Mar 29, 2008

Solid Olive Oil

I suppose that I intrinsically knew that olive oil could solidify, as all fats do at some temperature, but it took one of my grocery-retrieving children leaving a bottle of the stuff in the car for a few days for me to personally experience solidified olive oil. In the picture on the left, the solid olive oil is the whitish lump in the lower right hand portion of the bottle.

I learned today that olive oil begins to solidify at about 43 degree Fahrenheit, which is about 6 degrees Celsius for those of you who live in nations that have embraced the rationality of metric units of measure.

I also learned that there is no harm in consuming olive oil that has solidified, and room temperatures will return the oil to a liquid state. I read that the return to liquidity might make the oil a bit cloudy, but this will only be problematic for those who are as particular about their cooking oils as they are about their wines. Some experts, in fact, advocate refrigerating oilve oil and bringing out only the amount you want to use each day, and they argue that this will reduce the likelihood that your olive oil will turn rancid in warm temperatures or impoperly sealed containers.


The Commentator said...

Yup - as every Italian learns at a young age. I'll never forget my first time when my mother sent me down to the cellar to get a bottle of olive oil. It was in a solid state. I told my mother it "had gone bad."

She yanked it from me and gave me a look as if to say "what do they teach you in school?"

Or at leas this is how I remember it. I'm sticking to it.

Anonymous said...

My sister-in-law lived in Italy for about 3 years. She tells me that the greener the olive oil the more intense the flavor.

Rob R said...

Consumer reports had an interesting review of olive oils several years ago. It turns out that Mediterranean (or perhaps just Italian... it's been awhile) olive oil is sub par compared to American brands. I think there are one or more of all three factors here at work. First, perhaps the time in transit is a factor. Next, perhaps Mediterranean olive oil is presumed good by Americans and thus they buy it indiscriminately thus promoting an inferior market selection. Related to that, thirdly, because America is such an easy market, perhaps the Mediterranean vendors give us the second rate stuff. And of course, it just may be the case that they simply don't have as good of a product regardless of their intentions and our indiscriminate choices.

The only American brand I've found in Toledo though is Newman's own.

The exception to the America is better rule, according to CR was various store brands, like wal-mart brand. (not that I know there is or still is a wal-mart brand, but that's the kind of thing I mean by a store brand)

I've been buying some Australian Oils though and they have an interesting aroma, and to a lesser degree, taste (honestly, though CR had qualified taste testers, I really don't know that I'd be able to tell the difference since oils are generally mild anyway).