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Am I alone in the thought that EVOO...

inaplasticcup May 12, 2011 09:27 AM

...does not EVGOGO with everything?

I channel surf now and again between PBS, Cooking Channel and Food TV and notice that almost everyone seems to be cooking almost everything with extra virgin olive oil.

Not that I don't like it and use it, but EVOO has a distinct flavor that just doesn't belong in certain dishes, imo. I get the health argument, but will no one admit to using anything other than EVOO anymore? :|

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  1. t
    traceykl RE: inaplasticcup May 12, 2011 09:40 AM

    I do use olive oil for most of my cooking but agree that it doesn't fit EVERYWHERE. There are cases when a more neutral flavor is needed.

    1. jmckee RE: inaplasticcup May 12, 2011 09:51 AM

      I never use Extra Virgin for cooking.

      13 Replies
      1. re: jmckee
        traceykl RE: jmckee May 12, 2011 09:53 AM

        Neither do I. I use Olive Oil for cooking (not EV). EV is a much too strong of a flavor for cooking. I do use it in salads and as a finishing oil.

        1. re: traceykl
          DGresh RE: traceykl May 12, 2011 10:22 AM

          me too. I just buy plain old olive oil for many purposes, and use the EVOO where I actually want that particular flavor. I totally don't get why so many cooks on TV use it for absolutely everything.

          1. re: DGresh
            Val RE: DGresh May 12, 2011 11:39 AM

            Yes yes...regular olive oil for sauteing....ext virgin for salads, dipping, etc.

            1. re: DGresh
              TheFoodEater RE: DGresh May 13, 2011 08:00 PM

              i blame rachel ray, dean of the "you can be as dumb, tasteless and unschooled as i am and still cook" school of cooking shows.

              1. re: TheFoodEater
                sueatmo RE: TheFoodEater May 14, 2011 10:35 AM

                You know RR probably appeals to people who don't know how to cook well, and that isn't a bad thing. I've only watched her a couple of times but I didn't think she was that bad. You can learn from her, and then progress.

                1. re: TheFoodEater
                  BelovedofIsis RE: TheFoodEater May 14, 2011 05:08 PM

                  Is it a sin that I own a set of her non-stick pans???? I don't really like her cooking. I love my pans though!

                  1. re: BelovedofIsis
                    inaplasticcup RE: BelovedofIsis May 14, 2011 05:28 PM

                    It does look like she really put some thought into making practical, useful kitchen tools.

                    1. re: inaplasticcup
                      jfryw8 RE: inaplasticcup May 15, 2011 03:51 PM

                      I doubt she had anything to do with it other than putting her name on them for an endorsement fee...

                      1. re: jfryw8
                        inaplasticcup RE: jfryw8 May 15, 2011 04:25 PM

                        Well, I'm not a huge Rachael fan, but having watched her show, I do think she appears to have enough experience cooking in a home kitchen to provide meaningful, if quick, input into the usefulness of the products she ultimately endorses. She may or may not have put a lot of effort into actual product development, but I don't think it's naive to believe that she took a meeting's worth of time to give a yea or nay to each product put before her.

                  2. re: TheFoodEater
                    sisterfunkhaus RE: TheFoodEater May 15, 2011 01:25 PM

                    I know it's trendy to Rachael bash, but she has something going. I am not a fan, but she does use real, fresh ingredients to make simple dishes. I love that she isn't forever using cream of something soup and canned veggies. She keeps it simple, and teaches people who are rushed how to cook from scratch. No harm in that.

                    1. re: c oliver
                      inaplasticcup RE: c oliver May 15, 2011 03:46 PM

                      Doesn't Paula Deen also use a lot of canned schtuff, Y'AWLLLL??? :P

                      1. re: c oliver
                        The Drama Queen RE: c oliver May 15, 2011 04:09 PM

                        Nope, inaplasticcup is right. PD says, yaawwwwll til I could puke.

                        1. re: c oliver
                          inaplasticcup RE: c oliver May 15, 2011 04:10 PM

                          You must not have heard her say it. :P

              2. Gio RE: inaplasticcup May 12, 2011 10:11 AM

                I always use EVOO for cooking, but a simple fruity one not a peppery one... except when I use peanut oil or grapeseed oil or light sesame oil. Certain recipes do require certain cooking oils to bring out the best qualities of the ingredients.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Gio
                  DMW RE: Gio May 12, 2011 10:32 AM

                  Same. I use EVOO for most things, but the just regular old supermarket variety. I have a really nice, peppery EVOO that I use only for finishing. There are certain times I use other oils (high heat, very neutral flavor) but mostly its the garden-variety EVOO.

