I have been reading this one book lately Unsavory Truth by Marion Nestle, because I believe that understanding the industry that I operate in is constantly changing and I want to keep up with what goes on. This book has given me such a different perspective of what I understood to be the industry
Over the years, many people have approached us asking us why don't we use olive oil instead of the current oil that we use, which is Canola.
The health argument:
We are going to tell you that we are experts in oil extraction. We are not, but we do hear what our customers tell us, and we try to find something that works. With said, we have found that olive oil is considered "healthy" because it is mechanically extracted from olives, and there are essentially no other chemicals used (although the crushed olives are heated to remove the oil) and the run through a centrifuge to separate the oil from the pulp.
On the other hand, the prevailing argument that we hear is that Canola oil is "unhealthy" because it is extracted using a solvent called hexane according to this Harvard article.(and confirmed with a 2nd source from the National Library of Medicine)
One of the interesting facts is that Canola oil has a low amount of saturated and a substantial amount of monounsaturated fats with roughly 2:1 mono to polyunsaturated fatty acids . In general, it contains 61% oleic acid which is classified as a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid, 11% α-linolenic acid and 21% linoleic acid which are omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, and 7% saturated fatty acids [3,4]. Canola oil is second to olive oil in oleic acid content and intermediate among other vegetable oils in polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA). It contains high level of PUFA comparing to olive and palm oil but lower level than corn, soybean, and sunflower oils . In addition, it contains phytosterols, tocopherols, which are biologically active isomers of vitamin E [3,5], beta-carotenes and chlorophylls (National Library of Medicine)
The flavor argument:
EVOO(Extra Virgin Olive Oil) is very strong in flavor, and also has a tint of green. It works great as a last touch in a salad. A dish that will be consumed fairly quickly after the olive oil is applied to it, and that works great.
For chimichurri, the application is different. Because the chimichurri sits in oil for longer than a few minutes, the smell and flavor of EVOO permeate all the spices, overtaking every other flavor. Think about it like this. You like your coffee with milk and sugar, but would you have your coffee with goatmilk and sugar?
Goatmilk and cowmilk are both milk, but the flavor of regular cow milk is a lot softer while goatmilk is a lot gamier. EVOO and Canola oil work in the same way. EVOO is very strong in flavor, while Canola oil is considered a neutral flavor oil.
There are a number of articles and studies from different sources and researchers that claim different things. We are not experts when it comes to health claims on either one, we do look into them and inform ourselves, because we owe you, our customers a safe product.
We optimize for flavor, and we strive to provide a safe product that has been approved in different markets by a number of countries and governments. And based on our experience and research, Canola oil is considered so.
The visual argument:
We recommend for people to refrigerate chimichurri. The reason is because we make it fresh and we want people to have it fresh, if they choose to. A lot of people will make the chimichurri, and then let it pickle. There is no incorrect way of eating it. But we like to give YOU the option to eat it however you like.
If you leave your chimi out at room temperature, it will evolve in its flavor, while leaving it in the refrigerator will slow down the process.
Now, the average fridge sits at around 40° which is a problem visually speaking. That is because olive oil starts solidifying at around 54° (this temperature is variable though) while Canola oil stars freezing at around 32° which means that it is closer to freezing temperature of water. So, when you leave olive oil in the fridge it will look like butter soft butter. If you want butter, that's great, but most people are not very fond of chimichurri looking like butter.
In conclusion, we are open to hear what people have to say and are more than happy and willing to explore different oils, but we have not yet found a better alternative to what we use today.