Extra Virgin?

The difference between extra virgin olive oil and regular old olive oil is that extra virgin is obtained from the first pressing of the olives. As a result, it...

The difference between extra virgin olive oil and regular old olive oil is that extra virgin is obtained from the first pressing of the olives. As a result, it has a more pronounced, pungent flavor than ordinary olive oil does. Does that make a difference? And is it worth the price premium? The short answer is yes. And when the olive oil is a central component of a dish or a sauce, you should use the best you can. For example, when you’re drizzling it atop juicy, sweet tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese, by all means go for the good stuff. Same as when you’re dipping a crusty piece of baguette into it. On the other hand, extra virgin olive is often overused to cook with when standard olive oil would be perfectly good. Unless you intend for the cooking oil to essentially serve as the “sauce” (as in spaghetti with oil and garlic), you can cook with regular olive oil. So, save the real good stuff for salads, dressings and vinaigrettes and use the standard to sauté and fry. Capice?

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About Rob

Award-winning international ad exec, stand-up comedian and professionally trained chef who Ad Age calls, "undoubtedly one of the industry's most colorful characters". Hosts TV and radio, writes in Huffington Post and serves as personal chef to his wife and daughters.

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