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Why You Should Always Keep 2 Bottles Of Olive Oil On Hand

Shopper deciding between two bottles of cooking oil
Shopper deciding between two bottles of cooking oil - Apomares/Getty Images

Olive oil is one of those pantry items no kitchen should be without, but quite honestly, one should always keep two bottles of it on hand, light and extra-virgin. This is because one is purpose-made to be exposed to heat, and the other isn't. While sautéing with extra virgin olive oil doesn't make great use of it, owing to the fact that the heat removes the flavor from the oil, the light version stands up to it well. Extra-virgin is the most flavorful and highest quality olive oil you can buy and should be reserved as a finishing oil so that its flavor can shine through.Lighter olive oils have undergone more stages of filtration and are relatively devoid of that characteristic peppery flavor so often found with extra-virgin. The advantage of straining out the particulates is that it makes this olive oil much better suited to high-heat cooking, like sautéing or even baking. Something else to keep in mind is not just what heat can do to affect your olive oil but air as well.

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Oxidation Is The Enemy Of Olive Oil

EVOO out in the open air with seasonings
EVOO out in the open air with seasonings - Fcafotodigital/Getty Images

Air plays a major role in affecting the taste of the oil, particularly with EVOO, because oxidation begins to occur the moment it's opened. When the fats in the oil come into contact with oxygen, they break down and form peroxides, and according to The Olive Wellness Institute, consuming rancid oil can be detrimental to its flavor and the health of the consumer. So time is a factor, and, unfortunately, the longer it sits, the more it destabilizes. Though oxidation is less common with extra-virgin oils, thanks to their high-oxidative stability and monounsaturated fats, it is still best to use them up quickly just to be on the safer side.And, as is the case with most stored goods, it's best to keep them stored tightly in their original bottles and in a dark, cool environment. While transferring olive oil into non-translucent containers can solve the issue of light and heat exposure, larger containers can't do much to help the fact that more air will get trapped inside with the oil as it's used up. Smaller containers that can be sealed work better for this reason.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.