The Chemistry of Olive Oil Will Make You an Instant Food Snob

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Dipping bread in a bowl of fresh, extra virgin olive oil ranks as one of the most pleasurable gastronomic experiences possible. But as this new Reactions video explains, there’s more to this delicious and surprisingly healthy condiment than meets the eye.

Olive oil is a staple in many kitchens, yet it’s a condiment many of us take for granted. This delicious oil, in addition to bringing salads and bread to life, can be used in cooking, as an effective paint and grease remover, a remedy for ear wax, and even as hair conditioner.

But for those of us who use it in the kitchen with reckless abandon (raises hand), not all olive oil is created equally—nor does it all taste the same. The American Chemical Society takes a look at some of the chemistry behind olive oil, including the best way to use it, why it draws bad LDL cholesterol from our bloodstreams, and how some manufacturers add unsavory ingredients to the olives during the extraction process. The ACS also talks to an expert who explains what we should be looking for in a high-grade, quality olive oil.


Armed with this information, you’ll be able to annoy your friends with your expansive knowledge of olive oil the next time a charcuterie board comes your way.