lighter" than other olive oils. (And I do purchase and use regular and extra-virgin olive oils, too.)

      6 Replies
      1. re: ElsieDee
        n
        niki rothman Mar 29, 2007 04:36 PM

        Hi ElsieDee, I can't help saying your icon must be the cutest I've seen. Is that little guy a hedgehog, or what? I just love him!

        About the "light" vs: "light" question, since all oils have the same calorie count (100/Tb.), in this case "healthier" would be the non-light, since as long as you don't burn it there are probably more of the cholesterol fighting factors in the non-refined olive oil, and it does contain the vitamin E which might be lost through heating the refined oil (which is part of the processing procedure).

        1. re: niki rothman
          ElsieDee Apr 4, 2007 10:56 PM

          Hi Niki - yes, the photo is of little Miss Margie, an African hedgehog (and a true chowhedgehound, too - she was licking her lips dining on fresh grilled salmon, mashed potatoes, a couple of peas, watermelon, and [for dessert] roasted mealworms and fresh silkworms - it was her "rescue" anniversary and so she got a special meal).

          Funny (to get back on topic) story - last night I was cooking pasta to make a sweet fruit kugel to take to a potluck when I had a slight emergency and had to leave the apartment. I asked my S/O (not much of a cook but an excellent eater!) to finish the pasta, drain it, and then toss with a bit of oil and set the noodles aside to cool. I returned home to discover that the dear man had gone and DOUSED the noodles with extra-virgin olive oil!

          I ended-up making a broccoli/garlic/cheese casserole with those noodles (since the olive oil flavor works okay with savory foods) and cooking more for the kugel.

        2. re: ElsieDee
          b
          butterfly Mar 29, 2007 05:15 PM

          This goes for the EU--anything goes once the products are exported to countries with less control on the labeling of these products: Light olive oil is usually contains mostly refined oil, which means that it is not virgin or extra virgin. This is why it is called strictly "olive oil."

          Refined olive oil
          Acidity of .3% or less.

          Olive oil
          Refined olive oil with some VOO added back in for flavor and texture and has has up to 1% acidity.

          Light olive oil
          A type of "olive oil," with a low acidity, 0,4..

          Extra Virgin Olive Oil
          Not refined has a maximum of .8% acidity.

          Virgin Olive Oil
          Not refined and has a maximum of 2%-3.3% acidity, depending on the type.

          Anything Virgin oil with over 3.3% acidity is not fit for human consumption and must be refined or used for other purposes. Pomace oil (made from the left over bits and pieces) is refined to a maximum of .3% acidity, is even cheaper than regular olive oil, and is used a lot for industrial frying in Spain.

          1. re: butterfly
            k
            kai27 Apr 4, 2007 11:25 AM

            Lite Olive Oil is a waste of money. Yes, I agree that the precieved notion is that it has less calories when in fact all oils have about the same amount. If you want an oil with a high smoke point try the 3 highest - Rice Oil, Avacado and Grapeseed-all have good "fats in them"

            1. re: kai27
              Das Ubergeek Apr 4, 2007 01:57 PM

              And all of which cost much more than olive oil.

              1. re: kai27
                b
                butterfly Apr 8, 2007 03:38 PM

                Light olive oil made for deep frying has a higher smoke point than grapeseed oil. Where I live it is much, much cheaper.

          2. wyf4lyf Mar 29, 2007 02:48 PM

            I use extra-light olive oil all the time for baking. Just my preference.

            1. toodie jane Mar 29, 2007 09:26 AM

              My aims in using oils in cooking are:

              find one with minimal, non- chemical, low temperature processing

              keep it fresh by buying smaller amounts to keep it in rotation

              use high smoke-point oils for sauteing

              watch pan heat so as not to burn oil

              Other than that I'm pretty much in the dark about which type of oil is 'healthier' than another. Most boutique EVOO's are too strong for my taste unless I can get a late harvest pressing, so I don't use much. I mosty use rice bran (TJ's has discontinued theirs) or grapeseed oil.

              As to which tastes better, for cooking, I favor mild oils over stronger ones, unless the dish can stand up to the stronger flavored oils. For dipping oil, I prefer a nutty olive oil.
              I think it's just a matter of personal preference.

