Author Topic: peculiar taste in pizza  (Read 8533 times)

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Offline turbosundance

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peculiar taste in pizza
« on: January 04, 2007, 04:50:10 PM »
I've made a lot of pizza in the last few months based off the Lehmann recipes that pete-zaa posted.  I've also been making the sauce too.  I have made the dough using bread flour is the past and recently I've started using a mix of break flour and vital wheat gluten.  The sauce I use is based off crushed tomatoes. I've tried various grocery store brands of crushed tomatoes and I have also tried different spices.  I use Kirkland extra virgin olive oil from Costco in both my dough and my sauce

Anyway, I always find that there is a peculiar taste in my pizza that always seems to be there.  I don't know if it is the dough or the sauce.  I have tried different cheeses and the taste seems to remain.  I currently use Sapputo cheese from Costco.  I'm starting to think that the strange taste is coming from the olive oil that I use. 

What kind of oil does everyone else use in their NY dough and sauce?   I'm thinking that I'm going to try Canola oil next time and see what it tastes like.  Anyone else have any suggestion as to the source of the strange taste. 
Ryan


Offline vitus

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Re: peculiar taste in pizza
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2007, 05:45:13 PM »
I know it's not easy, but could you describe the taste in any way?

Another possibility is the oven. Ovens have their own distinct taste based on the oven itself, the previously cooked food and the cleanness.

Offline November

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Re: peculiar taste in pizza
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2007, 05:59:38 PM »
turbosundance,

It doesn't sound like the oil you are using is appropriate for pizza temperatures. Only highly refined extra virgin olive oil will withstand as much heat as refined canola oil, but I wouldn't use canola oil either. (Although canola oil advocates say that 1% erucic acid is too low to worry about, it's not lower than 0%, which is what almost all other oils have.) I would just keep canola oil around for low temperature or minimal quantity applications. Corn oil, light olive oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, or my favorite, rice bran oil would all be better choices.

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Online Pete-zza

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Re: peculiar taste in pizza
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2007, 06:12:45 PM »
November,

Why do you favor the rice bran oil over the other favorable choices you mentioned?

Peter

Offline vitus

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Re: peculiar taste in pizza
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2007, 06:13:11 PM »
Thought some more... I guess that I find these kinds of issues rather interesting. ::)

My best guess too would be the olive oil. I have had olive oils that tasted somewhat funny myself and November knows what he is talking about.
So I would try changing the oil as you mentioned yourself. ;)

But the really weird thing about taste, I believe, is that two flavors combined often give the sensation of one (third) flavor. So I would say that another possibility is actually a combination of two ingredients. You know; two ingredients that by chance just doesn't go together well.

The thing I mentioned earlier about the oven is something I often rant about... :-X I believe that the smoke and fumes inside a hot oven actually brings a lot more taste to the food than people know. Therefore the same food cooked in two different ovens can taste different (this even goes for food cooked in the same one if something greasy like say a duck has been cooked in the time inbetween). :)

Offline November

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Re: peculiar taste in pizza
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2007, 06:29:13 PM »
Why do you favor the rice bran oil over the other favorable choices you mentioned?

1) It has a very high smoke point (490 F)
   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice_bran_oil
   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoke_point

2) It has a neutral flavor to begin with, and less polymerization during heating (off-flavor production) occurs for the same reason as the high smoke point

3) It's extremely healthy.
   http://whatscookingamerica.net/Information/RiceBranOil.htm
   http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050512110703.htm
   http://www.raysahelian.com/ricebranoil.html

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Offline turbosundance

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Re: peculiar taste in pizza
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2007, 08:55:28 PM »
Thank you for the responses.  I really dont know how to describe the tatse but I think it ruins the pizza.  Everyone else always says the pizza is great but I always taste it.  I have always assumed that extra virgin olive was the oil to use.  Perhaps I'll try corn oil or sunflower oil next.

