A dizzying array of glass bottles. Some more fitting for salads, others ideal for heavier meat dishes, perhaps one perfect for a dessert dish you have in mind. Imports. Domestics. Beautiful labels here and there. Organic – or not. Good culinary oils, to the most discerning tastes, can be almost as nuanced, as complex as the wines that accompany the dishes they grace.
But to preserve, even enhance, the flavors and fragrances of oils, it’s crucial to know how to use them. For some (the more delicate) even moderate heating will ruin the oil, darken and scorch it, incite a cloud of putrid smoke and even a flash of flames in your unsuspecting pan. (No one saw that, right?) Others are more robust, even outright brawny and can weather the higher heats.