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    Updated on May 11, 2020. Posted on May 20, 2018

    Here's The Difference Between Olive Oil And Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

    Turns out, the two are actually pretty different.

    I have a confession to make: Until recently, I didn't know the difference between olive oil and extra-virgin olive oil.

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    I've always bought extra-virgin because I assumed it was extra-fancy, extra-delicious, and extra-good-for-everything. I used it for cooking, dressing, and everything else in between.

    But it turns out, there actually is a difference between the two — a big difference. In fact, the two types of olive oil are suited to completely different uses.

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    The main difference between olive oil and extra-virgin olive oil is smoke point, aka the temperature at which they burn.

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    Extra-virgin olive oil is a higher quality than your regular olive oil, so it's always going to be more expensive. It also has a lower smoke point than olive oil, meaning it will burn faster if you're cooking at high temperatures. Since regular olive oil is cheaper and has a higher smoke point, it makes for a better multipurpose cooking oil.

    Since extra-virgin oil is more expensive, you should save it for dressings, bread dipping, making hummus, and other things where you'll actually taste it.

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    It's also worth noting that since extra-virgin olive oil is an unrefined oil, it will expire within two years, even if stored properly. So, make sure you use it!

    So, there you have it: Olive oil and extra-virgin olive oil actually are different!

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    And now you know what's best for what.