February 2013 Welcome to the D'Avolio eNewsletter Edition 2013.4

Frying With Olive Oil: Yes, It's OK!

Cooking with EVOOWhen we refer to frying with olive oil, we're talking about home cooking and not commercial frying as in restaurants. One of the debates about frying with any oil is that once the oil is heated it undergoes alteration and decomposes. There is concern that the oil breaks down, becomes rancid and produces toxic products.

Repeated heating of the same batch of oil (as in deep frying in a restaurant), may very well lead to unstable and unhealthy properties of oil, but we want you to know that simply using some olive oil in your frying pan at home may be done with no adverse health effects. Richard Gawel, an Australian olive oil expert, states in an article written on the California Olive Ranch website that the polyphenols you find in extra virgin olive oil are natural preservatives and protect the oil from heat degradation. Gawel also states that "The smoke point of good quality EVOO is within the temperature range typical of shallow frying" on his blog Slick Extra Virgin.

Here is what the International Olive Council (IOC) has to say about frying food with olive oil: "When heated, olive oil is the most stable fat, which means it stands up well to high frying temperatures. Its high smoke point (410ºF or 210ºC) is well above the ideal temperature for frying food (356ºF or 180ºC). The digestibility of olive oil is not affected when it is heated, even when it is re-used several times for frying."

Freshness and quality of the olive oil plays a huge part in whether or not you should fry with olive oil. You want oil with a low free fatty acid percentage and a high polyphenol count. These two characteristics together will allow for a higher smoke point. Smoke point refers to the temperature at which oil begins to break down. High quality extra virgin olive oils have a low free fatty acid count, allowing them a higher smoke point, usually in the temperature range of 365-400 degrees F.

You don't want to heat oil beyond its smoke point, because you run the risk of hitting its flash point, which is the point where it will burn into flame. Now, unless you're a chef at a Hibachi restaurant, this is never a good thing.

You may run into conflicting information on the Internet regarding the smoke point of olive oil. Depending on who is doing the writing, the smoke point for olive oil can range from 180 degrees F to 420 degrees F. One way to see for sure what the smoke point is of the olive oil you have at home is to try the suggestion of Dr. John T. Deane, the creator of The Olive Source, which is to conduct your own stove top experiment. Pour some oil in a pan, insert a frying thermometer, and turn up the heat. When you see the first hint of smoke, note the temperature on your thermometer and there you have the smoke point for your specific oil.

Here is an excerpt taken from an article written on "Frying With Olive Oil" by the International Olive Oil Council: "Olive oil is ideal for frying. In proper temperature conditions, without over-heating, it undergoes no substantial structural change and keeps its nutritional value better than other oils, not only because of the antioxidants but also due to its high levels of oleic acid. Its high smoking point (210ºC) is substantially higher than the ideal temperature for frying food (180ºC). Those fats with lower critical points, such as corn and butter, break down at this temperature and form toxic products."

Rest assured that our oil is of the highest quality, therefore having a higher smoke point. So toss your fear of frying with some EVOO right in the pan along with your veggies and enjoy!


Heart Health, national heart awareness month

Olive Oil helps fight ca ncerFebruary may be American Heart month, but heart disease is a threat year round. You may not realize it, but this silent killer is the leading cause of death for both men and women. The good news is that it's also preventable and controllable. One of the things advocated by both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) to prevent and control heart disease is to eat a healthy diet filled with high fiber foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables and other foods low in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol.

The AHA explains that monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are the "better" fats because they "can lower your bad cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease". Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat, one of the best fats for your heart. D'Avolio is dedicated to contributing anything we can to make our community healthy and we proudly offer you some of the freshest and most flavorful heart healthy EVOO around.

American Heart Association
Olive Oil Health Benefits—Heart Disease


Recipe of the Month: Grilled Tiger Shrimp Satay

Grilled Tiger Shrimp SatayThis grilled shrimp served in a wonderful Garlic sauce is delicious and so easy to make. Starting with cleaned Jumbo or large shrimp, marinade in the Garlic sauce while your grill heats up. Skewing the shrimp with bamboo or brochette skewers is optional. Grilling takes just 3-5 minutes per side. Enjoy right from the grill or lay over some brown or Dirty rice for a complete meal. Best part – just 15 minutes!

Visit our on-line recipe section for this Grilled Tiger Shrimp Satay recipe and many more ideas.


When is Olive Oil at its freshest?

To answer this question, let's take a look at some basic facts about olives. Tom Mueller, author of Extra Virginity, explains some key concepts on his website Truth In Olive Oil to help consumers understand. One key concept is that olives are stone fruits, like cherries and plums. Mueller explains that "real extra virgin olive oil is fresh-squeezed fruit juice – seasonal, perishable, and never better than the first few weeks it was made".

Clearly, fruit juice is at its freshest as soon as it's juiced. Olive oil, likewise, is freshest as soon as it's harvested. In the case of grapes being pressed and fermented into wine we know it improves with age. Olive oil is quite the opposite. Extra virgin olive oil is perishable and will begin to deteriorate soon after milling, especially when bottled and opened, due to the oil being exposed to oxygen.

Another fact to consider is that because olives are grown in a variety of regions and climates, olive oil has seasons. It's best to know which region, or hemisphere, your oil is from and only buy what's in season to ensure the utmost freshness. In the Northern Hemisphere, the oil season begins in early October and extends to late February. For the Southern Hemisphere, the season runs from April through June.

For more information on key characteristics of olive oil and what determines how fresh it is, refer back to our blog post "Key Characteristics of Good Quality Olive Oil".

Upcoming Dates
'Save The Dates' For January

1 - St. David's Day

Many Americans of Welsh origin annually celebrate the life of Wales' patron saint, St David on March 1. It is also a time for people to remember the Welsh culture and to appreciate their Welsh origins. Meals include Grilled Lamb Chops and Welsh pot bread.

17 - St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day, is widely recognized and celebrated throughout the country.

24 - Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday is observed among many Christian churches as part of Holy Week. D'Avolio offers many recipes and the freshest Olive Oils and Vinegars to enhance your meals.

Perfect Pairings

Seasonal Recipes

D'Avolio has chosen two recipes for the season of Ides of March!

The Resolution MartiniThe Resolution Martini


Rosemary, Shallot, Focaccia with CerasuolaRosemary, Shallot, Focaccia with Cerasuola

Perfect Pairings

New to Olive Oils and Vinegars? The most number one question is what to do with these exquisite flavors. Visit our Perfect Pairings suggestions and enjoy new taste combinations.

Grapefruit Crush

Do you want a new exciting appetizer? Grilled Tiger Shrimp Satay with D'Avolio Grapefruit Balsamic Vinegar and Lemon Fused Oil. Served with a Sauvignon Blanc.

Perfect Pairings

Wines of the World
3/1/2013, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Buffalo Home and Garden Show

Healthy Options Cooking Class
3/12/2013, 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Check out our complete list of D'Avolio Events for dates and locations


At D'Avolio's, we think that olive oil is in a class of its own when compared to other various products that positively impact a healthy lifestyle.

Visit our "Your Health" pages to read about how Olive Oils can be part of a healthy lifestyle.

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