What is erucic acid and what does it have to do with canola oil?  Excuse my ignorance but what is the difference between canola oil and all the other oils?  What kind of oil would a typical pizza joint use?
Ryan

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Re: peculiar taste in pizza
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2007, 09:18:10 PM »
What kind of oil would a typical pizza joint use?

turbosundance,

When Tom Lehmann discusses oils for doughs, he usually mentions simple salad oil (vegetable oil). He will sometimes recommend olive oil for its taste contribution, or a combination of olive oil and canola oil to reduce the cost. Some operators use pomace oil, which is a lower grade olive oil. It is the cheapest form of olive oil for most operators but still retains a lot of flavor. Most people can't tell the difference when it is in the dough. Most operators don't use a high quality extra virgin olive oil because it is too expensive. They might use a little on top of the pizza for flavor, but not in the dough itself.

Is it possible that the off-taste is from one of the herbs or spices in your pizza sauce? Some herbs, like fennel and certain oreganos, can have a fairly potent aftertaste even when used in small quantities.

You could make a simple pizza using a different oil in the dough as suggested by November, and use a simple sauce that is only tomatoes and salt. That might help rule out a lot of things, or at least suggest other tests that you might try to isolate the offending ingredient.

Peter

Offline November

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Re: peculiar taste in pizza
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2007, 12:27:28 AM »
What is erucic acid and what does it have to do with canola oil? Excuse my ignorance but what is the difference between canola oil and all the other oils? What kind of oil would a typical pizza joint use?

As Peter mentioned, vegetable oil (soybean oil in most cases) is the preferred oil, but like Peter also mentioned, restaurants generally choose an oil based on economics. Making pizzas at home does not usually involve purchasing oil in bulk, so the price difference for the end consumer is not that large. You should choose an oil that you like the flavor and performance of. It's not that your pizzas will immediately start to burn just because you use extra virgin olive oil, but off-flavors are more readily created with low smoke-point oils.

Erucic acid is a monounsaturated fat found in canola oil at levels up to 2% according to some sources, but I would estimate closer to 1%. It is found in much higher concentrations in oils from the rapeseed (canola oil's genetic predecessor) and mustard plants. Erucic acid has been well established as toxic at high levels. What is commonly called into question is whether 1% erucic acid causes damage to one's health. Here's my verdict: Who cares? There are better oils out there that don't contain 1% death.

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Offline AKSteve

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Re: peculiar taste in pizza
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2007, 06:11:55 AM »
turbosundance,

It doesn't sound like the oil you are using is appropriate for pizza temperatures. Only highly refined extra virgin olive oil will withstand as much heat as refined canola oil, but I wouldn't use canola oil either. (Although canola oil advocates say that 1% erucic acid is too low to worry about, it's not lower than 0%, which is what almost all other oils have.) I would just keep canola oil around for low temperature or minimal quantity applications. Corn oil, light olive oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, or my favorite, rice bran oil would all be better choices.

- red.november

"Highly refined extra virgin olive oil" is a bit of an oxymoron. If it's highly refined, it isn't extra virgin anymore. I think you're referring to Light & Extra Light Olive Oil, which both have a higher smoke point than EVOO. Just being nit-picky. I personally use EVOO in my dough and have never had a problem with it. I only cook at around 620 though. If I were at a higher temp, I'd use extra light olive oil.

This isn't pizza related, but have you ever tried Macadamia Nut Oil? It's supposed to have the healthiest fat composition of all oils, as well as a high smoke point. I've been meaning to pick some up from the local low-carb store, provided it's still in business.

Steve


Offline November

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Re: peculiar taste in pizza
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2007, 12:11:56 PM »
If it's highly refined, it isn't extra virgin anymore.

That's debatable.  How virgin an oil is depends on the acid content.  Extra virgin olive oil is a first, cold press oil containing less than 1% free oleic acid.  The highly refined extra virgin olive oil I'm referring to would have the same oleic acid content, but refined in other ways, such as extra filtering.  The "virgin" label doesn't get dropped until chemical refinement is used to alter the acid content.

