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Olive Oil
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Olive oil is a fruit oil obtained from the olive (Olea europaea; family Oleaceae), a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin. The wild olive tree originated in Asia Minor and spread from there as far as southern Africa, Australia, Japan and China. It is commonly used in cooking, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and soaps and as a fuel for traditional oil lamps. Olive oil is used throughout the world, but especially in the Mediterranean.

Olive oil is the main cooking oil in countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.

Extra-virgin olive oil is mostly used for salad dressings and foods to be eaten cold. Used cold, its strong flavor is able to stick out while not being compromised by heat. It is also used for sauteing ingredients.

The higher the temperature to which the olive oil is heated, the more one should prefer the use of refined olive oils. When extra-virgin olive oil is heated above 350 °C (662 °F), the unrefined particles within the oil get burned. This leads to deteriorated taste and even toxicity. Also, the pronounced taste of extra-virgin olive oil is not a taste most people like to associate with their deep fried foods. Refined olive oils are perfectly suited for deep frying foods and should be replaced after several uses.

Choosing a cold-pressed olive oil can be similar to selecting a wine. The flavor of these oils vary considerably and a particular oil may be more suited for a particular dish. Also, people who like lots of tannins in their red ...
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