Post from: beautytips4her.com
We all know that extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is one of the Seven Wonders of the Food World. It contains antioxidants and heart-healthy fats galore—and, of course, it tastes amazing. EVOO is one of the most common kitchen staples, but most home cooks don’t know much about it. Here’s the top mistakes you’re probably making:
Mistake #1: Buying Plastic or Clear Glass
The two biggest enemies of EVOO quality are oxygen and sunlight, so if you’re buying plastic or clear glass, your oil’s in trouble. “Once [air and light] touch the oil, it can begin to go rancid. To preserve EVOO’s quality, opt for glass bottles that are dark green or dark brown.
Mistake #2: Storing Your Oil Near Heat
Heat exposure — whether from the stove or direct light through a sunny window — is also a no-no. When EVOO is exposed [to heat], it can cause the polyphenols [a type of antioxidants] to degrade and lower the flavor or sensory profile. You want to store it in your pantry, not on a windowsill or above the stove.
Mistake #3: Judging Oil by Its Color
“Consumers mistake color for indication of quality. Color is only an indicator of when the olive was harvested and when oil was pressed. Quality EVOOs can range from anywhere from vibrant green to soft golden yellow — so don’t discount one just because the color’s a little different than what you were expecting.
Mistake #4: Believing One EVOO Fits All
When confronted with six shelves of olive oils, do you grab the cheap store-brand option or the fancy bottle that costs more than a tank of gas? The fact is, most people go with a middle-of-the-road pick and use a one-size-fits-all approach. While there’s definitely a place in your pantry for an everyday olive oil, select a premium oil with a more robust flavor profile for when the oil needs to shine through, such as in homemade salad dressings and atop pasta dishes.
Mistake #5: Cooking Over High Heat
High-temperature cooking methods can destroy the antioxidants in EVOO and alter the flavor. You shouldn’t use olive oil for any cooking method that requires temps above 360° F. So by all means, sauté veggies and poach fish in the oil — just don’t fry anything with it.
Mistake #6: Cooking with Delicate Oils
More delicate olive oils — those with milder flavors – shouldn’t be exposed to heat at all to protect their aromatic properties and flavors. Instead, use them as finishing oils to bring out the flavors in a pasta dish, bruschetta, or cold salad.
Mistake #7: Hanging On To Your Oil Too Long
Ever bought one of those gas can-sized jugs of olive oil and saved it for years? Never again! The shelf life on EVOO is about 24 months, so toss those old bottles before they overstay their welcome. A rancid EVOO — which you can spot by its obviously unpleasant taste — has lost its health benefits, as well as its flavor profile.