Friday, January 8, 2010

Start Healthy with Olive Oil

If you are looking for the best culinary oil for your family, start with gourmet cooking oils. There are many types of gourmet cooking oils that can make you a bunch of delightful recipes in cultural tastes. Nut oils like hazelnut oils and olive oils are among the most popular in its low in fat and perfectly balanced nature. 

Ever heard of Columela Extra Virgin Olive Oil? It's by far the best olive oil in the world awarded top honors in the latest "Cook's Illustrated" taste test. The blend of intense Picual and mild Hojiblanca olives is a unique classic taste you could not afford to miss.

Best extra virgin oils in the world are manufactured in France and Italy since 1878, produced in the highest quality, small batch, and naturally handcrafted to preserve its legend of traditional taste and freshness. It is the continuing interest and cultural combination of healthy cuisines that introduced the mixing of herbs and spices to oils creating different rich and classic flavors of gourmet oils. Today, the choice of extra virgin oils for their home and gourmet cooking is endless. You can even make your own flavored oil from the mixture of your own favorite herbs and spices for your own cooking.

The Origin of Oil and its Production

Oil had been used by men since the ancient times using the sun and fire to heat oily plants until oil is produced. This was the beginning of how oil became used largely as food. 

Today, the production of finest oils come from a method of extracting called the  “cold extraction” method, which is how the finest oils are produced. Oils also come either from a single vegetable oily-based plant or a blend of one or more of these oily-based plants that undergo an international standard processing to not destroy the fragile nature of oil. 

The Oil Taste Profiles

The taste of oil depends on how it has been processed and the techniques used in the processing, as well as how it has been stored.  Most culinary oils are made to produce a more neutral taste profile that must impart a “no after-taste”, permitting the taste of other ingredients to come through. Modern technology has enhanced the culinary world with varieties of infused flavored oils. 

Cooking Guide  

Aside from the popular frying, culinary oils play a very important role in delighting the flavor of dishes. It is greatly used by chefs and caterers around the world for garnishing, drizzling and brushing over meat and vegetable before grilling. Suitable for  marinating, for making  dips & sauces, and perfect for salad dressing. 

A Guide to Storing Oil

Different oils has different fat combinations and are not made the same. Oils that are high in monosaturated fats can be stored in longer period of times to a few years while the shelf-life of the majority of oils after being opened is between six to eight months. It is best to store oils in room temperature or in a dark place to prevent the sunlight from destroying its properties. The best quality oils are traditionally stored in dark-tinted bottles or packaged in stone to preserve freshness.