                  1. re: DMW
                    hotoynoodle RE: DMW May 12, 2011 02:15 PM

                    i'm far too frugal a cook to use extra-virgin on everything, AND it's smoke-point is far below where i usually need it to be.

                    harold mcgee did a taste-test, between regular olive oil and extra-virgin. once cooked, the extra-virgin could not be differentiated out. furthering my waste of money argument.

                    oh, AND hearing somebody like rachel ray say "evoo" makes me want to punch the tv.

                    1. re: hotoynoodle
                      BelovedofIsis RE: hotoynoodle May 14, 2011 05:09 PM


                      1. re: hotoynoodle
                        jfryw8 RE: hotoynoodle May 15, 2011 03:54 PM

                        Exactly. Thank you. Cooking with EVOO is a waste, and it is not suited for the heat you need to cook. Besides which, is it really possible to be "extra virgin"??

                  2. t
                    thimes RE: inaplasticcup May 12, 2011 10:42 AM

                    Oh I thought you were going to say . . . . should never be called EVOO


                    4 Replies
                    1. re: thimes
                      inaplasticcup RE: thimes May 12, 2011 10:47 AM

                      Or worse yet, EeVeeOhOhExtraVirginOliveOil... :P

                      1. re: thimes
                        ceekskat RE: thimes May 12, 2011 01:34 PM

                        Would you believe I saw EVOO on a license plate just the other day???

                        1. re: ceekskat
                          inaplasticcup RE: ceekskat May 12, 2011 02:18 PM

                          Was it Rachael Ray in a Bugatti?

                          1. re: inaplasticcup
                            EWSflash RE: inaplasticcup May 12, 2011 08:01 PM

                            I love it

                      2. a
                        audreyhtx1 RE: inaplasticcup May 12, 2011 10:46 AM

                        I use it for most things even cooking because I don't bother to have both EV and non-EV on hand. I like the flavor just fine for cooking. Sometimes I go half-and-half with butter.

                        Otherwise - I use canola oil. Mostly for baking or something specially high-temp.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: audreyhtx1
                          sueatmo RE: audreyhtx1 May 13, 2011 07:06 PM

                          I cook with canola too. I like my EVOO on salads, mainly. Occasionally I add it to a cooked dish. I also have a little peanut oil on had for stir fries.

                        2. inaplasticcup RE: inaplasticcup May 12, 2011 10:49 AM

                          Glad I'm not the only one. These chefs were starting to give me a complex about my canola...

                          13 Replies
                          1. re: inaplasticcup
                            Isolda RE: inaplasticcup May 12, 2011 05:44 PM

                            Love canola for cooking, and even as one of the oils in salad dressing. It's the Switzerland of oils.

                            1. re: Isolda
                              jmckee RE: Isolda May 13, 2011 07:11 AM

                              Can't bring myself to stick to Canola. Too splattery.

                              1. re: jmckee
                                luckyfatima RE: jmckee May 13, 2011 10:24 AM

                                You know, I had read so often that Canola is so fabulous and can heat to very high temperatures, but I had the same issues with splattering. That is why I started exploring soy bean oil and sunflower oil, both of which work better for me.

                                1. re: luckyfatima
                                  somervilleoldtimer RE: luckyfatima May 14, 2011 09:10 PM

                                  I use Peanut Oil for hot cooking, EVOO or just OO for italian stuff, and canola for everything else, which turns out to not be very much.

                                2. re: jmckee
                                  goodhealthgourmet RE: jmckee May 13, 2011 06:47 PM

                                  i'm not a fan of canola either, for a number reasons. grapeseed and rice bran are my neutral oils of choice.

                                  and back to the OP, i reserve good EVOO for finishing/drizzling, cold preparations, and the occasional vinaigrette. the flavor definitely clashes with some things, and it's too delicate to subject to high heat.

                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                    Ruth Lafler RE: goodhealthgourmet May 14, 2011 01:33 PM

                                    I object more to the widespread use and heavy promotion of canola oil than to EVOO -- nasty tasting, artificial GMO stuff. Yeah, yeah, it's supposed to be healthy, but IMHO if you use enough oil that the type of oil makes a significant impact on your health, you're using too much oil, period.