As far as the nut oil question goes, http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4426.0.html

- red.november

EDIT: Macadamia nut oil is pretty healthy.  If you're counting monounsaturated fat as the indicator of health, it's just a little healthier than olive oil.  If you're counting all things discovered by science in oils as the indicator, it's just another healthy oil.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2007, 12:29:15 PM by November »

Offline AKSteve

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Re: peculiar taste in pizza
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2007, 02:41:33 PM »
That's debatable. How virgin an oil is depends on the acid content. Extra virgin olive oil is a first, cold press oil containing less than 1% free oleic acid. The highly refined extra virgin olive oil I'm referring to would have the same oleic acid content, but refined in other ways, such as extra filtering. The "virgin" label doesn't get dropped until chemical refinement is used to alter the acid content.

I'm pretty sure that one of the defining characteristics of Extra Virgin Olive Oil is that it is "unrefined." The amount of oleic acid determines whether the olive oil is Virgin or Extra Virgin, both of which are unrefined. If olive oil is refined, then it is labeled as Refined Olive Oil. I think the debate is simply over the use of the word refined. Olive oil is categorized as either Virgin or Refined. It can still be called Extra Virgin if it's filtered. If it's highly fitered it's either Light or Extra light. Also, Light or Extra Light olive oil can be a mixture of Virgin & Refined oil. It's a little confusing, but I think this is correct.

Steve
« Last Edit: January 05, 2007, 02:44:08 PM by AKSteve »

Offline jessepi

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Re: peculiar taste in pizza
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2007, 02:45:08 PM »
I've read and verified for myself that extra virgin olive oil doesn't jive well if you are making a pizza-parlor NY style pizza. It's great for gourmet pizzas and other recipes but gives an unwanted aromatic/fruity taste for NY pizza. I had such a problem early in my pizza making and switched to extra light olive oil--problem solved.

I don't drizzle oil on the top of the cheese, but add just a little to the sauce plus the oil that's called for in the Lehmann recipe. I haven't had a problem with its low smoke point.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2007, 02:46:53 PM by jessepi »

Offline November

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Re: peculiar taste in pizza
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2007, 04:04:25 PM »
The amount of oleic acid determines whether the olive oil is Virgin or Extra Virgin

Which is what I meant when I said "how virgin" it is.

If olive oil is refined, then it is labeled as Refined Olive Oil.

If olive oil is refined using solvents in order to modify the acid content, then it is labeled as Refined Olive Oil.

I think the debate is simply over the use of the word refined.

Obviously. That's why there's a difference in meaning when one says, "refined extra virgin olive oil" because if it were refined olive oil, it wouldn't be extra virgin olive oil. Highly refined (processed for extra purity if you prefer) extra virgin olive oil has more impurities removed that would have otherwise kept the smoke-point on the low side. High quality extra virgin olive oil (which can also be purified further) is olive oil from a first, cold press with a naturally low acid level (usually less than 0.4%).

If it's highly fitered it's either Light or Extra light. Also, Light or Extra Light olive oil can be a mixture of Virgin & Refined oil.

There is no U.S. standard for the definition of light olive oil other than flavor and color. It could be the result of first, cold press blended with chemically refined, or blended with second, cold press. It could just be second, cold press, or second, warm press. No manufacturer would ever label an extra virgin olive oil "light" because a light colored extra virgin olive oil is not highly regarded for anything.

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Offline AKSteve

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Re: peculiar taste in pizza
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2007, 04:47:02 PM »

If olive oil is refined using solvents in order to modify the acid content, then it is labeled as Refined Olive Oil.

I'm going to disagree with you again here. If solvents are used in the process of obtaining the oil, the oil is referred to as Pomace Oil. Refined Olive Oil is obtained without the use of solvents: however, other chemicals are used to filter & purify the oil.



That's why there's a difference in meaning when one says, "refined extra virgin olive oil" because if it were refined olive oil, it wouldn't be extra virgin olive oil. Highly refined (processed for extra purity if you prefer) extra virgin olive oil has more impurities removed that would have otherwise kept the smoke-point on the low side. High quality extra virgin olive oil (which can also be purified further) is olive oil from a first, cold press with a naturally low acid level (usually less than 0.4%).

