Should You Use Finishing Olive Oil for Cooking?
When it comes time to add the finishing, magic touches to any meal, Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is the top choice for most people living in the Mediterranean, because it’s the flavorful finale!
Chefs use it to add the finishing touches to compliment texture and flavor to their dishes by just simply drizzling a little EVOO on the dish right before serving.
After all, it wasn’t just randomness that led those Italian Master olive oil millers from the 1970s to choose Butte County in California as their new HQ for making world-class olive oils.
However, olive oil is used in those countries not just for finishing meals, but it is used also for cooking.
Like many oils, olive oil has a ‘smoke point’ just like you would expect most ‘living’ things to have.
If you can’t burn food, that is, if heat does not change that food's molecular structure, chances are there isn’t much vitality or nutrients in that food to change, to begin with.
Real, fresh extra virgin olive oil has a smoke point of about 425F, which makes it suitable for most of our cooking.
Extra virgin olive oil does contain a huge amount of Vitamin E, other polyphenols and nutrients, some of these get passed into the food being cooked, which can’t be said for other cooking oils.
Should you use Finishing Oil for Cooking?
Now, does this mean you should go out and use Nuvo’s Early Harvest or Barouni Olive Oil for cooking in order to max out your polyphenol intake? The simple answer is Yes!
The more realistic answer is if you can afford it.
Making award-winning extra virgin olive oils like the Early Harvest, Estate Blend and Expert Blend is a labor of love and when it comes down to it, is much more expensive to make and hence carries a higher price tag.
Furthermore, the heat (cooking) will cause some of those antioxidants and nutrients to be cooked out.
If you have a fancy bottle of olive oil, it costs more and if you want to max out your polyphenol intake from that purchase, you use the oil to finish your meals.
Why we created the All-Purpose Olive Oil in the first place
Two years ago, we realized there was a need for a different type of extra virgin olive oil, while still maintaining Nuvo standards for freshness, taste, and polyphenols.
We decided to create the All-Purpose, Everyday Cooking Oil. We figured that since our line of extra virgin oil is more geared for finishing, we would put the name ‘Cooking’ and ‘Everyday’ on this new oil so consumers could easily distinguish between the intended uses of the oil.
…But we Heard You Loud and Clear…
We thought, ‘Everyday’ would also help modify the word ‘Cooking’ so that consumers could understand it was an oil for General Use.
This turned out to be a miscalculation on our end and we’re writing here now to address this!
It was surprising for us to learn that many consumers of the All-Purpose, Everyday Cooking Oil did not like the word ‘Cooking’ in the label.
Some feedback included, “The word ‘Cooking’ and ‘Everyday’ makes the oil sound cheap” or ‘You can’t cook with Extra Virgin (bad intel)”.
Most surprising was that some people felt we misguided them by using the word Cooking since they used it for finishing and bread dipping.
Across our farmer's markets, we often heard from consumers who seemed incredulous that the label would say Cooking, yet they enjoyed the oil for dipping and finishing.
Our job is to serve the market and if those words are confusing, then it’s on us to listen.
…and changed the label name from Everyday Cooking…
We may be the experts, but we serve our consumers. So we are retiring the All-Purpose, Everyday Cooking label and simply relabeling it as – California Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
While this is just a simple description of what’s inside the bottle, we hope the clarity of the name allows consumers to use the oil as they see fit.
And it was a good lesson for us because if we would have included all the ways to use the olive oil.
The label would have read - All-Purpose, Everyday, Finishing, Dipping, Cooking, Marinading, Moisturizing, Cuticle Revitalizing, Eye Make-Up Removing, Un-Squeak your door hinges, Leather Sofa Polishing, Nutrient Supplement, Anti-Inflammatory, Alzheimer's Preventative, High Polyphenol Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
We hope you will enjoy the new name and our amazing Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
There is only joy in service :)
Stay Healthy Friends!