                                    I use regular olive oil, EVOO or butter for most things. For some things I prefer corn oil (especially things that are going to be cooked or served with corn products), for a really neutral oil I use grapeseed and for some high heat frying I use peanut oil. I also often cook meat in its own fat (render some chicken fat from the skin to saute the chicken, etc. -- it's amazing how much fat you can render from the skin from one chicken breast!).

                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                      inaplasticcup RE: Ruth Lafler May 14, 2011 02:10 PM

                                      Never let perfectly good chicken fat go to waste! :)

                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                        goodhealthgourmet RE: Ruth Lafler May 14, 2011 07:03 PM

                                        we're in complete agreement about canola. i personally avoid corn oil as well, because it's all also GM at this point.

                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                          sueatmo RE: Ruth Lafler May 15, 2011 02:25 PM

                                          I think canola oil tastes totally neutral. You should not use a ton of any sort of oil, of course. But for a stir fry it works well, GM or not. It has no taste, nasty or otherwise. I cannot detect that it adds anything to the flavor of a dish. That might not be one's goal--using an oil that adds no flavor--but it doesn't mean it is nasty tasting.

                                          1. re: sueatmo
                                            goodhealthgourmet RE: sueatmo May 15, 2011 03:03 PM

                                            It has no taste, nasty or otherwise. I cannot detect that it adds anything to the flavor of a dish.
                                            as with most things, this is subjective. some of us detect a fishy or "off" odor to canola, and smell is inextricably tied to taste...so it impacts the flavor.

                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                              escondido123 RE: goodhealthgourmet May 15, 2011 03:25 PM

                                              I wonder all the time if what I'm tasting when I eat something is what other people taste. Was I just picky or was the taste actually different. Cilantro was always the problem for me, it was nice to find out they'd tracked down the chemical within it that made it taste bad to me and lots of other people. Sorry to go off topic.

                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                sueatmo RE: goodhealthgourmet May 15, 2011 08:06 PM

                                                I confess I am surprised. To me, who usually has a fairly sensitive palate, canola oil has no flavor, aroma or taste.

                                            2. re: Ruth Lafler
                                              RGC1982 RE: Ruth Lafler May 15, 2011 07:04 PM

                                              To me, canola has a nasty, oily cooking odor -- especially when deep frying. I have switched to peanut oil for frying, and I use EVOO/butter for sautes and most other things. I do keep a bottle of blended vegetable oil for those times when peanut or olive oil don't work. Three oils in inventory for me is enough. I was thinking about switching to light olive oil to see how it works, but haven't done it yet. Any thoughts?

                                    2. MGZ RE: inaplasticcup May 12, 2011 12:05 PM

                                      Agreed. It's like having only a single wrench in a toolbox, a single lure in a tackle box, a single color on the palette, a single seasoning on the spice rack, . . . .

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: MGZ
                                        inaplasticcup RE: MGZ May 12, 2011 12:37 PM

                                        Thanks, Matt! That was way more poetic than my rant. :)

                                      2. luckyfatima RE: inaplasticcup May 12, 2011 12:54 PM

                                        I use sunflower oil for daily cooking. I only use unheated EVOO such as in in salad dressing or to add EVOO flavor in certain recipes, like in a finishes tomato sauce, on hummus, or on strained yoghurt.

                                        1. e
                                          ediblover RE: inaplasticcup May 12, 2011 02:36 PM

                                          Only a novice will rely solely on one type of oil/fat. I consider the bare minimum to be olive, butter and canola.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: c oliver
                                            inaplasticcup RE: c oliver May 14, 2011 09:53 PM

                                            I find most oils start to smell and taste fishy when they go rancid. :(

                                            1. re: inaplasticcup
                                              Ruth Lafler RE: inaplasticcup May 14, 2011 11:24 PM

                                              Canola oil smells fishy to some people (including me), even when it's fresh. I threw out several bottles before I realized I just didn't like the smell.

                                          2. EWSflash RE: inaplasticcup May 12, 2011 08:00 PM

                                            Just for the heck of it, get a bottle/can of La Tourangelle roasted walnut oil. it's my favorite oil in the world. You may like it or not, but I would (and have) almost replace olive oil with it for what I use. I love the flavor.

