Debra Lynn Dadd

Naturally "Buttery" Olive Oil

Yesterday I found a wonderful olive oil that tastes very much like butter. This is the natural flavor of the oil--there are no flavorings added of any kind. I made my scrambled eggs with it this morning and they tasted even better than with butter!

Though it's not organically grown, I thought I'd let you know about it for all of you who love the taste of butter but would rather eat a plant-based oil.

It's available in a store here in Florida called Cork and Olive. Currently their website isn't set up for online ordering ( and the chain of stores is only in Florida, but if you'd like to order some, you can email Regina at . Tell her you read it in my blog and ask for Alia d'Morocco.

Debra :-)


I don't know much about this, but I have heard that olive oil should not be used for cooking because it has a low smoking point. If I remember correctly, subjecting oils with a low smoking point to high heat alters them in a way that has negative health consequences.

As I said, my knowledge of this is rudimentary. It came to me as hearsay, but from a group that I consider to be fairly knowledgeable about healthy living.

COMMENT FROM DEBRA: Here's a link that explains about how oils change when they are heated and the health effects: Vegetarian Organic Life: Oil and the Art of Cooking. It's not that we shouldn't use oil for cooking at all, it's that we shouldn't heat it above it's particular smoking point. To do so changes the character of the fat and can make a healthy fat unhealthy. Since olive oil has a low smoking point, it shouldn't be used, for example, to pop popcorn, which needs very high heat. But olive oil is fine for gently sauteeing mushrooms with garlic.

Even mainstream websites recommend against heating oils beyond their individual smoking point because it will cause food to burn and will produce an unpleasant taste. To help you sort out which fats and oils to use for what, see the chart The Smoke Point of Various Oils and Fats.


I read through all of the information on these two sites but found it somewhat confusing. Veg. Organic Life says that the smoke point of Rapunzel Organic unrefined sunflower oil is 450 and their canola oil is 440, whereas the Hormel site says that unrefined sunflower oil and unrefined canola oil's smoke points are 225. Do you think it is just that Rapunzel's unrefined oils are made differently than others? Perhaps the information here is only in regards to the Rapunzel brand. Also, in baking is the smoke point not as important? That is, of the unrefined oils only sesame is listed on Hormel's site at 350 with all the others lower. Is it that the oil in a baked good (most of which are baked at 350) doesn't actually heat up to its smoke point? Thanks for any clarification you can give.

COMMENT FROM DEBRA: A general rule of thumb is that unrefined oils have a lower smoke point and refined oils have a higher smoke point, but the type of oil or fat also makes a difference. I've seen some bottles of oil state what their specific smoke point is and what the best uses are for that oil. I can think of two ways to get the correct answer: call the manufacturer or test the oil for yourself. Heat up some oil and use a cooking thermometer to measure the temperature. I found when I started to be aware of the smoking point, I began to get a feel for whether a fat had a high or low smoking point. Low smoke point oils begin to smoke more quickly. I always think it's better to rely on one's own observation than a printed chart. We don't always know with a chart exactly where the data comes from.


I have a book at home that I find extraordinarily useful in understanding issues like this, it is called On Food and Cooking -- the Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee. I do a LOT of cooking, so I love it. It is basically a reference book on food -- not prepared foods, but ingredients. For example, he has a whole section on oils, the history of uses of different oils, what the refining process does to the oil, and a big table showing the different types of oils and various smoke points (which, as you have found out, varies depending on the type of oil and the kind of refining it has undergone).

This book does not give advice in the sense of telling which kind of food ingredient is healthier or not, but it does give loads and loads of information which makes it much easier (in my opinion) to make up your own mind about whether or not and how to use a particular food in your own cooking.

There is also a good website called The World's Healthiest Foods which does give advice about best organic, vitamin, and nutrient rich choices etc. so you might find that more useful if you are not in to the degree of reference information in Harold McGee's book.

COMMENT FROM DEBRA: I have McGee's book and find it very helpful, too. And The World's Healthiest Food has been on Debra's List for a while...

POSTED BY JUSTINE :: BC CANADA :: 02/23/2007 1:27 PM

I, too, have been cooking for years with extra virgin olive oil; and have recently become aware of the oils limitations in higher heat cooking. In my research, I have found that a good quality extra virgin coconut oil (of which there are many out on the market now) is wonderful for higher heat cooking. Apparently, it can be used for higher heat, AND, it doesn't imparts any flavor to any food type: be it fish, veges, eggs---all of which I have cooked w/ it. And it's even excellent to consume straight out of the jar, for many health benefits!


COMMENT FROM DEBRA: I agree. I cook with coconut oil too. It is very good for high heat, and very healthful.

POSTED BY PAM :: FLORIDA USA :: 02/26/2007 12:46 PM

I use olive oil all the time. To me i think that olive oil is like wine, you get what you pay for. I usually spend about 20-40$ a month on quality olive oil. I wont touch a bottle unless it's extra pure virgin olive oil and costs atleast $20. I also add some salt to increase the taste, but im always easy on the salt. It taste great with bread or stir fry meals.

POSTED BY DAVE :: THETLAB :: THETLAB.COM :: CA USA :: 03/26/2007 10:56 AM


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