Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Only VIRGINS allowed near my Big Green Egg!

Olive Oil; a primary tool in the Egger’s arsenal of condiments and food preparation, should not be taken ‘lightly’ (forgive the pun). This valuable product comes in a variety of grades that are assigned by the International Olive Oil Council and are reflected below in the order of quality (closely associated with their grade which reflects their flavor and composition).

At the top of the list is EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL (a.k.a. EVOO). EVOO is a product of the nearly perfect olives that are crushed (pressed actually) almost immediately after they have been harvested. These olives are processed without heat. It is extremely low in fatty acids and has the best flavor and aroma of all the varieties.

The rest of the oils are hardly worth mentioning for use other than coating your grill grate for storage, or wiping the inside of your carbon steel pots and pans for storage, but here is some information in case you aren’t convinced yet.

Next on the list is VIRGIN OLIVE OIL (VOO) which must contain 100% olive oil (seems obvious doesn’t it?) and must be produced in a manner (from pressing to canning and everything in between) that doesn’t change the natural product (like additives and preservatives or flavorings).

After VOO (I get tired of typing this all out) you get 100% Olive Oil (1OO). This product is a combination of both Virgin and Refined Olive Oils (steamed to remove acids and some flavors) but still contains no additives.

LIGHT OLIVE OIL (sac-religious in the BGE community) again combines Virgin and Refined Oils that are vigorously refined which in essence removes anything that resembles flavor all together.

There is actually a science associated with these oils ( and the list goes on to include Pomace Oils, etc. that gets so involved we would all fall asleep so why bother…just buy and use a good extra virgin olive oil and if you want to do some more research look for one that remains very stable at high temperatures.

Conclusion: Only EXTRA VIRGINS allowed in My BGE Kitchen (OILS THAT IS)!