I’ve never really considered olive oil proper for cooking because I was always weary of its smoke point. I don’t enjoy having to worry about it when I’m cooking so I usually resort to grapeseed oil, sesame oil, peanut oil or even canola for common uses. I never caught on to the olive oil trend. My family did and I did not appreciate all applications (I understand its popular but replacing peanut oil with olive oil when making fries is pushing it a bit too far in my book).
I know its not supposed to be a problem if you use high quality olive oil but the problem goes further: how to choose? When I consider buying one brand I’m swamped by choices and don’t really know what to buy. My current oil is the extra-virgin olive oil by “La Maison Orphée” (see below). It looks ok, I sometimes use it when the recipe ask for it or for dressings and the like but my true workhorse is the bottle of grapeseed oil from Pastene. I barely use the olive oil because its that special kid that’s fragile as porcelain in the corner while I use the regular guys by the cartload. As a result I probably have to replace my current supply because the “precious thing” is getting a bit old (its not rancid but its not fresh either).
Shopping for olive oil hasn’t been a pleasure. I seem to get either the deer caught in the headlight worker who clearly knows as little as I do or the card carrying member of the olive oil snob society who looks at you like you just shot her dog when you ask her for “a good olive oil for cooking with a high smoke point” (and you thought wine aficionados were sometimes precious).
Why the sudden interest? Well, I’ve recently bought the “Essentials of italian cooking” from Marcella Hazan and I’m in the middle of an italian cooking binge, marking ravioli, tagliatelle, ragu and considering things I never thought interesting like bottarga and anchovies. Part of that obsession requires that I try to revisit my stance on olive oil.
I’m looking to give another shot at olive oil and I’m open to suggestions. I’m not looking to make a vinaigrette or a balsamic vinegar/olive oil bread dip out of it: it will most commonly be used as a potential replacement to grapeseed oil in various applications. I’m looking for something at a high smoke point, not cheap but I’m not looking to buy something expensive at a premium just because the cool crowd likes it either
What’s your experience with olive oil? Do you use it for regular cooking? Which one works best for you?
Thanks in advance!
TLDR: Looking for an olive oil suggestion for cooking