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What is the best oil to use in a paella ?

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What is the best oil to use in a paella ?

To quote a famous paella cook and author Penelope Casas :

Olive oil is essential to a paella.  Make sure it is a good one, but you should not use your  best extra virgin olive oil (save that for the sauces and dips and some of the first course recipes).  While you are exploring Spanish paellas, why not also get acquainted with the splendid olive oils from Spain? Their flavour is distinctive and I consider them the world's finest.

A virgin olive oil is essential to cooking a paella, the oil itself has a distinctive flavour and aroma when cooking, and will enhance and add to the the flavours in the paella.

Added generously when cooking the meat, virgin olive oil will absorb flavours from the pan, and start to form a flavour base for the paella.  Olive oil has a lower smoking point than vegetable oils, so is perfect for pan frying and stir frying, as it cooks at a medium temperature.

A quality virgin olive oil is simply made from pressing olives until they release their juices, and in fact is the only vegetable oil which can be made this way.  Unlike cheaper oils which might be made by chemical processes, a good virgin olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats which reduce cholestrol.  Extra virgin olive oil is also rich in anti-oxidants which protect the body from free radical damage.

The 'virgin' denomination means that the olive oil is unrefined, and is therefore made purely from mechanical means and is not blended or heat treated.

For an olive oil to to be certified extra virgin, it must be picked mechanically from the tree at exactly the right time of maturity (not harvested off the ground), and must be made immediately by pressing the olives and collecting the juices.  An extra virgin olive oil will have an oleic acidity level less than 1%.  

A virgin olive oil is made in the same way as an extra virgin olive oil, but can be made from fruit that has been more ripened resulting in an oleic acidity level between 1% and 2%.

A regular olive oil is a refined oil, and is usually made from blending and heat treating lower quality olive oil with a small amount of extra virgin olive oil to mimic some of the properties of a virgin olive oil.  Regular olive oils lose all of the health benefits during the production process that virgin olive oils are famous for, and are a poor substitute for virgin olive oil.  Regular olive oils also lose the unique taste and bitterness that a quality virgin olive oil will impart.

So for your paella, only an authentic extra virgin olive oil will do.  An authentic Spanish extra virgin olive oil is the best possible oil for you to cook your paella.  

Different extra virgin olive oils are made from different types of olives, and, like a fine wine, have unique characteristics, aromas, and flavours.You might choose one oil for cooking your paella and another oil for serving fresh with salad or bread.  

Our oils range in quality, flavour, and price, but all of them are guaranteed authentic Spanish extra virgin olive oil made in the traditional way.  

 Browse our range of authentic Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oils to find the offer that is best for you.




 

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