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All-Purpose Vegetable Oils

Vegetable oil should stay behind the scenes, whether you’re baking, sautéing, or making salad dressing. But pick the wrong oil, and your food could taste like old fish.

What We Learned

Cooking oil is one of the oldest culinary ingredients. Since ancient times, people have made oil from olives, palms, and rapeseed. But many familiar oils in this country came along much more recently. While peanuts are native to the New World, it took the Old World to turn them into cooking oil after explorers brought them back to Europe. (Only a trickle of peanut oil was made in Am...

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