HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Do you create unique foods?

When does a quality olive oil make a difference

gandro Sep 22, 2009 01:14 AM

I know that for cold foods (salad dressing), a good quality EVOO is best and will make a difference. But for foods that are sauteed, fried or baked in olive oil, can you get away with a cheap olive oil?

  1. todao Sep 22, 2009 03:16 PM

    Selecting and using olive oil:


    1. nomadchowwoman Sep 22, 2009 10:02 AM

      All the nuances of flavor will be lost at high temperatures as the smoke point is not high. So when cooking w/oo, I buy a cheaper lesser quality oil in a large jug. If I am frying eggplant, for example, I often mix olive oil with peanut oil or canola oil. For marinades, pestos, and some dressings and brushing onto items before grilling, I use a moderately priced evoo. The really special evoo is reserved for finishing dishes, like drizzing over ripe tomatoes or grilled veggies.

      1. Homero Sep 22, 2009 09:42 AM

        This is sort of related, but does not have to do with quality of the oil. Olive oils from different origins have different flavor profiles, and I highly recommend trying out a few different ones to see what you like. At a lot of supermarkets you can now find spanish, italian, and greek olive oil. I also had the opportunity to bring back some portuguese olive oil, and it was fantastic. Definitely try some different ones out to see what you like. Currently, my favorite is portuguese because its so fruity, but I only have a little bit left. Spanish is my second favorite.

        1. todao Sep 22, 2009 09:22 AM

          I use a lesser quality olive oil (usually a "Pure Olive Oil) for frying and sauteing and even for some baked goods, but for anything that receives olive oil as a dressing or a final drizzle before serving, only EVOO will do. But be careful to read the label and identify what's' in the EVOO. Some items with that label actually contain some amount of "other oils" and flavors can vary dramatically depending on where the olives were grown, when they were harvested and how they were processed.
          I'd suggest that you carefully select an Extra Virgin Olive Oil that you believe you might like and purchase a small container. Take it home and taste it. If you like it, use it for preparing foods that you'd like to serve with the full flavor of the oil. If you don't like its flavor, fry or saute with it and try another brand until you've found the one or two that suit your taste.

          1. h
            Harters Sep 22, 2009 09:11 AM

            Where I am, there's little price difference between supermarket own label olive oil and extra virgin - so I tend to buy the extra virgin as an "all purpose" oil - but also use a Palestinian extra virgin for dipping or special salads.

            1. Fritter Sep 22, 2009 05:36 AM

              "But for foods that are sauteed, fried or baked in olive oil, can you get away with a cheap olive oil?"

              I don't know about "cheap" but I don't use the same OO for marinades or grilling. I suspect most of use use EVOO and maybe even a very specific estate EVOO for salads or dipping bread. I won't use pomace for that but its fine for grilling or to sautee. Different grades don't automatically imply cheap but certainly pomace or virgin should be less costly than EVOO.

              1. epabella Sep 22, 2009 01:33 AM

                yes. in fact, some dishes are better with just plain olive oil as extra virgin has a stronger flavor. also, some extra virgin types are just so ridiculously priced and just not worth it.

                Show Hidden Posts