My point is that there is no such thing as "refined extra virgin olive oil." Extra Virgin Olive Oil can go through the following processes: washing, decanting, centrifuging and filtering. Nothing is done to the oil to modify it's acidity or other defects. If the olive oil is modified to correct the acidity or defects, it is now Refined Olive Oil, which can no longer be Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Your use of the term "refined" to refer to one of the following processes: washing, decantation, centrifugation or filtration is confusing since "Refined Olive Oil" is in a completey separate category from "Extra Virgin Olive Oil."

I'm not trying to get into an argument, I just don't think the term "refined" should be used at all when referring EVOO.

Steve

Offline DNA Dan

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Re: peculiar taste in pizza
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2007, 04:57:10 PM »
Hell I'll take anything labeled "Extra" virgin! >:D 

Be sure to make sure the oil isn't "turbid", especially if you bought it from Costco. I can say I bought some olive oil there once and it was like a culture of bacteria! Give it a swirl, if crap spirals up into solution, I would take it back or toss it out.

Ding Ding... now back to our regularly scheduled match. (Extra Virgin hottie walks out with sign, "Round Two")

Offline November

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Re: peculiar taste in pizza
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2007, 05:44:36 PM »
I'm going to disagree with you again here. If solvents are used in the process of obtaining the oil, the oil is referred to as Pomace Oil. Refined Olive Oil is obtained without the use of solvents: however, other chemicals are used to filter & purify the oil.

Actually, I don't disagree with you on that. I simply typed it out too fast and said solvents when I meant to say chemicals. But refined olive oil is none the less still modified using means other than mechanical.

My point is that there is no such thing as "refined extra virgin olive oil." Extra Virgin Olive Oil can go through the following processes: washing, decanting, centrifuging and filtering.

Tell that to those who actually sell refined extra virgin olive oil for bath and beauty treatments. [http://www.globalherbalsupplies.com/shop/category455_4.htm]  The process of purifying an oil is generically called refinement.  This term is extended into the petroleum industry.  Look up the definition of refined in any dictionary and you will generally see: "with impurities or unwanted elements having been removed by processing."  You claim it's an oxymoron.  I claim it's an adjective.

Your use of the term "refined" to refer to one of the following processes: washing, decantation, centrifugation or filtration is confusing since "Refined Olive Oil" is in a completey separate category from "Extra Virgin Olive Oil."

It's only confusing if you let it be. It's like if I were to say I have a dumpy truck and you were confused into thinking I meant a dump truck.

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Offline AKSteve

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Re: peculiar taste in pizza
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2007, 06:04:22 PM »
Tell that to those who actually sell refined extra virgin olive oil for bath and beauty treatments. [http://www.globalherbalsupplies.com/shop/category455_4.htm]  The process of purifying an oil is generically called refinement.  This term is extended into the petroleum industry.  Look up the definition of refined in any dictionary and you will generally see: "with impurities or unwanted elements having been removed by processing."  You claim it's an oxymoron.  I claim it's an adjective.

Actually, I claim that "refined olive oil" is a completely separate category of olive oil. I've found a table from the International Olive Oil Council that (nicely & clearly) delineates the separate categories: http://www.unctad.org/infocomm/anglais/olive/quality.htm  My problem with your use of the term "refined," in connection with EVOO is that this term is used by the olive industry to define a category of oil which cannot be Extra Virgin. The refining process, as decribed by the IOOC, is when you take a Virgin oil that is not suitable for consumption and modify it to lower it's acidity so that it is suitable for consumption. Even if the literal definition of "refined" still fits, the term shouldn't be used with EVOO.

It's only confusing if you let it be. It's like if I were to say I have a dumpy truck and you were confused into thinking I meant a dump truck.


No, it's like if you were to say you had a dump truck, and I clearly heard you say "dump truck," when you actually meant to say you have a wheelbarrow.

