How To Choose The Best Olive Oil For All Your Favorite Dishes
Confused by the 50 bottles staring you in the face at your local gourmet store? Anyone can learn to recognize the best kinds of olive oil and purchase with confidence.
A 1996 study by the FDA found that 96% of the olive oils they tested, while being labeled 100% olive oil, had been diluted with other oils. A recent study in Italy found that only 40% of the olive oil brands labeled "extra virgin" actually met those standards. Italy produces 400,000 tons of olive oil for domestic consumption, but 750,000 are sold. The difference is made up with highly refined nut and seed oils. If you want to find healthy and high-quality olive oil, you should focus on a few important things before buying:
Read the Label
One of the most significant pieces of information is the date of harvest and the expiration date. Both should appear on the label of a quality olive oil. Olive oil loses fruitiness and flavor as it ages, and after maximum two years from the harvest it will be oxidized and rancid.
A dark bottle is a MUST to preserve the quality of the oil because it must be kept away from direct light. In the absence of this, a bottle should at least be wrapped in foil or packaged in cardboard. No clear bottles!
Is the color of the olive oil important? Absolutely not! Official tasters always use dark glasses so that their sense is not influenced by the color. Many times oils are chemically manipulated to be greener because customers believe that greener oil is better. So don’t be swayed by color. Just refer to the first two golden rules and you’ll take home the best bottle of olive oil on the shelf!
Olio&Olive is an online gourmet store for the finest olive oils in the world, plus a tightly scrutinized and edited assortment of excellent olives, balsamic vinegars, pastas, sauces, charcuterie meats, cheeses and other Italian products.
We’ve all heard olive oil is great for the skin. Want to know what other foods will make your complexion glow? Click through our slideshow above for the foods you need to put on your grocery list now.