Creating a Symphony of Different Notes with Oils

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“Oils have the purpose of transmitting heat to achieve cooking of food, enhancing textural attributes of a dish, and most importantly, as a median to absorb and transmit the “volatile oils” from spices, herbs, and aromatics into your dish,” explains restaurateur, food scientist, and three-time James Beard recipient Jimmy Schmidt.

He tells us that each individual oil has a “unique flavor and component profile to take into consideration” when deciding which oil is best for which purpose.

To select the right oil, Schmidt recommends choosing “an oil that has the flavor profile that is complementary to your other ingredients.

For example, select a green olive oil for dishes with green flavor ingredients such as basil, rapini, asparagus…while a golden olive oil will pair better with tan flavors of wild mushrooms.

Grapeseed oil, which is very neutral, is great with either very delicate foods or very strong spices, both where their particular flavor profiles are best uninfluenced by the oil.”

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