Shopping for avocado oil can be a bit tricky because most of the major groceries do not carry it. That is understandable because there’s not as much demand for it as there is for, say, extra virgin olive oil. But for those of us who love to savor the complex flavor of extra virgin avocado oil, we must do a little extra work to find what we are looking for.
Your best bet will be to check specialty health stores or higher-end grocery stores like Whole Foods, who usually do carry it on their shelves. I usually buy my avocado oil there, but sometimes I don’t get around to making it to that part of town for a while, and I will order a bottle or two online and have it shipped directly to my home.
Factors to consider when buying avocado oil
When shopping for avocado oil, always opt for the extra virgin variety unless it is going to be used solely for cooking. You want to look on the label and make sure that it states the oil was extracted from “first cold pressing”, which means it is the highest quality oil you can get and made without the use of chemicals or heating.
This is important because the manufacturing process for refined avocado oil includes several processes that degrade and destroy the vitamins and nutrients in the oil. Not to mention, the exquisite taste and flavor of an extra virgin avocado oil is completely ruined during this process. Most refined oils have little to no taste and are very bland.
Also, always buy your oil packaged in an opaque glass bottle which does not permit light to come in contact with the oil. Exposure to sunlight, and even fluorescent light, increases the speed at which the oil breaks down and degrades.
Cooking with avocado oil
As mentioned, extra virgin avocado oil should always be your choice when it will be eaten raw, such as drizzled over vegetables, etc. But you may consider using refined olive oil for your cooking and frying purposes, because much of the nutritional value of a good oil will be destroyed anyways during the cooking process anyway.
Avocado oil is much better for cooking than olive oil, which has a relatively low smoke point. The smoke point for avocado oil is over 500° so it will not burn as easily as some other vegetable oils.
Which brand to buy?
I use Massimo Gusto extra virgin olive oil, which is made from Mexican avocados and has a buttery flavor and subtle texture. But just make sure you choose a cold pressed extra virgin oil, and don’t be afraid to experiment because as you know different oils have different flavors and it is fun to experiment.