              1. welle Mar 28, 2007 11:10 AM

                "Light" oil is also used by people trying to lose weight not for perceived 'light'-ness of it, but because some scientists theorize that if the food is simple flavor-wise, people do not over-eat. So you get the triglycerides enough to make you feel full, but not as strongly flavored to make you wanna eat more.

                1. Karl S Mar 28, 2007 10:51 AM

                  I don't know about "light" olive oil, but plain old regular olive oil (not EVOO) is a useful oil that is widely used in cooking.

                  1. b
                    butterfly Mar 28, 2007 09:39 AM

                    There seem to be some misconceptions here... light olive oil is widely available in olive producing countries (I live in Spain and it's very cheap and available everywhere). You have to understand that, here, olive oil isn't a specialty/luxury item. It's used for baking, deep frying and all sorts of other everyday purposes when extra virgin wouldn't be appropriate. Light olive oil has a very high smoke point--higher than grapeseed--at least the stuff here in Spain does. It is excellent for deep-frying. Labeling here is very controlled, so "light olive oil' could be a different, or more irregular product, in the US... See http://www.cookingforengineers.com/ar... for info on the smoke points of different oils.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: butterfly
                      Pincho Apr 8, 2007 08:23 PM

                      Well said!

                      Olive oil in the U.S. has been peddled as a specialty item, to the point where even lesser-quality oil can be fairly expensive. Re: some of the comments above, maybe at the prices it's sometimes available at, it is 'a scam', and as an alternative to an excellent cold first-press in a salad, perhaps it's an 'insult to the senses' ...

                      But to its merit as an ingrdient, 'regular' refined olive oil definitely has its place and is used throughout mediterranean countries for some purposes where a stronger-flavored oil is not wanted or not needed... frying, baking, making maynonnaise etc. Families I've visited and cooked with in Spain typically have two huge bottles of oil on hand, one the equivalent of 'extra-virgin' and one regular refined oil. The latter is an all-purpose oil... sure I guess you could use canola or sunflower oil for those purposes, but so what? Doesn't make the choice of olive oil a poor one. They don't dress salads with it!

                      As to the original poster's experience... the fact that the OP's customer produced a "light oil" just tells me she doesn't know how to match oil to purpose (it's not stated but I assume the OP using it for a purpose where the assertive taste of an extra-virgin oil was desired)... it doesn't say anything at all about the merits of that same oil used for an appropriate purpose. Anyway isn't that why she hired a caterer (smile)?

                    2. r
                      relizabeth Mar 28, 2007 09:27 AM

                      my aunt! this is just the tip of her gustatory iceberg.

                      1. k
                        Kagey Mar 28, 2007 04:58 AM

                        Late here, but since I don't think anyone else said it, I'll say I use it to make mayonnaise.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Kagey
                          n
                          niki rothman Mar 28, 2007 07:57 AM

                          Good point. Who wants everything you make with mayonnaise tasting like evoo (egg salad)? Ick.
                          I think we need a list of the foods where one would use processed olive oil that would be ruined with evoo.

                        2. n
                          niki rothman Mar 27, 2007 08:22 PM

                          "Light" olive oil is a misnomer. That word, "light" is a marketing tool that has been shown to sell more product. Period. "Extra virgin" olive oil is just as much a marketing scam. The term was popularized by the Food Channel and foodie fashionistas. When I was growing up amid working class Italian - American neighbors who all cooked with just plain ole processed olive oil nobody used extra virgin olive oil and the food tasted great. Personally, I believe more harm is done adding extra virgin where it does not belong and clashes with more important yet subtle flavors than is lost by omitting it. And I dare you to fry with it at proper high temperatures - it burns. I practically went insane when Trader Joe's stopped stocking ANY non-virgin olive oil because it just was not selling anymore due to the foodie hype. Thank God they finally got the message and have started selling regular non-virgin olive oil again.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: niki rothman
                            Das Ubergeek Mar 28, 2007 10:57 AM

                            WHAT? Which mystical magical Trader Joe's is this that started carrying regular olive oil? I will be there! When I bitched at the manager of the Studio City TJ's about their lack of regular olive oil, he said nobody bought it and why didn't I just buy their house brand EV olive oil instead?