                                            9 Replies
                                            1. re: EWSflash
                                              inaplasticcup RE: EWSflash May 13, 2011 09:51 AM

                                              Walnut oil is really lovely and aromatic, isn't it? Haven't tried La Tourangelle, though...

                                              1. re: inaplasticcup
                                                EWSflash RE: inaplasticcup May 13, 2011 06:21 PM

                                                La T is the only brand i've ever gotten that didn't taste rancid, can you share some other brands?

                                                1. re: EWSflash
                                                  inaplasticcup RE: EWSflash May 13, 2011 08:31 PM

                                                  The last time I bought some was a while ago at Trader Joe's. I'm wondering if the issue you had with rancidity had more to do with the turnover and rotation of that particular product at that particular store. (?) The TJ's brand was good to me, but it's the only kind I've had...

                                                  1. re: inaplasticcup
                                                    somervilleoldtimer RE: inaplasticcup May 14, 2011 09:11 PM

                                                    Someone bought me walnut oil as a gift years ago, and it felt so special that I never used it and it did eventually go rancid! What a shame.

                                                    1. re: somervilleoldtimer
                                                      inaplasticcup RE: somervilleoldtimer May 14, 2011 09:58 PM

                                                      This reminds me of why I sometimes wear inappropriately dressy outfits to do my weekend grocery shopping... :P

                                                    2. re: inaplasticcup
                                                      chompy RE: inaplasticcup May 15, 2011 10:14 PM

                                                      I almost forgot that Trader Joe's used to carry walnut oil. I wish they still did. Having tried both, I'm pretty sure that TJ's walnut oil actually was La Tourangelle.

                                                      1. re: chompy
                                                        inaplasticcup RE: chompy May 15, 2011 10:27 PM

                                                        I think you might be right! Didn't the packaging look very similar as if the imply the same source?

                                                2. re: EWSflash
                                                  Jadore RE: EWSflash May 15, 2011 11:53 AM

                                                  Mmmm, I love walnut oil in salads. I was gifted some from Sur La Table for my birthday and I've been hooked ever since.

                                                  1. re: Jadore
                                                    goodhealthgourmet RE: Jadore May 15, 2011 03:06 PM

                                                    macadamia nut oil and hazelnut oil are also fabulous in salad. (avocado oil is too, but it's more subtle and obviously not nutty.)

                                                3. Woodfireguy RE: inaplasticcup May 13, 2011 06:01 AM

                                                  I buy Costco’s organic extra virgin olive oil and use it in most everything. I also have an assortment of California OO that use to finish with and vegetable oil for neutral flavor applications. I personally think Canola Oil is a bunch of marketing hooey. It’s the spoils of Word War 2 and is genetically engineered to be edible. Canada can keep it. Most vegetable oils are soybean based and that’s fine with me.

                                                  1. e
                                                    escondido123 RE: inaplasticcup May 13, 2011 07:17 AM

                                                    We buy the EVOO at Trader Joes and use it for almost everything. Canola oil for pancakes, grapeseed for really high heat frying and walnut or sesame for very specific dishes. I've never understood the finishing oil idea. If I was to get one, any suggestions?

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: escondido123
                                                      DMW RE: escondido123 May 13, 2011 09:19 AM

                                                      I like a peppery oil on top of my roasted or grilled asparagus. I also have a meyer lemon-infused oil that is wonderful on asparagus as well. Just one idea.

                                                    2. selletson RE: inaplasticcup May 13, 2011 09:37 AM

                                                      I am a fan of EVOO I have to admit (not a R.R. fan though). I agree about the distinct flavor and find some brands and regions of olive oil have a slightly off putting taste. Currently I by most of my oils from a farmer's market supplier of Sciabica Olive Oil http://www.sciabica.com/ . I am an addict - I use the Orange OIl in brownies to burssels sprouts, the jalepeno is for my eggs, lemon oil finds its way into almost everything the rosemary adds a little omph to beef and potatoes. It has replaced butter for me.

                                                      1. e
                                                        escondido123 RE: inaplasticcup May 13, 2011 09:54 AM

                                                        I have avoided oils that have been flavored, I'd rather add that on my own. I understood finishing oil to be a superior oil--such as some very expensive olive oil--not a flavored one. Am I wrong on that?

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: escondido123
                                                          DMW RE: escondido123 May 13, 2011 10:35 AM

                                                          High quality and flavored are not mutually exclusive. I have an AMAZING meyer lemon EVOO right from the producer in Napa (round pond farm). This is certainly a finishing oil as the flavor compounds would disappear if cooked.

