What is the difference between regular olive oil and extra virgin olive oil?

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Short answer: The difference between regular olive oil and extra virgin olive oil are the processing methods, smoke points, and amount of oleic acid in each.

olive oil

Regular olive oil is the lower quality oil of the two. It is processed using chemicals and other additives. It generally has a lighter color, more neutral flavor, and oleic acid level between 3% – 4%. It’s a solid, all-purpose cooking oil with a smoke point of around 450 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes it best suited for low-temperature cooking. On a side note, peanut oil is superior to both olive oils for frying.

Extra virgin olive oil is referred to as a refined olive oil because of how it’s processed (cold-pressed). This leads to a more robust flavor, higher concentration of vitamins and minerals, and no more than 1% of oleic acid. It’s the highest quality olive oil you can buy. To be labeled as extra virgin olive oil, it must be certified by the International Olive Council or California Olive Oil Council. Extra virgin olive oil has the lower smoke point of around 320 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it better suited for dressings and dips as opposed to low heat cooking. You might be wondering if you can substitute one for the other. The short answer is yes, but keep the smoke point differences in mind.

Which olive oil do you prefer? Can you notice a difference in taste?

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