                            1. re: Das Ubergeek
                              k
                              katielp Mar 28, 2007 11:56 AM

                              I was thrilled to see regular olive oil yesterday in the Cambridge MA store. Concur with Niki above about the use of non-virgin olive oil in day to day cooking--it's my staple, too.

                              1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                n
                                niki rothman Mar 28, 2007 12:39 PM

                                Ubergeek, you better leave some for me! It's at the South of Market SF branch (Bryant and 9th. st.) Coincidentally, I saw it, and bought some, for the first time a few days ago. It's not "light" just the same old TJ's "pure olive oil" that they used to have what was it - a year or so ago before they DC'd it because nobody was buying it. I PRAY the word has finally gotten through to them that evoo is NOT all-purpose.

                                1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                  Pincho Apr 8, 2007 07:54 PM

                                  They used to carry it throughout their stores, and then stopped. Very glad to hear it is back!

                              2. MikeG Feb 23, 2007 12:04 AM

                                "OO is good for you and I choose it partly for that reason but I don't count on the health benefits and I don't think anyone should"

                                I'm with you on that one - at least in the sense that so many people seem to believe that these things nearly "medicinal" and that the alternatives are just a step shy of being deadly poison. (eyes rolling)

                                "The reason I choose to use certain words/phrases is to create passionate discussion about the topic........"

                                If you say so....

                                1. d
                                  diablita FL Feb 22, 2007 08:21 PM

                                  Along with what some of the other posters have pointed out about different people's preferences, I'd also like to add that I purchase light olive oil to use in an olive 'cake' that I bake. It's a savory baked good, with plenty of olives in it, and the full flavored extra virgin olive oil overwhelmes the delicate flavor of the other olives.

                                  1. ElsieDee Feb 22, 2007 08:10 PM

                                    I use the extra-light olive oil like others above, when I'm sauteeing, etc., and I don't want to impart any sort of "olive oil" flavor into the food (such as french toast, pancakes, etc.). I use regular vegetable oil in baking or to oil pans, and I save the extra-virgin olive oil when I specifically want to incorporate that flavor into a dish.

                                    I've never liked the taste of Canola oil (it does have a very distinct and unpleasant aftertaste, to my palate). As for other oils, I've found some that I like and use regularly in different foods, but my fall-back, non-extra-virgin olive oil is the extra-light olive oil. It's what works for me.

                                    1. f
                                      Fleur Feb 22, 2007 01:48 PM

                                      When I bring it back from Nice, or can find it online, I use Olive Oil from MOULIN ALZIERI in Nice. It is much lighter than the Italian oils, and is great as an all purpose oil for cooking and lighter dressings.

                                      The health claims for EVOO are far from "marginal". Many people have had significant improvement in their blood chemistry just by switching to EVOO.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Fleur
                                        formerlyfingers Feb 22, 2007 02:23 PM

                                        The reason I choose to use certain words/phrases is to create passionate discussion about the topic........so thanks all for your input, I have learned a few things, and most notably that this product does have it's place on people's shelves. It's good to care. And we care. People use it, obviously, and that is what I was trying to glean from all of this. :)

                                      2. m
                                        ML8000 Feb 22, 2007 11:14 AM

                                        Canola has an after taste/smell in many forms or applications. I know I'm not the only one who can taste/smell it. It doesn't bother me but I also avoid buying it. As for rapeseed, I rarely see it readily available (common grocery) and at a reasonable price.

                                        Yup, olive oil is the trendy pick for healthy fats right now...that all said, you sort of have to balance all the competing factors and figure out a good choice. I'll admit that health claims for OO are marginal but sometimes you have to pick some for ease of use/access.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: ML8000
                                          jen kalb Feb 22, 2007 12:35 PM

                                          not sure the health claims for olive oil are marginal, just maybe in our daily decisionmaking. For daily cooking in which only a few spoonfulls are involved, Id always opt for the oil that contributes the nicest flavor.