                                                          However, I would agree that generally people are referring to a very high quality unflavored oil, which gets all of its amazing flavor(s) from the characteristics of the olives.

                                                          1. re: DMW
                                                            c oliver RE: DMW May 14, 2011 09:38 PM

                                                            I have a Meyer lemon oo from DaVero and I love it also.

                                                        2. ipsedixit RE: inaplasticcup May 13, 2011 10:40 AM

                                                          I rarely cook (i.e. stir-fry, deep-fry, or bake) with EVOO.

                                                          For me, EVOO is a finishing oil, not a cooking oil.

                                                          There are exceptions, however, but they are generally few and far between. Pasta sauce and roasting potatoes might be exceptions, but only somtimes.

                                                          1. The Drama Queen RE: inaplasticcup May 13, 2011 11:06 AM

                                                            I feel as most people do that Olive oil is great for Italian foods but not for everything. I buy EX. Virgin when I want to dip bread, brush bruschetta, dress a salad, drizzle over pasta or anything where the flavor shines through, but for cooking I use Pure Olive oil. For things like french fries and many other foods I prefer the taste of Mazolla Corn oil. Always did. It imparts a delicious flavor. I never use canola.

                                                            1. t
                                                              Terrieltr RE: inaplasticcup May 13, 2011 11:46 AM

                                                              EVOO does NOT belong in certain things. I once had a stir fry done in olive oil. BLECH. It tasted like something had gone bad. Now, I use EVOO for certain dishes, but for others, I might use canola, butter, peanut or even sesame.

                                                              I suppose if your dish tastes so off you don't eat it, that's healthy in a "eater fewer calories" way, but I don't think it's what the industry is aiming for.

                                                              13 Replies
                                                              1. re: Terrieltr
                                                                The Drama Queen RE: Terrieltr May 13, 2011 03:10 PM

                                                                I so agree with you. Olive oil and stir-fry especially Chinese stir-fry, don't mix. I love the taste of peanut or sesame oil (NOT toasted sesame) for this dish. Sprinkling a little of the dark, toasted sesame oil on stir fry after the dish is done gives it a fabulous finish. Save the olive oil for things that go well with the taste of olives. Greek, Spanish and Italian dishes primarily.

                                                                1. re: The Drama Queen
                                                                  huiray RE: The Drama Queen May 15, 2011 08:50 AM

                                                                  "Olive oil and stir-fry especially Chinese stir-fry, don't mix."
                                                                  Correct. It's interesting in a way that there are only 3 posts on this thread that mention Asian or Chinese cooking - or stir fries - while the great majority of posts deal only with Western cooking. :-) ;-)

                                                                  I use extra virgin olive oil mainly in Western-style salads, plain olive oil sometimes in Western cooking, and VERY rarely in Chinese or SE Asian cooking, which is what I mostly do. Plain olive oil or even a nice, flowery (kind-of EV) olive oil can be used deliciously in a flash/very-quick-very-hot-pan stir-fry with selected ingredients, usually something like green beans or sugar snap or snow peas or hard-stemmed veggies by themselves, with a little sea salt tossed in; but not in a more usual stir fry involving combinations of various stuff with some kind of meat when the dish does come out tasting strange. It's interesting when used judiciously as an additional oil in certain kinds of braised stews done in an East or SE Asian style, usually the rich, hearty types with root veggies involved.

                                                                  1. re: huiray
                                                                    The Drama Queen RE: huiray May 15, 2011 09:22 AM

                                                                    Olive oil, especially EV olive oil isn't able to handle the high heat required for stir frying. The best oils are those that have a high smoke point such as peanut oil which is why most Asian restaurants use it. The flavor of olive oil changes dramatically from good to just plain awful when high heat is used. This is not MY opinion, although I agree wholeheartedly; it's been written over and over as a matter of fact rather than a opinion.

