Of all the choices of cooking oil, that from the olives is one of the healthiest you can find. Other vegetable oils are the healthy, too; compared to butter, margarine or lard. However, if you want to get most from vegetable cooking oils, olive oil should be on your top list.
Olive oil has a very high smoke point. This is the threshold where any kind of cooking oil can be put into good use. When the oil starts smoking, throw it away. You are better off heating up a new batch of oils.
Cooking with olive oil
Not all oils, in this case olive oil, are created equal. While mostly are made in Spain, many other olive oil comes from Italy, France and Greece. They may vary in taste and color. Have fun with them. Make a taste test of your own to see which ones best suit you.
Generally, there are 3 grades of olive oil. You may notice that some are called extra virgin; some are virgin; and others are just plain olive. There are even companies who produce light olive oil variety.
How do we use them?
Extra virgin olive oil is best used for salad dressings, dips, condiments or vinaigrette They are best if not cooked; however, may still be used for cooking. When you heat extra virgin olive oil for a long time, it loses its robust olive taste and fragrant. These are the expensive ones; so you may want to use them well.
Virgin olive oil may be used for light cooking or cooking in low temperature. For example, you can use virgin olive oil in coating baked chicken or fish; or warming a cold pasta dish.
Plain olive oil may on the other hand, be used for deep-fry, fried or stir-fried dishes; as well as for baking. Olive oils are generally pricey; plain olive oil however, is the least costly of all grades.
Oil is oil is oil. Even if olive oil is the healthy option for oils, it still contains fats (well, healthy fats.) Just the same, use them sparingly on your dish.