Steve
« Last Edit: January 05, 2007, 06:30:32 PM by AKSteve »

Offline November

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Re: peculiar taste in pizza
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2007, 07:35:05 PM »
Steve,

"Actually, I claim that "refined olive oil" is a completely separate category of olive oil."

And if I said "highly refined olive oil" you would get upset that no such category exists, even though "highly" is simply an adjective. Please respect how the English language works. Refined olive oil is the name of a kind of oil. I am certainly allowed to add any, and as many, modifiers to that name as I want, just as long as I don't violate the structure of the name itself. {Refined Olive Oil} is a category name. {Extra Virgin Olive Oil} is a category name. The use of "[adjective] {[name]}" is quite acceptable. Extra virgin refined olive oil would not be.

"No, it's like if you were to say you had a dump truck, and I clearly heard you say "dump truck," when you actually meant to say you have a wheelbarrow."

That bears no analogous resemblance to the issue. Dumptruck is an endocentric compound. "Barrow" is not the same as "truck."

"I think you're referring to Light & Extra Light Olive Oil, which both have a higher smoke point than EVOO. Just being nit-picky."

After all this, you clearly know that I am not referring to Light or Extra Light olive oil, so reasserting your disposition isn't going to change anything. I do agree with your nit-pick assessment though. However, if your argument were more strongly rooted in linguistics, I'm sure the conversation would have taken a more considerate and academic direction.

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« Last Edit: January 05, 2007, 07:36:46 PM by November »

Offline AKSteve

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Re: peculiar taste in pizza
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2007, 08:27:26 PM »
Steve,

And if I said "highly refined olive oil" you would get upset that no such category exists, even though "highly" is simply an adjective. Please respect how the English language works. Refined olive oil is the name of a kind of oil. I am certainly allowed to add any, and as many, modifiers to that name as I want, just as long as I don't violate the structure of the name itself. {Refined Olive Oil} is a category name. {Extra Virgin Olive Oil} is a category name. The use of "[adjective] {[name]}" is quite acceptable. Extra virgin refined olive oil would not be.

Since, according to the olive industries' standards, Extra Virgin Olive Oil is considered unrefined, could you please refer your made-up concoction from now on as "Highly Refined Extra Virgin Unrefined Olive Oil?"

"No, it's like if you were to say you had a dump truck, and I clearly heard you say "dump truck," when you actually meant to say you have a wheelbarrow."

That bears no analogous resemblance to the issue. Dumptruck is an endocentric compound. "Barrow" is not the same as "truck."

My point was that your use of the term "refined" changed the character of the oil to the extent that you were representing it as something that it wasn't. I'm not familar with the term endocentric, so I'm going to simply ingore that sentence. But you're right that the analogy doesn't quite fit. I guess a better analogy would be if I were to ask you if you have a Macintosh or a PC and you replied that you have a "Macintosh PC." Your answer would be technically correct, while still being confusing and also contradictory.

"I think you're referring to Light & Extra Light Olive Oil, which both have a higher smoke point than EVOO. Just being nit-picky."

After all this, you clearly know that I am not referring to Light or Extra Light olive oil, so reasserting your disposition isn't going to change anything. I do agree with your nit-pick assessment though. However, if your argument were more strongly rooted in linguistics, I'm sure the conversation would have taken a more considerate and academic direction.

Well, light olive oil is a mixture of refined & virgin (possibly EVOO) oil. And it has a higher smoke point than EVOO. I also think that if you filter EVOO to the extent that it raises the smoke point (creating your "highly refined extra virgin olive oil"), you're going to have a lighter colored, less flavorful oil that you could no longer sell as EVOO.

Only highly refined extra virgin olive oil will withstand as much heat as refined canola oil, but I wouldn't use canola oil either.

I say that there is no such thing as a highly refined extra virgin olive oil and I'm going to reiterate that the term is an oxymoron.

Steve
« Last Edit: January 05, 2007, 08:53:34 PM by AKSteve »