It can be difficult to pick an olive oil from a shelf full of bottles with widely varying prices. Here are a few quick tips to buy the best olive oil available in the market:
Read the label
Extra-virgin olive oil is the only kind you should buy. This does not mean the oil will be of the highest quality, but it does mean it will not be among the lowest quality. A bottle of “Olive Oil” or “Light Olive Oil” labelled simply “Olive Oil” is a refined oil and, like vegetable oil, they are not very intriguing.
Check the packaging.
The harvest and “use by” dates can be deciphered even if they’re written in Italian, French, or Spanish. The best olive oil producers are delighted to display the harvest date on their bottles. The use-by date can be a little misleading because it is normally 18 months from the time of bottling, rather than from the time of harvesting.
Pick dark colored bottles
In order to preserve olive oil, it is essential to use dark glass or other light-blocking materials. Most rancidity in olive oil results from prolonged exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Choose from a variety of packaging options when purchasing your extra virgin olive oil. The only way to sell clear glass is in a box or foil.
You should be able to smell and taste fresh, ripe or green olives in the bottle of extra virgin olive oil. Stale flavours (crayons, rotten nuts) and fermentation should not be found in the final product. It’s important to note that bitterness in fresh green olives is a natural taste and can enhance the flavour of some foods, such as hearty bean soups or tomato sauces.
When it comes to EVOO, it doesn’t get better with time. When it comes to olive oil, the fresher it is, the better it is. The fruitiness of fresh oil might be overshadowed by unexpectedly strong flavours of bitterness and pungency. Gourmets and health-conscious consumers alike like these complex flavours, which are a sign of good quality and a source of beneficial polyphenols.
It’s all about checking that label if you want to gain the full benefits of EVOO (and bottle). Even while it may take a little longer to discover the perfect bottle of wine, once you do it is well worth the time and effort.