                                                                    1. re: The Drama Queen
                                                                      huiray RE: The Drama Queen May 15, 2011 09:33 AM

                                                                      ...which is why I mentioned that OO can be used in VERY FAST hot pan veggie stir fries - you heat the pan, pour in the oil, it just begins to smoke, toss in the salt, toss in the (pre-washed, thus still slightly wet) green beans or whatnot, clamp down the cover immediately [within a second or two of tossing the veggies in trapping the fierce sizzle and flash of vapor etc], shake the tightly-closed pan for 30 sec or so, turn off the heat (for sugar snap peas) or open the cover and check for done-ness and/or add a little more water and re-cover for maybe up to 2 min or so more (green beans, with chopped garlic added into the hot oil). That's it. Fast and furious. You get an interesting nice slightly charred/browned taste and look to your beans. Of course, all this is accomplished with veggie oils etc as well. The OO give it a slightly different taste, but not something that is "wrong", at least to me.

                                                                      1. re: huiray
                                                                        The Drama Queen RE: huiray May 15, 2011 09:40 AM

                                                                        LMAO, okay, let's beat this to death. When the olive oil begins to smoke, as you said it does, it's already too late. The flavor of the oil, because of it's natural properties, has changed completely therefore affecting the flavor of the food you're cooking.

                                                                        Your turn. LOL

                                                                        1. re: The Drama Queen
                                                                          huiray RE: The Drama Queen May 15, 2011 10:03 AM

                                                                          DQ, take a look at my post responding to c oliver (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7841...), if you like. :-)

                                                                          In case it is not clear, I do not look for the retention of the exact same flavor the OO had before it went into the pan.

                                                                      2. re: The Drama Queen
                                                                        sedimental RE: The Drama Queen May 15, 2011 09:38 AM

                                                                        Yes, I use peanut oil for stir fry or Asian flavor profile foods. I think even most of the t.v. cooks do too (referring to the OP). But Olive oil flavor doesn't seem to conflict with most other cuisines, does it? I can't think of others. Sometimes I want a more neutral flavor in a salad in general-so I will choose another oil (like a nut oil).

                                                                        1. re: sedimental
                                                                          The Drama Queen RE: sedimental May 15, 2011 09:57 AM

                                                                          Olive oil actually enhances the flavor or most foods like Italian or Greek cuisines. But when you saute with olive oil, the heat is usually on medium. Stir frying, as so many Asian dishes are, requires fast frying over high heat. Olive oil is too delicate to carry it off. And just FYI, I started using Greek olive oil from Whole Foods and I prefer it to the Italian I was buying. It has a bit stronger flavor and I like that. I especiallly love it in a Greek salad. Wow! Try buying a good quality Greek olive oil, add some dried herbs, then dipping crusty, artisan bread into it. OMGI could make a meal out of that.

                                                                          1. re: sedimental
                                                                            huiray RE: sedimental May 15, 2011 10:06 AM

                                                                            Actually, I myself, personally, don't use much peanut oil for stir-fries and what-not. It still smokes slightly, or at least throws off definite fumes, and I find the smell that permeates the whole place (and the food) slightly overpowering, speaking for myself.

                                                                          2. re: c oliver
                                                                            huiray RE: c oliver May 15, 2011 10:02 AM

                                                                            For the reason you mention, I would not use Spanish OO or other OOs with definite/pronounced "olive flavor" in them for the kind of fast-and-furious stir-fry I described, but certain French or Californian OOs work fine. Yes, the flavor profile does change from that of the unheated oil but when not truly overheated there is a slighly burnt taste that is pleasant to me and which adds to that particular version of "wok hey" that I get for those dishes which I personally like. (You, DQ, probably would not like it) Still, as I said before, it is RARE that I use OO in East Asian oe SE Asian cooking/stir-fries.

                                                                            1. re: c oliver
                                                                              The Drama Queen RE: c oliver May 15, 2011 04:14 PM

                                                                              I can't imagine using 2 quarts of EX Virgin olive oil for frying calamari. I pay about 16.00 per qt. Oddly enough Batali is one of the chefs who always tells us not to use olive oil for deep or high heat frying. Strange. Did you read one of the reviews?

                                                                              1. re: The Drama Queen
                                                                                huiray RE: The Drama Queen May 15, 2011 04:59 PM

                                                                                @ DQ: Also did you read the bit about heating the OO till it is just smoking? :-)

                                                                        2. re: Terrieltr
                                                                          EWSflash RE: Terrieltr May 13, 2011 06:23 PM

                                                                          That doesn't sound very good at all.

                                                                        3. Phood RE: inaplasticcup May 13, 2011 08:07 PM

                                                                          I share Harold McGee's analysis for your contemplation.
                                                                          I use Trader Joe's inexpensive oil (occasionally blended with butter or bacon fat for most uses, and a good imported Greek oil for the flavor and texture.
                                                                          Bien Provecho!

