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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Foodbuzz Tastemaker Series: Crisco Olive Oil


As part of Foodbuzz’s Tastemaker Program, I received samples of Crisco olive oil to review. I never really thought too much about the differences in olive oil types, I just cooked with it. But apparently there are quite a few differences, and as you can see on the bottles, it conveniently lets you know what each is best used for.
Also included was a fold out of recipes that uses the different oils. M surprised me this morning and made the Herbed Parmesan Dip, using the extra virgin olive oil. I think he chose that because when we go out to eat at certain Italian places, that’s what they give us – and it's always gone before the rest of the meal arrives. What can I say, we like our fats and carbs.

Perhaps this wasn’t the best way to try out Crisco’s EVOO. There was something off – I don’t know if it was from the oil or one of the other ingredients. I guess I was expecting a stronger olive flavor, but it just wasn’t there. I’m not saying it’s a bad oil, because M thinks this was pretty good, I’m just saying I felt it was a bit off. I think I'll have to try frying with it and see if that might help.


Daniel B. said...

Take a close look at the Crisco EVOO bottle, and let me know if you see the words, "first cold press" anywhere on the bottle.

I'm going to guess that they aren't there. And that could be the source of off flavors.

You can still have extra virgin olive oil with a second pressing of olives or from a chemically extracted oil.

Not all extra virgin olive oils are created equal. We usually keep a few different kinds around, one for cooking, the other for drizzling, and the best for just enjoying on bread with a little sprinkle of salt.

Lilimonster said...

Dan - I took a look at the bottle, and there is no mention of which pressing it was. As M remarked, it is Crisco, so I shouldn't be surprised.

I'm going to try it again with a salt sprinkle and see if I feel differently about it.

Daniel B. said...

So that tells you two things.
1) It's not the first pressing.
2) It's chemically extracted.

Both of these have implications to the flavor of the oil.

Likely, they get olives after they've been pressed, put them in a tank of hexane (or some other chemical solvent), and put the resulting oil in a bottle. "Extra Virgin" only means that the oil falls within a certain range of acidity, so they aren't lying to anyone.

But the thing that most people prize in XV Olive Oil wouldn't be present. That doesn't mean Crisco can't charge a pretty penny for their cheap oil with an expensive name.

Things like this get me irrationally angry. In part because people buy the Crisco version, taste it, and say, "I don't see what all the fuss is about XV Olive Oil, it's not that great."

Lilimonster said...

It would be a shame if people bought the Crisco version, hated it, and completely swore off of trying any other type.

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