                                          as others have said, canola oil is a highly refined rapeseed oil - there are a lot of nuts on the web discussing it. For me the most relevant factors are that it is closely related to the mustard oil used in Indian cuisine which has an extremely pungent flavor that can take some getting used. to. Ive had a series of bad experiences with canola - it seems to get rancid faster than other oils in my kitchen and Ive thrown out several sizeable containers over the last few years, leading to a decision to go to smaller containers and corn oil blends for my occasionally frying/neutral oil needs.

                                          I dont like most of the "neutral" vegetable oils - there are very few applications where I can abide their flavor.. However I must go through several gallons of EVOO a year.

                                          1. re: jen kalb
                                            m
                                            ML8000 Feb 22, 2007 01:51 PM

                                            I guess I should rephrase that...OO is good for you and I choose it partly for that reason but I don't count on the health benefits and I don't think anyone should. I think the reasonable approach is if it's healthier, it's a good choice and why not.

                                        2. MikeG Feb 22, 2007 10:52 AM

                                          "Whenever I'm served it in noticeable quantity, something tastes funny, though it takes me a while to figure it out."

                                          And I'm not being a snob. Soybean oil is fine (if not something I'd use at home where I use other relatively inexpensive oils for similar purposes), and it's even cheaper. If most commercial hummous makers used it instead of canola -- kitchen gods forbid they use even cheap olive oil -- maybe I could eat more than a few bites of their product at something other than refrigerator temperature.

                                          1. MikeG Feb 22, 2007 10:43 AM

                                            :"What?? Grapeseed oil is the preferred all purpose oil for many top chefs all around the world. It is readily available, neutral, high heat suitable, healthful. Canola oil has no aroma. Where are you getting this info. from?"

                                            From my nose, where else? The first time I ever tried (many years ago), it smelled exactly like linseed oil. I know well it's not, it's not harmful, but I don't eat food that smells like painting supplies to me. Whenever I'm served it in noticeable quantity, something tastes funny, though it takes me a while to figure it out.

                                            Grapeseed oil is fine, but for a byproduct of the wine industry, it's grossly overpriced in "American" markets.. As for souces, where on earth did you get the impression that it's the "preferred oil" of "chefs worldwide"? From the label on an overpriced bottle from California?

                                            1. chowser Feb 22, 2007 06:17 AM

                                              I'll use regular olive oil or some non-EVOO when I want to saute something and not add flavor. Canola oil is not a natural oil--it's name is derived from Canada oil and unless you're buying organic, it's likely genetically modified (in a lab not bred naturally). There is a lot of debate about it which I won't go into, some hype, some not. It's no less processed than light olive oil. Sunflower oil is high in omega 6 fatty acids which is already too high in a regular american diet. Light olive oil has a higher smoke point and doesn't add as much flavor as EVOO--that's the reason some people use it.

                                              http://web.foodnetwork.com/food/web/e...

                                              11 Replies
                                              1. re: chowser
                                                formerlyfingers Feb 22, 2007 07:38 AM

                                                Sorry, but the bit about canola oil is just not true.

                                                It is extracted from the seed of the canola plant. The name has nothing to do with a play on words involving Canada. It remains a healthy and versatile oil for all purpose frying, sauteeing etc. There are some strange techniques applied to some brands to extend its life or make it more stable, such as hydrogenation etc. However there are many pure and natural brands of canola oil that are not "organic". The organic cold pressed canola oil is, though, quite a remarkable product.

                                                I still think light olive oil is a scam.

                                                1. re: formerlyfingers
                                                  l
                                                  Laura D. Feb 22, 2007 08:04 AM

                                                  I'd say if you don't like it, and don't see a use for it, then don't buy it. There are plenty of products on the market today considered useless by some and a god-send by others. That's the benefit of having supermarkets that contain tens of thousands of items. It doesn't sound like the makers of light olive oil are trying to mislead people into buying their product, so why not leave well enough alone and let the product die out if it is, in fact, as useless as you seem to think?

                                                  1. re: formerlyfingers
                                                    pescatarian Feb 22, 2007 08:12 AM

                                                    many people believe any form of canola oil is a scam, just as you believe light olive oil is a scam. C'est la vie. I'm sure neither is completely virtuous and neither is going to cause irreparable harm.

