What Does Olive Oil Taste Like?

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In this article, we’re discussing everything you need to know about olive oil, including what it tastes like, how to use it and what makes extra virgin olive oil different from cooking olive oil.

olive oil on a wooden table with olives and sageSave

Let’s get started…

What Does Olive Oil Taste Like? 

There are so many types of olive oil that places like Whole Foods typically have entire sections dedicated to them: virgin, extra virgin and refined, to name a few. They all taste a little different.

Refined olive oil is going to be mellow in flavor and somewhat buttery. This is the type of olive oil that’s used for higher heat cooking, 

Extra virgin olive oil refers to high-quality olive oil with cold-pressed olives, extracting the oils without heat. It’s the richest in flavor, nutty, fruity and even floral, though delicately bitter like olives. Virgin olive oil is usually considered a lower grade and a bit less flavorful.

Olive Oil Texture 

Olive oils will all be thick, but some are thicker than others. Sometimes high-quality olive oils are denser, but that’s not a hard and fast rule.

If an olive oil is mixed with a different vegetable oil, the texture could change a little. However, all oils are similar in consistency.

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Is Olive Oil Tasty? 

Many restaurants will serve bread with olive oil for dipping as a starter since it has such an agreeable flavor. The tastiest kinds are usually the higher-grade types.

A small amount of a specialty olive oil can pack tons of flavor. Additionally, olive oils come from all over the world, and each location is known for its own unique taste.

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What’s the Difference Between Olive Oil and Regular Oil? 

Common cooking oils include canola oil, peanut oil and “vegetable oil,” which is a conglomeration of various plant-based oils.

Refined olive oil is used for cooking just like “regular” oil, but it imparts a slightly different flavor than, say, peanut oil, which tastes a bit peanuty. Because refined olive oil is so mild, you can pretty much use it and other refined oils interchangeably.

Does Olive Oil Change the Taste of Food? 

Only the olive oils sold for flavoring will really change the taste of your food. The pale green to yellowish olive oils for cooking will not really affect flavor.

Standard olive oil is so neutral that you can even use it in your baking. Some people prefer it to canola oil or nondairy butter in vegan brownies and banana breads.

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Olive Oil Serving Tips 

If you’ve got a really good olive oil, you might want to taste it with some bread or drizzled over fresh, juicy tomatoes and basil. You probably know that you can cook with olive oil, too, but you may not know how to make vegan spreads and desserts with it, which is what you’re about to see.

Watch this video to learn how to make a spreadable vegan butter with cold-pressed olive oil. You’ll also need coconut oil, turmeric and sea salt. That’s it!

This recipe is for an incredible vegan blood orange and thyme cake. The flavors from the fresh thyme, blood orange juice and extra virgin olive oil are balanced and complex, perfect for serving on a hot summer day.

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Wrap Up 

Olive oil can be mild to super flavorful depending on what kind it is. It’s wonderful as a dipping oil, but try baking with it, too. You might be surprised at how delicious a vegan olive oil cake with fresh fruit is.

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