Many people know that quality olive oil is a natural product with an excellent taste and a pleasant aroma. Man learned to produce it many centuries ago. Despite this, it has not lost its popularity and has become even more in demand around the world. It compares favorably with other varieties with its useful qualities and gastronomic properties. Many homemakers in our country have also long preferred to season fresh salads with it, using it raw. But they are concerned about the question, is it possible to fry in olive oil, is it suitable for heat treatment, and not turn into a dangerous poison with a delayed action? We will answer this and related questions in our article.
Before figuring out which olive oil you can fry in, you need to figure out what kind of oil it can be. Only after understanding this will it become clear what criteria we must consider when planning to cook a tasty and healthy dish using this product.
The average life expectancy of indigenous Greeks permanently living in the country is one of the longest in the world. Many scientists associate this with the massive consumption of olive oil. We believe that every Greek absorbs about twenty liters of this healthy and tasty product per year. Countries, where consumption is also high, can serve as proof. The average duration there is also very enviable.
VARIETIES OF OLIVE OIL
If you think that choosing an excellent quality olive oil is easy, you are deeply mistaken. After all, it should be not only useful but also tasty, aromatic, otherwise, no one wants to buy it. An international council called the International Olive Council, an organization unique of its kind in the entire world, set the standards according to which they divided the entire olive variety into specific individual varieties.
There are classifications of commercial and retail options. The former can be of the following types.
- Natural. Got by cold pressing.
- Refined or refined. This means that it has processed the oil using one of the biochemical methods to smooth out the characteristic taste.
- Oilcake. This product is got by enriching the cake with hexane and re-pressing it. In fact, it is oil got from oilseed waste.
EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
This is a natural olive oil got only by mechanical cold pressing. In fact, it is a kind of fresh olive. It uses no chemical or biochemical components in its production. It does not subject the raw materials to any processing, except for washing and settling. It is this product that some call liquid “gold”, it is of the highest quality, and the method of its production has not changed since the construction of the Egyptian pyramids.
The variety “Extra Virgin” is distinguished by its maximum nutritional value. The product can keep its unique properties for up to one and a half years, although no preservatives are used during storage. It can be attributed to the most expensive varieties, and to the most useful. The acidity of the product does not exceed 0.8%. The taste of the oil, depending on the variety of fruits used, and the place of their growth, can vary significantly: from green fruits to bitter mountain spicy herbs.
“VIRGIN” (VIRGIN OLIVE OIL)
This is also a quality product which is only slightly inferior in quality to its more expensive “brother”. It is not as fragrant, does not have such a bright greenish tint, and also does not have such a rich taste. But they characterize it on the positive side, and because of its lower cost, more people can afford it. He has a slightly increased acidity, reaching the level of 1-2%.
“PURELY” (PURE OLIVE OIL OR OLIVE OIL)
This type of oil is the most common in our country. It is quite affordable and has a characteristic olive flavor. It produces this variety based on oil purified by any method, as well as the addition of a certain percentage of a natural product of the first pressing. It also differs in high acidity up to 1-1.5%. Mostly, it does not have a powerful aroma. Refined olive oil (Oliviaraffinata) may also be sold under this name.
It can carry purification out by different methods: filtration, heat treatment, chemical purification, settling, etc. Such variants usually have rather low acidity, only up to 0.5%, which characterizes it on the positive side.
This is the last type of oil that can be suitable for cooking. In fact, it is a product made from previously used squeezes. Pomace oil has a low cost, which is why it is the most popular variety in the post-Soviet expanses. Because of the low price, many restaurants or shops use it for baking and preparing Mediterranean dishes. Sometimes the composition contains a small percentage of virgin oil, although insignificant. Its acidity rises to 1.5%.
LAMP OR LAMP (LAMPANTE OIL)
This oil, like Extra Virgin, is produced by cold pressing. However, for him, olives are not plucked from the tree, but it collects those that have fallen to the ground. There are also substandard fruits, broken, frozen. The product got from them does not go to food, and we can use it only for technical, for example, for refueling oil lamps. However, some manufacturers send such oil for refining (refining), after which it gets a fairly tolerant product.
WHERE AND HOW IS BETTER TO STORE OLIVE OIL?
Before choosing olive oil for frying, you also need to figure out how to store it properly. If it does not follow the conservation standards, the product can quickly become unusable, taste bitter, after which it will be highly undesirable to use it for food.
The olive extract contains a lot of linoleic and oleic acids, vitamins, minerals anything else can not replace that. Until you open the package, they will last for the expiration date shown on the bottle. However, once it unscrews the cap, it shrinks to one month (30 days). In either case, we must strictly observe storage conditions. I do not recommend it to store containers with this product in the refrigerator, and even more so in the freezer. In the cold, it loses its properties within two weeks, turning into an ordinary oily liquid. Although there will be no harm from using it.
The optimum temperature range for preserving olive oil is 64.4-75.2 ° F. I must pack The product in a dark glass container (brown, dark green). This is the only way I store useful substances in it.
If during the purchase you find a plastic bottle, then it is better to refuse the purchase. After all, it was not initially protected from direct sunlight; it lost its quality, therefore it would be better to give preference to cheaper sunflower oil. You can buy it in cans, but they are rather inconvenient to store, and the product itself will have to be poured into your container in order to at least cork it. It is best to place the bottle in a dark cabinet, away from heat sources. The container with oil can be easily wrapped in foil or any other material that does not transmit ultraviolet light.
Another important factor is the fullness of the bottle. Since it oxidizes the oil under the influence of oxygen, its access must be closed as much as possible. Therefore, experts say that the smaller the product, the faster it is better to use it.
WHAT OIL IS POSSIBLE AND SHOULD FRY
Finding out whether frying in olive oil is harmful, you can get confused by the information received, although in reality, everything is extremely simple. Natural virgin oil contains almost all the beneficial substances that are found in the fruits from which they make it. However, it is not suitable for frying. More often it is taken for salads, adding to ready-made dishes, and for preparing various sauces that do not require heat treatment. In addition, in Extra Virgin oil, you can lightly fry foods that contain a lot of water, for example, vegetables, or those with a minimal time to cook (eggs, potatoes, various convenience foods).
If we are talking about Virgin olive oil, then the recommendations here are almost the same as for the previous type. For either option, the smoke point will be 311-420.8 ° F.
Refined olive oil is optimal for frying. The temperature at which it burns, releasing harmful substances, is already 464 ° F.
Pomace is also good for roasting, as it can handle temperatures between 455-473 ° F without fuming. However, its usefulness, in this case, is very doubtful. Although it is better to sacrifice these factors if only the food does not become harmful. If you follow the advice and do not overheat the oil, after which it oxidizes and turns into a real poison, then you can fry almost any food, with little harm to the body. In addition, you can talk to a nutritionist, then there will be no more questions like whether you can fry in unrefined olive oil.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: PROFESSIONAL TIPS
To prevent oil splashing throughout the kitchen, food to be fried must be thoroughly wiped off moisture. Make sure that no water drips from vegetables, meat, or your hands. When heated, the olive oil expands slightly. Therefore, professional chefs consider it very economical, because it can be added less. If the temperature allows, then it is better to store such a product in the pantry than in the refrigerator, as we already mentioned. To prevent the temperature from dropping sharply during frying, you need to put the food in the pan slowly, gradually, allowing the oil to warm up again. Meat that is marinated with the addition of this healthy product becomes more tasty, aromatic, and juicy. Watch the cooking process closely. The oil should be well heated but in no case smoke.