Tropical Traditions has 3 different types of Coconut Oil, and all of them can be used as regular cooking oils. They can also be used as part or all butter and shortening substitutes. All three coconut oils are different from each other in some ways, so knowing which one will be best for a particular dish is always helpful.
The best and highest quality coconut oil is the wonderfully flavorful Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil. This oil is the most nutritious, but not the most consistent in taste. It is handmade and has a strong, unique coconut smell and taste that will vary slightly from batch to batch. Therefore it is not the best cooking oil if you want a consistent taste. The oil usually retains most of its natural "coconutty-ness" during cooking (e.g. stovetop cooking) but when baked almost all of the strong coconut taste will dissipate.
Green Label Virgin Coconut Oil is a machine-made coconut oil. The taste and smell is pleasant, mild and very consistent, and is great in baked goods. It is also best for uncooked or raw food items when you want a consistent taste. While the flavor in this oil is a lot like desiccated coconut, it is different from the Gold Label's "coconutty-ness" and is not as strong. It won't give you that punch-in-the-face burst of flavor.
Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil is the oil to use when you don't want much flavor. It is a very bland oil, letting the flavors of the other foods it is cooked or used with blend and infuse each other without getting in the way. This is the best substitute for the common tasteless cooking oils (like refined vegetable oils), but all the coconut oils can pretty much be used interchangeably with other cooking oils.
Posted by Sarah Shilhavy
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