                                                                          1. e
                                                                            escondido123 RE: inaplasticcup May 13, 2011 09:00 PM

                                                                            My husband cooks as much as I do and he said he didn't like the peppery flavor of the Northern Italian olive oils that were so often the "special" ones. He prefers the southern Italian which are more the everyday. So, does anyone have a suggestion of a non-flavored, non-peppery olive oil that they'd consider a special/finishing oil?

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: escondido123
                                                                              The Drama Queen RE: escondido123 May 13, 2011 11:59 PM

                                                                              I'm curious as to why your husband wants a non-flavored olive oil as a finishing oil. Isn't that contrary to what a finishing oil is supposed to be? Not judging, just wondering why use it at all.

                                                                              1. re: The Drama Queen
                                                                                escondido123 RE: The Drama Queen May 14, 2011 08:54 PM

                                                                                Oh, my husband has no interest in a finishing oil, he's happy with what we have. I'm the one who asked the questions about this. When I said non-flavored, I didn't mean no flavor but rather not flavored with lemon or garlic or basil or other things that have been mentioned. In the 30+ years we've been seriously cooking, "finishing" oils have only come along in the past 5....so I'm still trying to understand what there purpose is and if there are any that aren't Northern Italian peppery since my husband doesn't like them.

                                                                                1. re: escondido123
                                                                                  huiray RE: escondido123 May 16, 2011 08:12 AM

                                                                                  Try Alziari.
                                                                                  Or Maussane.

                                                                            2. b
                                                                              BelovedofIsis RE: inaplasticcup May 14, 2011 05:07 PM

                                                                              Can't lie, I started cooking with EVOO for the health benefit, but I have found out that I absolutely love it! I love the bold taste of it in my food. Now for some things such as asian cooking I do keep peanut oil and sesame oil on hand. I even have real butter in the fridge. Also I do have veg oil because its cheap and god forbid I'm making a box mix I am not putting my good EVOO in it!! I also like rare oils such as argon oil. LOL wow I have a lot of oils.....nm I guess I don't use for everything, but mostly.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: BelovedofIsis
                                                                                hotoynoodle RE: BelovedofIsis May 15, 2011 11:07 AM

                                                                                I even have real butter in the fridge. "

                                                                                ~~~ has the pendulum now swung the other way and butter is the exotic fat? lol. i use quite a bit of it, all the time. especially with eggs.

                                                                                1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                                  BelovedofIsis RE: hotoynoodle May 15, 2011 03:36 PM

                                                                                  Well about three years ago I went through a drastic cooking fat change from using exclusively butter (on everything) to evoo, then balanced it all out about a year into it with many different kinds of oils, However I did not reintroduce butter into my kitchen (except for baking) till about 6 months ago. My husband was trying to lose weight for his PT tests and he drastically lost weight after cutting the butter out. Now that we have a handle on the weight butter is now allowed back into the house in moderation of course.

                                                                              2. h
                                                                                Harters RE: inaplasticcup May 15, 2011 08:02 AM

                                                                                My usual cooking oil is sunflower.

                                                                                I'll use olive for cooking a dish that comes from an olive growing part of the world, as it feels right then. Of course, I also use olive for salad dressings. I also use a good quality rapeseed for salads.

                                                                                1. Jadore RE: inaplasticcup May 15, 2011 11:54 AM

                                                                                  No, I agree, I do get sick of seeing olive oil in every darn dish, much as I ADORE the stuff. But walnut, canola, peanut, and plain old vegetable oil have places in my kitchen as well.

                                                                                  1. s
                                                                                    sisterfunkhaus RE: inaplasticcup May 15, 2011 01:28 PM

                                                                                    I don't think it does either. I use several different oils including EVOO, coconut oil, soy bean oil, and sesame oil, and sometimes butter.

                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: sisterfunkhaus
                                                                                      The Drama Queen RE: sisterfunkhaus May 15, 2011 04:16 PM

                                                                                      I'm with you that using different oils impart different flavors. I particulary love the nut oils and use them in salads since I often put nuts into my salads. Avocado oil is another favorite but it's uses are limited and it goes rancid very fast. In Asian foods, there is nothing that brings the dish to a fantastic flavor like sesame oil.

