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Frying in Extra Virgin Olive Oil?


Home Cooking Olive Oil

Frying in Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

nomadchowwoman | | May 16, 2010 01:38 PM

In the recent Saveur, Nancy Harmon Jenkins suggests that the current conventional wisdom that extra virgin olive oil is unsuitable for deep frying because of its lower smoke point is something of a myth, citing her own experiences eating in Spain and quoting Elizabeth David on deep frying fish in OO.

I always fried eggplant in olive oil (for eggplant parm.) b/c that's how I learned to do it, but haven't done it the past few times after reading and hearing that if it reaches too high a temp., the olive oil loses its health benefits.
Q1: Does anyone know if there is any science behind this?
Q2: Does mixing higher smokepoint oil w/that w/lower s.p. actually raise the smokepoint for the olive oil (or butter)? (Although I've done this as directed a few times, it strikes me as counterintuitive.)

Obviously, cooks in Mediterranean cultures fry in olive oil--and they seem to be on to something regarding diet and health. And I love the idea of using olive oil (not my most precious, perhaps, but a decent quality) for certain things on those occasions when I am deep frying. What about other Hounds? Do you fry in EVOO? If so, what brands and foods works best?

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