                                                    1. re: formerlyfingers
                                                      chowser Feb 22, 2007 08:13 AM

                                                      There is no naturally occuring "canola" plant. It's from the rapeseed plant which was modified to reduce erucic acid which is carcinogenic in large doses. Originally, it was not GMO but most of it produced these days are.

                                                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canola

                                                      Light olive oil is cheaper than EVOO. It was produced because many Americans don't like the taste of good olive oil (another matter to discuss) but still has the health benefits of olive oil. If you don't like it, don't buy it but that doesn't mean it's wrong for someone else to enjoy.

                                                      I think Dr. Weil has a good approach to it all but I believe it's an individual decision.

                                                      http://www.drweil.com/drw/ecs/forums/...

                                                      1. re: formerlyfingers
                                                        Striver Feb 22, 2007 08:26 AM

                                                        If you looked back 50 years or so, you wouldn't find any such thing as a "canola plant".

                                                        The plant used for Canola oil is a rapeseed (note: not grapeseed) cultivar with a trademarked name. The name, which stands for "Canadian oil, low acid" (rapeseed oil is particularly acidic), was designed to be more market friendly than "rapeseed". I understand that rapeseed oil can develop an unplesasant aroma, and that the trademarked Canola Oil is processed to deodorize it. There is some controversy over Canola Oil, and you can easily google up a storm's worth.

                                                        Myself, I use evo and butter for most oil purposes (sometimes peanut oil, too), and have no horse in this race, since I use neither Canola nor "light" Olive Oil. I'm just curious about your vendetta, since one neutral oil is very like another; after all, does anyone use Canola Oil for its "color, aroma, fruitiness, viscosity"?.

                                                        1. re: formerlyfingers
                                                          starlady Mar 28, 2007 12:37 AM

                                                          I;m with chowser to some extent
                                                          "Canola, originally a syncopated form of the abbreviation "Can.O., L-A." (Canadian Oilseed, Low-Acid) that was used by the Manitoba government to label the seed during its experimental stages, is now a tradename for low erucic acid rapeseed that is sometimes mis-applied to other varieties"
                                                          Canola oil is actually from Rapeseed. Wasn't there an article about it on this site just a little while ago?
                                                          Found it!
                                                          http://www.chow.com/stories/10472
                                                          It says that rapeseed and "canola" are genetically different

                                                          And yes I think lite olive oil is a scam too, thankfully we don't ever see it here in Canada

                                                          1. re: formerlyfingers
                                                            t
                                                            Ted in Central NJ Mar 28, 2007 03:04 AM

                                                            Formerlyfingers--

                                                            While I agree wholeheartedly that "light" olive oil is truly tasteless--in more ways than one--I have to correct what you said about the origin of the term "Canola".

                                                            The oil that we commonly refer to as Canola is derived from rape seeds, and that is an especially unpleasant name. There is actually no plant named "the canola plant". In order to boost the sale of this healthy product, it was decided several decades ago to refer to it as Canola, which is indeed a created word using the words "Canada" and "oleo" to form this new word.

                                                            So, in essence, this was a marketing decision, and I think that it was a pretty wise decision. After all, can you imagine selling a lot of bottles labeled "Rape Seed Oil"?

                                                            1. re: formerlyfingers
                                                              Karl S Mar 28, 2007 10:50 AM

                                                              Well, despite urban myth busting, the jury's still out on how canola behaves at high temperatures, and it's composition means that many people will find it tastes noticeably fishy when heated. There's no reason to bother with it when better oils are available.

                                                              1. re: Karl S
                                                                n
                                                                niki rothman Mar 28, 2007 12:45 PM

                                                                I use grapeseed oil for many things where neither processed olive oil or evoo will not do. For example, maybe you'll find this hard to believe, but I bake with grapeseed oil for everyday baking like banana bread or simple cakes - delicious, moist perfect texture.

                                                                1. re: niki rothman
                                                                  MMRuth Mar 28, 2007 12:46 PM

                                                                  I've been using it a lot when a recipe calls for Vegetable oil.