                                                                                      1. re: The Drama Queen
                                                                                        escondido123 RE: The Drama Queen May 15, 2011 04:36 PM

                                                                                        Now that's a finishing oil I love!

                                                                                        1. re: escondido123
                                                                                          huiray RE: escondido123 May 15, 2011 05:09 PM

                                                                                          And overdoing it with the sesame oil (really, really easy to do) results in a dish that tastes of little else besides sesame oil. Unpleasant.

                                                                                          1. re: c oliver
                                                                                            huiray RE: c oliver May 15, 2011 06:03 PM


                                                                                            In fact, I think there are relatively few Chinese or SE Asian dishes that are brought 'to a fantastic flavor' by using sesame oil. It isn't really a general-purpose oil to bring 'Enhanced Asian Flavor' to "Asian" dishes and may mask or interfere with the natural/intended taste of many dishes.

                                                                                            1. re: huiray
                                                                                              inaplasticcup RE: huiray May 15, 2011 06:21 PM

                                                                                              I'm hard pressed to think of a time I've used, or wanted to use, toasted sesame oil outside of Korean or Korean inspired dishes, and then only as a finishing oil. And I agree that a little goes a very long way.

                                                                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                huiray RE: c oliver May 15, 2011 06:56 PM

                                                                                                True, I didn't.

                                                                                                However, I did have toasted sesame oil in mind. East Asian sesame oil is usually made from toasted sesame seeds, and is the variety most commonly available in North America. (Cold pressed oil from raw sesame seeds is much less common here)

                                                                                                I would personally never fry anything in (toasted) sesame oil. The taste would be so overwhelming and one-note (besides tasting definitely "burnt").

                                                                                                There are times when (toasted) sesame oil is not used as a "finishing oil" - e.g., off the top of my head, in pork meatballs (as an ingredient) before they go into a peppery broth with sliced daikon; in certain meat preparations (as part of the marinade) before stir-frying; etc. In all cases, it is easy to overdo it. If used as a "finishing oil", droplets of it - as c oliver described it - is the way to go.

                                                                                            2. re: huiray
                                                                                              The Drama Queen RE: huiray May 15, 2011 08:48 PM

                                                                                              I really do agree huiray. A little goes a long way and just a few drops too much can ruin a dish and turn it nasty.

                                                                                      2. p
                                                                                        pericolosa RE: inaplasticcup May 15, 2011 08:44 PM

                                                                                        I almost always use lard, butter or coconut oil for cooking.

                                                                                        I'll sometimes mix EVOO in with the butter when pan frying pork chops.

                                                                                        Canola gives me headaches, so that's forever not an option. I only use other high Omega-6 oils when stir-frying (peanut oil, sometimes with a bit of sesame oil mixed in for the taste) and for popping corn (corn oil).

                                                                                        1. Karl S RE: inaplasticcup May 16, 2011 05:38 PM

                                                                                          Good EVOO varies in personality and has to be used with a discriminating palate. Americans who have become victim of the BIGGER! BOLDER! FLAVOR! approach to food may not realize that their extremely peppery EVOOs would be better to be partially cut with a neutral vegetable oil when paired with mild greens or vegetables, for example.

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Karl S
                                                                                            jmckee RE: Karl S May 17, 2011 10:40 AM

                                                                                            I've grown fond of Alziari from Nice. Gentler. Not that slightly bitter peppery bite. The bolder stuff has its place, but lately I don't want my olive oil to wrestle with my food.

                                                                                            1. re: jmckee
                                                                                              JayP RE: jmckee Jun 13, 2011 08:43 AM

                                                                                              I happen to like EVOO that is intensely fruity, pungent and bitter, like the award winners of the robust category. But mine is an acquired taste, it took me some time to get there,now I wouldn't have it any other way. I have for breakfast bread with tomato and olive oil on top.

                                                                                              The same as you woudn't start drinking wine with a Cabernet Savignon as your first or with Roquefort as your first cheese. You have to acquire that taste first. A fine good more delicate organic EVOO to start appreciating olive ois is "Parqueoliva BIO" , you can buy it online

                                                                                              1. re: JayP
                                                                                                inaplasticcup RE: JayP Jun 13, 2011 08:52 AM

                                                                                                I think you can appreciate that kind of flavor and intensity in one context and not another. I think I would certainly enjoy it with tomato and bread like you do for breakfast. But in other contexts, the flavor of olive oil, in any intensity, just seems out of place to me.

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