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Shopping for virgin olive oil in the store.

How to choose an extra virgin olive oil

Looking for a delicious extra virgin olive oil to pair with your next meal? Consider these tips from Craig Richards, executive chef at St. Cecilia restaurant in Buckhead.

“I think the best way to look for an extra virgin olive oil is to look on the bottom of the bottle and see where the olive oil is from,” says Chef Richards. “It should list the olives that are included in the olive oil, and the place and the town they are from. Single origin olive oil is the best olive oil to purchase.”

When it comes to high quality olive oil, you get what you pay for, says Chef Richards.

He also adds that because of olive oils's lower smoke point, it's best to use other oils for high-temperature cooking, roasting and grilling. 

“You’re not going to cook with good extra virgin olive oil like you would with canola oil or grapeseed oil,” he says. “A good extra virgin olive oil is something you put on a salad or salad dressing, or it’s going to finish a piece of grilled fish. It’s a fat that lifts flavor up around it and adds spice.  It just makes everything taste better.”

And unlike vegetable and seed oils, extra virgin olive oil has many health benefits.

“Extra virgin olive oil contains antioxidants and polyphenols, which can reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer. 

Check out more cooking and nutrition tips.

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