Choosing a high-quality olive oil is important when you’re looking to add this delicious and nutritious fat into your daily diet. We talk about the importance of finding a good oil quite often but that’s because of how important we believe it is.
Olive oil is one of the healthiest fats that you can use in your cooking, offering lots of great health benefits. We can’t say enough that not all olive oil is created equal and we want to ensure shoppers are well educated. That’s why we’ve decided to offer you some quick hits on how to be sure you’re packing your cupboard with only high-quality oils.
Extra virgin olive oil is the highest quality olive oil that you can find on the market. What does that mean though? Well, in its simplest form, extra virgin refers to the method in which the oil is extracted. Extra virgin means that the oil was extracted mechanically without the use of added heat or chemicals.
This process ensures that the nutrients and wonderful polyphenols in the oil are preserved during the extraction. It’s these phenols and provide a lot of the health benefits that you read about oil providing and that we explore in our post here (link – https://www.dolivotastingbar.com/5-proven-health-benefits-olive-oil/).
As an added distinction, our D’Olivo oils are certified Ultra-Premium meaning they exceed even the highest nationally recognized standards for extra virgin olive oils.
Because olive oil is an edible product you want to ensure you’re getting the freshest oil possible. We recommend looking for a harvest date or an expiration date on the bottle. You want to be sure that you pick out a fresher oil and we definitely don’t recommend grabbing anything more than a year old. However, you’ll also want to be aware that the expiration date is more of a suggestion. There’s never a guarantee on freshness when you’re buying from a grocery store since there are other factors that can cause the oil to go rancid such as exposure to light, heat or air.
Buying oils from a specialty olive oil store or tasting bar helps ensure that you’re getting a fresh product. The inventory moves much more quickly and they have employees regularly checking to make sure the oils are stored properly and not going bad on the shelf.
As we like to joke, olive oil is not like wine – it doesn’t get better with age so remember the fresher the better when making your selection. Going hand in hand with this philosophy – when you buy the oil – use it! At some point your oil will go bad so break them out and use them as you cook.
The surest way to pick a high-quality olive oil is to taste it to make sure it doesn’t have any hint of rancidity. The oil should taste clean, fresh, and green like fresh olives. If the oil you taste has peppery notes that linger in your throat that’s a great sign. The polyphenols are what give the peppery taste to the oil so the more of that you get, the healthier your oil.
This is why visiting specialty olive oil stores and taste bars like D’Olivo are the best way to ensure a quality oil. The oils are usually sourced from reputable distributors and you can taste each oil before purchase. In addition, because the oils move more quickly off the shelves you might even get to see your oil bottled fresh right in front of you.
As we’ve noted above, the enemies of olive oil are light, heat and air. You want to make sure that any oil you purchase comes in a dark bottle. The dark color will help protect the oil from heat and is a sign that the oil inside is worthy of protection.
After purchase you want to be sure to store your oil in a dark cabinet away from light to make sure it stays fresh as long as possible.
As we discuss in this article the popularity of olive oil has caused the proliferation of fake and counterfeit olive oils. While the price of olive oil, found in grocery stores might be hard to beat, if it seems too good to be true it usually is.
Visiting a store with locally sourced products or a specialty olive oil store, while slightly more expensive, provides an extra layer of protection for the buyer. These retailers will have a very good grasp on the olive oils they’re selling and should be able to provide you information on the region of origin of the oils as well as the transportation and storage of the oil. All of these factors are important in maintaining a good quality oil.