Like wine, there are many varietals of olive oil to choose from. It can be a daunting decision if you don’t know what to look for. These tips will help you select high-quality olive oils that will elevate your food to another level.
1) Not Through The Looking Glass
Quality olive oil is sold in glass bottles with a dark tint to reduce light exposure and heat, which can ruin the flavor. Avoid olive oil packaged in a clear bottle that can be much more susceptible to exposure.
2) EVOO is the way to go
When looking for a traditional olive oil, always buy extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). Olive oil without this designation is usually lower quality and more processed. Processing destroys the flavor and aroma molecules of the oil. There is, however, an exception to this rule. “Infused” or “crushed” olive oils cannot be called “extra virgin” because of the process used to make them, but many of these oils start as high-quality extra virgin olive oil.
3) Be Color-Blind
Color is not a good indicator of quality. It’s often thought that the greener the olive oil, the better. This is true when the olive oil is freshly pressed, but as soon as the oil is bottled it turns gold. If you see green oil sold in a store, it could be a sign that dyes were added. According to the North American Olive Association, “extra-virgin olive oil ranges in color from pale yellow to dark green, depending on variables like the olive variety, where they’re grown, climate and harvest timing.”
4) Skip the Heat
Look for “cold-pressed” olive oil. Cold-pressed means that there was no heat used to extract the oil from the olives. Heating the olives draws out more oil, but it negatively affects the flavors and aromas. Keeping the olives “cold” (around 80 degrees Fahrenheit) guarantees maximum quality.
5) Trust the Source
Buying from a trustworthy source, like local, small batch, and artisanal olive oil makers minimizes the problems with large-scale producers, like old or poor-quality olives, additives, pesticides, etc.
For award-winning, high-quality extra virgin olive oil that you can be confident in, shop our selection in-store or online.
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