                                                                  1. re: niki rothman
                                                                    b
                                                                    butterfly Mar 28, 2007 01:16 PM

                                                                    Here in Spain people bake with light olive oil a lot... I prefer it to grapeseed oil.

                                                            2. b
                                                              Bride of the Juggler Feb 22, 2007 05:58 AM

                                                              I knew an Isreali who said that's all they used in Isreal. I've got to think that's because they export the good stuff. Thank you.

                                                              1. MikeG Feb 22, 2007 05:01 AM

                                                                "Is it really your best choice for said task? Why not grapeseed oil or canola oil, if "little flavour" is what you are getting?"

                                                                It's no better or no worse, so why not?. Canola oil smells disgusting and doesn't taste much better, and grapeseed oil, unless you can find big bottles in places like the occasional Middle/Near Eastern stores, is grossly overpriced for what it is - basically a byproduct. Not to mention that we Americans, if nothing else, love our fads, fashions and trends and at the moment, olive oil is stil the "star" of the "healthy fats" craze.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: MikeG
                                                                  formerlyfingers Feb 22, 2007 07:44 AM

                                                                  What?? Grapeseed oil is the preferred all purpose oil for many top chefs all around the world. It is readily available, neutral, high heat suitable, healthful. Canola oil has no aroma. Where are you getting this info. from?

                                                                  1. re: formerlyfingers
                                                                    Divamac Mar 27, 2007 10:04 PM

                                                                    There are many people (me included) that find the smell of canola quite disgusting. It reeks of fish, and only gets worse when heated. There have been several discussions on these boards about this phenomena, so I am not alone.

                                                                    1. re: Divamac
                                                                      Das Ubergeek Mar 28, 2007 10:55 AM

                                                                      Definitely not -- as I said above, it smells like an industrial lube and doesn't taste any better. I made a mayonnaise with half extra-virgin olive oil and half canola oil and it tasted horrible.

                                                                2. bitsubeats Feb 22, 2007 01:18 AM

                                                                  if you are going to use lite olive oil, why not save money and use canola oil?

                                                                  I believe canola is healthier...or maybe I am thinking of corn?

                                                                  1. m
                                                                    ML8000 Feb 21, 2007 10:38 PM

                                                                    As mentioned, light olive oil is for frying/sauteeing. Bought in bulk (as in a gallon or more) it's less expensive then extra virgin...and considerably less expensive then quality EV.

                                                                    For some fried/sauteed dishes EV is worth using...but for common stuff like eggs, hash browns, etc, most oils will do the same job. I save EV for something like salads or stuff that might bring some extra flavor (although not much).

                                                                    As to why one would use light OO, besides being less expensive and pointlessness in some applications, it does have health benefits over other oils.

                                                                    1. geg5150 Feb 21, 2007 08:14 PM

                                                                      What chemical fat reduction are you referring to? As far as I know, light olive oil only refers to the color, not the calorie or fat content.

                                                                      http://www.oliveoilsource.com/definit...

                                                                      Yep, did a little research. Looks like "light" is only used in the US, had not regulation and refers only to the color.

                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                      1. re: geg5150
                                                                        formerlyfingers Feb 21, 2007 08:59 PM

                                                                        The same article informs that "light" or "lite" olive oil is also called refined olive oil. Produced with "the use of charcoal and other chemical and physical filters."

                                                                        It goes on to say that this type of oil is nearly culinarily obsolete, and, interestingly, only branded and sold for consumption in The U.S. Surprise surprise.

                                                                        I still maintain that it has no use and no place alongside real oils.

                                                                        1. re: formerlyfingers
                                                                          Das Ubergeek Mar 28, 2007 10:54 AM

                                                                          Well, when you need to cook in olive oil but you don't want to waste the expensive stuff on something like frying. If I could get regular, non-EV olive oil I would, precisely because I don't like canola oil or grapeseed oil -- they taste like industrial lube to me. Olive oil (even the "light" stuff) doesn't.

