You might feel a moment of dread when you open your pantry and see your favorite bottle of Texas olive oil has gone cloudy. You might be asking yourself, is it safe to consume? Has it gone rancid? The most straightforward answer is no, it is not rancid; it is perfectly safe to use. Here’s a quick guide to troubleshooting a cloudy bottle.
Is Cloudy Texas Olive Oil Safe to Use?
Yes! It simply means that you have stored your extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) in a cool place. This is most likely to happen when storing it in the refrigerator or in a cold winter pantry. But why does it go cloudy in colder temperatures?
Think of it a little like coconut oil; it solidifies into a waxy substance when kept in the refrigerator or a cold pantry. It then begins to melt once heated or brought to a slightly warmer room temperature. EVOO is similar in this respect; however, it will need to be stored in frigid temperatures or below freezing to go completely solid and cloudy.
When Is It Not Safe To Use?
Now that we know cloudy EVOO is safe to use, when is it not safe to use it? Generally speaking, most Texas olive oils will have a shelf life of about one year or 12 months. Some foodies mark their bottles with the date they opened them and aim to use them up within 2-4 months to ensure ultimate freshness.
If you are uncertain or would like to check its freshness, the scent is usually the first way to check. Smell the bottle's contents and make a note of any rancid, putty, or crayon-like odors. It might be best to ditch your bottle in favor of a new one if those smells come to mind. However, if it smells of herbaceous freshly cut grass or buttery notes of olive fruit goodness and vegetation, it should be good to go.
There is another for you to gauge the shelf life of your favorite Texas olive oil. Robust varieties tend to have a longer lifespan than cloudy or unfiltered varieties such as olio nuevo. Regardless of the type, it is always best to use your bottle up before opening a new one; this makes it easier to keep track of when it was open and when it should be consumed by.
Maintaining EVOO Freshness
Storage is key to maintaining the freshness in each bottle. We recommend storing your EVOO in a cool, dark pantry and ensuring you take note of the expiry dates printed on the bottle. Always keep the cap screwed on tightly, and if decanting it into another bottle, ensure that it is airtight or kept in a cool place away from heat and air.
However, as with any delicious Texas olive oil, we are sure you will be using it up in your cooking before you even near its expiry date.