No matter where you come from, food is culture. We pass down our favorite family recipes from generation to generation, as a way of preserving our heritage. An important step in honoring our food culture is staying consistent with the ingredients traditionally used in a dish. However, it’s not always easy to find the ingredients that our great-grandmothers cooked with.
Since 1911, Mazola® Corn Oil has been a trusted staple ingredient used in dishes around the world. It’s become a tradition in itself. In fact many, if not most, Latino dishes start with corn oil. Lucky for you and your mission to continue passing down your culinary customs, Mazola® can be found pretty much anywhere in the US.
Corn oil is an ingredient your grandmas insist on you using when you cook, primarily due to its neutral flavor, but there are also inspiring new reasons why cooking with corn oil is the key to making great food; reasons that your beloved Abuelita probably doesn’t even know about!
For starters, let’s talk about smoke points. Oils are an integral part of cooking, but they’re not all equal. Although they vary in vastly different ways, smoke point should be the top factor to consider when you’re deciding what cooking oil to buy.
If you’ve never heard of a smoke point, you’re not alone, but get ready because this little tidbit of information is about to change the way you cook forever! Basically, the smoke point of cooking oil is the temperature at which it stops shimmering and starts smoking. When cooking oil starts smoking, that means it’s breaking down, and when that happens, it starts releasing chemicals that are bad for the flavor of your food. No thank you!
Mazola® Corn Oil has a smoke-point of 450ºF, whereas other cooking oils, such as extra virgin olive oil, range between 325-400ºF. Lower smoke points mean that you have to buy different cooking oils for the different dishes you make, depending on what temperature they should be made at. This often takes up too much valuable space and costs too much of your hard-earned money. Corn oil is safe from breaking down in almost anything you cook, making it a versatile and cost effective cooking oil for your pantry.
Speaking of versatile, it’s time to talk about flavor! Here at Cocina, we’re champions of flavor. We believe that the ingredients you use to cook with should be local, fresh, and seasonal, for optimum flavor. When you do all that work to ensure quality and integrity in everything you source, why ruin it by choosing the wrong cooking oil?
Cooking oils such as sesame oil and coconut oil overpower your ingredients and just make everything you cook taste like them. We call these “selfish oils,” because they’re always trying to steal the spotlight! Your flavorful spices, fresh vegetables, and high-quality proteins deserve to be the stars of your recipes.
Mazola® Corn Oil is loved for its neutral taste. It won’t interfere with the natural flavors of your food, allowing your favorite ingredients to shine – how generous! With that, you can not only use it to saute and grill, (shoutout to that high smoke point you now know so much about), but it’s also a great base for salad dressings and marinades.
Partnered with its neutral flavor is the fact that Mazola® Corn Oil has a very lightweight consistency, making it ideal for baking. You can already picture all the possible uses of corn oil in your kitchen!
Last but not least, let’s talk about heart. (We’re not referring to the heart and soul that you pour into every recipe that’s made from 100 tablespoons del amor. That’s a given!) We’re referring to your actual heart, and the actual hearts of your loved ones.
Beyond all of its exceptional technical cooking benefits, Mazola® Corn Oil is also a heart-healthy* cooking oil. Corn oil is naturally cholesterol-free!*** You can actually help improve heart health simply by replacing higher saturated fat cooking oils with vegetable oils such as Mazola® Corn Oil. Through the power of plant sterols, you can lower your “bad cholesterol” using Mazola®, by as much as twice you could with extra-virgin olive oil.
While heart disease remains the number-one cause of death in America, it’s important that we, as chefs and home cooks, do everything we can to protect the people we feed. Mazola® makes that easy.
So, cook with confidence knowing that when you use Mazola® Corn Oil, you’re not only using a cooking oil that has stood the test of time and has held Grandma’s seal of approval for generations, you’re using a cooking oil that is heart-healthy**.
This article is brought to you by Mazola®.
*Maki K, Lawless A, Kelley K, Kaden V, Geiger C, Dicklin M. Corn oil improves the plasma lipoprotein lipid profile compared with extra-virgin olive oil consumption in men and women with elevated cholesterol; results from a randomized feeding trial. J Clin Lipidol. Article in press. Accessed December 10, 2014. Study sponsored in part by ACH Food Companies, Inc.
**Very limited and preliminary scientific evidence suggests that eating about 1 tablespoon (16 grams) of corn oil daily may reduce the risk of heart disease due to the unsaturated fat content in corn oil. FDA concludes that there is little scientific evidence supporting this claim. To achieve this possible benefit, corn oil is to replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day. One serving of this product contains 14 grams of corn oil.
***Mazola corn oil is a cholesterol-free food that contains 14 g of total fat per serving.