                                                                          1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                                            n
                                                                            niki rothman Mar 28, 2007 12:50 PM

                                                                            What brand grapeseed oil gave you the problems? I just made the MOST perfect banana bread ever with TJ's grapeseed oil. The Better Homes & Garden old standby plaid cover binder - banana nut bread recipe (I use raisins instead of nutes).
                                                                            tip: cover with foil for last half hour - as it seems to take mine an hour to cook through and if you don't cover it gets too dark on top. Really, I'm using TJ's grapeseed oil now for all my simple everyday baking - and I'm picky.
                                                                            Check it out.

                                                                            1. re: niki rothman
                                                                              s
                                                                              Steve Mar 29, 2007 11:19 PM

                                                                              Thanks for the tip about TJ's Grapeseed oil. I have a brand from the Middle East and I agree wirh Das Ubergeek, tastes like it's made to stop hinges from squeaking. Worst oil I've ever purchased.

                                                                              Fro the OP: we always have light olive oil at home. It's a good choice for cooking, and like a sworn doctor, does no harm.

                                                                              1. re: Steve
                                                                                n
                                                                                niki rothman Apr 2, 2007 08:51 AM

                                                                                The TJ's grapeseed oil is really very flavorless and substitutes of solid shortening just perfectly in the simple baked goods recipes. This is very surprising to me and I was so happy to discover it. There ARE times when one wants a flavorless oil. In many baked goods you just cannot taste butter, which I always choose to bake with when you can taste it. I also use it in sweetish salad dressings. Stay away from TJ's canola oil though. I tried it once and it definitely has an unpleasant, although slight, backround taste. Another small good thing is that TJ's grapeseed oil is packed in glass (the canola is in a plastic bottle). I always choose oil based foods packed in glass when it's possible to get them because microscopic amounts of the not so nice chemicals in the plastic migrate into the food.

                                                                      2. HPLsauce Feb 21, 2007 07:49 PM

                                                                        It's for sauteeing / frying. It has little flavor, and is inexpensive. It is not, however, an "insult to the senses".

                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                        1. re: HPLsauce
                                                                          formerlyfingers Feb 21, 2007 07:55 PM

                                                                          Is it really your best choice for said task? Why not grapeseed oil or canola oil, if "little flavour" is what you are getting?

                                                                          Also, would not the smoke point for these other oils make them better options than olive oil?

                                                                          Finally, I can see using Olive oil from the second pressing for sauteeing, even a pomace oil, from the last pressing, but why the light? Does it become light from some chemical fat reduction process? If so, my original question stands.

                                                                          1. re: formerlyfingers
                                                                            pescatarian Feb 22, 2007 08:09 AM

                                                                            I think it's a toss up between light olive oil, grapeseed oil or canola oil - all go through a questionable chemical deordorization process that makes them shelf stable for years...if you're looking for a cheaper version for heating (so you don't waste money on good cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil which will lose its nutritional value when heated) it's a case of the lesser of three evils IMHO.

                                                                            1. re: pescatarian
                                                                              m
                                                                              mattm Mar 27, 2007 08:47 PM

                                                                              What nutritional value does cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil lose when heated?

                                                                              1. re: mattm
                                                                                n
                                                                                niki rothman Mar 28, 2007 10:26 AM

                                                                                The only vitamin that my "Nutritional Almanac" lists in olive oil is E at 5.3 mg per serving. That's not a huge amount anyway. Oils, in general, with the exception of fish oil, are not major sources of vitamins or minerals compared to other foods such as fruits and vegetables. I'm more concerned that when you burn a vegetable oil you create quite a lot of carcinogenic hydrocarbons. And who needs that?

                                                                              2. re: pescatarian
                                                                                b
                                                                                butterfly Mar 28, 2007 10:52 AM

                                                                                It's not just that EVOO is more expensive and degrades at very high temps... it has a lower smoke point than the light olive oil--which is intended for deep frying, cooking, and baking.

                                                                            2. re: HPLsauce
                                                                              k
                                                                              Kelli2006 Dec 7, 2007 09:36 AM

                                                                              I will buy light olive oil if it is cheap enough for general purpose use. I don't like the flavor of canola, but the light will also never replace my bottle of extra virgin olive oil.

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