Olive oil is the most preferred oil among health and beauty freaks. And we cannot deny the ample health benefits it has in store for us. It is referred to as liquid gold of cooking oil. It keeps our heart healthy and helps managing blood sugar level. But due to lack of precise knowledge about this oil, we fail to differentiate between facts and myths about this oil. The crazy marketing techniques can also be blamed for this existing oblivion about the oil. Try reading the label of an olive oil at a grocery store, you’ll be showered with all kinds of alien terminologies to confuse you.
Some of them read ‘Pure’ and ‘Extra Virgin’ while other bears the simple ‘Cold-Pressed’ label. Which one is the best for you? Let us tell you, all extra-virgin olive oil is cold-pressed.
Let’s raise the curtains of myths around olive oil for good.
Myth 1: If olive oil gets cloudy or solidifies in the refrigerator, it is 100 per cent authentic and of high quality.
There are no such home tests to testify the authenticity of olive oil. Some oils do get cloudy under cold temperatures while others don’t. Quality is best revealed through taste and smell and authenticity can be confirmed only in laboratories.
Myth 2: Greener the olive oil, higher the quality
Colour plays no role in the quality of the oil. It isn’t a generic product. Olive variety, growing conditions and country of origin play a crucial role in determining oil colour. It also determines how fast the oil will freeze under cold temperatures.
Myth 3: Heat destroys the health benefits of olive oil, so use the olive oil straight or raw.
Flavour may change when heated, but the health benefits remain. You can cook with all types of olive oil without losing health benefits because their smoking point is higher than most other cooking oils.
Myth 4: Olive shouldn’t be used for frying, sautéing or tossing
You can cook on high heat with olive oil. Here, the answer lies in understanding the various grades of olive oil. In India, one can most certainly find three grades of olive oil -- extra virgin, classic/pure and extra light and, lastly, pomace, which is a chemically extracted variant of olive oil.
The difference only lies in the taste, aroma and smoking point. Extra virgin oil has a peculiar flavour of olives and low smoking point because it is derived from cold-pressing. Pure olive oil is derived from refining olive oil, so the smoking point is high. It has the flavour of olives, so it can be heated and used for cooking pastas, pizzas, sautéing veggies, etc. Extra light olive oil is neutral. It has no flavour of olives and can be used for everyday cooking.
(With IANS Inputs)
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