Should You Cook With High-Quality Olive Oil?

Many culinary enthusiasts and home cooks often wonder if high-quality olive oil, with its robust flavors and health benefits, is too precious for everyday cooking. Yet, with its high polyphenol count, a high-quality olive oil can elevate your cooking from ordinary to exceptional. Let's explore why high-quality extra virgin olive oil is a superior choice for your kitchen.

Which Olive Oil is Best for Cooking?

When it comes to cooking, not all olive oils are created equal. The best ones for culinary use are those that can withstand moderate cooking temperatures while adding depth of flavor to dishes. High-quality olive oil, noted for its high polyphenol count, not only enhances flavor but also better maintains its nutritional integrity when heated, compared to most store-bought oils. Polyphenols, powerful antioxidants, help protect the oil from breaking down too quickly.

Stability Under Heat

High-quality olive oil is more stable under heat than many seed oils, such as canola, sunflower, or grape seed. This stability is due to its chemical structure and antioxidant content, which help prevent the oil from oxidizing at high temperatures—a process that can generate harmful compounds detrimental to health. The smoke point of high-quality olive oil like Masseria is around 410°F (210°C), which is well above the typical cooking temperatures used for most household culinary techniques. Thus, olive oil not only offers a safer cooking option but also enhances the nutritional profile of meals.

Does Premium Olive Oil Go Bad?

Indeed, olive oil has a shelf life, and its longevity depends on how it’s stored and its quality. High-quality olive oils which boast high polyphenol levels, naturally have a longer shelf life because polyphenols help stabilize the oil. Signs of spoilage include a rancid smell and a sour taste. Proper storage—away from light and heat, and in a tin container over glass or plastic—can help preserve your oil’s flavor and health benefits for longer.

Can Olive Oil Go Down the Drain?

It is not advisable to dispose of any oil, including olive oil, down the drain as it can solidify and clog plumbing over time. Instead, if you have leftover oil that’s gone bad or excess from cooking, let it cool and then dispose of it in your trash. For Masseria olive oil, use it sparingly; a little goes a long way thanks to its robust flavor and quality.

Conclusion

So, can you cook with high-quality olive oil? Absolutely. High-quality olive oil not only elevates the flavor profile of dishes but also offers additional health benefits, making it a smart choice for culinary use. Its stability under heat, compared to seed oils, provides a safer, healthier way to cook that preserves and enhances your food’s natural goodness. Don't save it just for special occasions; integrate Masseria olive oil into your daily cooking routine and observe how it transforms your meals, proving that great quality can indeed be a daily luxury.