“Extra-virgin olive oil contains bitter tasting polyphenols coated by fatty acids, which prevent them from dispersing. If the oil is emulsified in a food processor, these polyphenols get squeezed out and the liquid mix turns bitter.
The magazine (Cook's Illustrated) further claims this is only a problem when mixing dressing or mayo, because in pesto the other ingredients as nuts and cheese are robust enough to cope with it. This is where I (Nicky) disagree; I rarely prepare pesto with extra-virgin olive oil in the food processor anymore – because of the indeed noticeable bitter outcome”
In case you're not familiar with Cook's Illustrated, they're the ones that run their kitchens like laboratories.
From a Chowhound user under Bitter EVOO, "Hmmm, it is kind of a "green" bitter. My husband even noticed the bitterness last night and was unhappy (and his tastes aren't that sharp).
I've used it for cooking and haven't noticed any problems, but I have noticed a bitterness with salad dressings and just now I was able to put my finger on it when I dipped a piece of bread in it. It's just very sharp, if that makes sense. Unpleansantly so, for me.
I love a strong olive oil taste - do you have any suggestions for a good flavor with no bitterness?"
EVOO has too low a smoke point for serious frying.
I'll dip bread in EVOO with coarse ground black pepper at a restaurant if they don't serve real butter but I don't have much use for EVOO at home.
Edited by DanielS - 6/8/16 at 2:04pm