Extending the olive branch
Mediterranean people have been using olive oil in their salty and sweet foods for almost 5,000 years. Over the past 10 years, olive oil has become a superstar on the world stage. This has to do with two things:
In fact, of all the vegetable oils, this one contains the maximum amount of “good fats”.
Regular consumption of olive oil is linked to a decrease in bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood, and to a slight increase in good cholesterol (HDL). It’s also a source of antioxidants, which could reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
Contrary to popular belief, olive oil withstands heat very well and can be used for deep-frying.
You should always keep at least two olive oils in your kitchen:
- one regular variety for cooking
- a more expensive but tastier extra-virgin oil, for salads
Olive oil has to be consumed within two years, as its fatty acids get oxidized over time. It should also be stored in an airtight opaque container, away from light and heat. This container should ideally be kept in a cool place (between 15 to 18°C), but not inside a refrigerator.
Originally published in the Journal de Montréal on January 17, 2009.