Top Chef Italian stallion Fabio Viviani was out and about at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival. But he wasn't drinking too much wine or flirting with scantily clad females. Instead he was hard at working promoting a cause he stands fully behind: Bertolli olive oil. The chef has worked with the brand to create a product that is traditionally Italian, complete with three different cooking oils (light, classico, and extra virgin) and a line of vinegars. For the top takeaways from his oil demonstration, read on.
I know that olive oil is one of the healthiest fats you can eat, but sometimes that flavor just isn't right for the dish I'm preparing. I keep an array of different types of fats in my kitchen, so let's see how they compare nutritionally.
To see if Earth Balance is really healthier than butter read more
One topic that most of the chefs covered at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival was cooking oil. It seems that everyone has a preference for what type to use. Bobby Flay, Michael Symon, and Claire Robinson cook with canola oil and save olive oil for finishing sauces and vinaigrettes. Rachael Ray and Anne Burrell disagree and always cook with extra-virgin olive oil. What kind of oil do you like?
Can you imagine a land where you would go to McDonald's to purchase fuel for your car? Well that world might not be too far off. As of last week, all of the trains at Disneyland's Los Angeles theme park run on a biodiesel oil made from discarded cooking oil. Not only is the park saving money by reusing already purchased oil, but they are demonstrating how large corporations can make an effort to go green. Disneyland's five railroad trains are ridden by an estimated 6.6 million people each year using up about 200,000 gallons of fuel. The resort will generate enough cooking oil to provide half of this fuel. Disney's executive chef, Chris Hustesen, loves the idea and hopes the switch will "make more guests hungry for our fries."
Considering that I always reuse my cooking oil, I admire Disneyland's resourcefulness and commitment to being eco-friendly. I can't help but wonder if other companies will follow their lead. What do you think of the news? Do you recycle old frying oil?
Being a curious creature, I like to compare things. Recently, I decided to focus on cooking oil. I tend to use canola and olive oil when cooking since they're healthy oils, but as I peruse the shelves of oils at the grocery store, there are so many more to choose from. For easy comparison, I created this breakdown. The oils are fairly similar calorie-wise, but take a look at the saturated fat content. This is the fat you want to limit in your diet, so that's why coconut and palm kernel oil should be used or eaten sparingly. Since some of you may prefer to cook or bake with butter or margarine, I included those at the bottom of the list, just for comparison. I also included oils that you wouldn't necessarily cook with, but that you may find in a list of ingredients on pre-packaged foods. To see the breakdown, keep reading.