Olive oil consumption has tripled during the last 20 years, making it a must-have kitchen commodity in households everywhere. And while you may know that it’s one of the healthiest fats, there’s still a lot of fact and fiction floating around this flavor-packed pantry staple. Celebrity chef Cat Cora offers her expertise to bust some popular myths.
Light describes color, not calories.
You’re not doing yourself any favors opting for light olive oil. “It means it’s been pressed 2 or 3 times,” Cora explains. “Calories are the same whether it’s ‘extra-virgin’ or ‘light.’”
You can fry if you want to.
Olive oil has a higher smoke point so bring on the heat. “People don’t deep-fry with olive oil because it’s expensive,” says Cora. Consider saving the extra-virgin for dips and dressings.
Don’t be afraid to double up.
Cooking destroys some of olive oil’s healthy components but all is not lost: “What we do in the Mediterranean,” says Cora, “is we will cook with a little bit of olive oil, and then we’ll actually add a drizzle of fresh olive oil.” Your little top-off gives you that delicious flavor with all the benefits.
Keep it cool, not cold.
There’s no need to keep olive oil in the fridge unless you live in an extremely , humid climate. Instead, store it “in a cool, dark place, just like you would with wine,” she says.
Steer for the clear-oil, not container
Avoid cloudy olive oils, which are unfiltered and don’t last as long. “You definitely want to buy one that’s nice and clear,” Cora iterates. Opt for oils in dark green glass bottles (not clear or plastic) or tins, as light and heat can affect quality.