Olive oil is an absolute pantry essential. One that is not only used to cook but also season dishes. And besides tasting incredible, it also has various health advantages.
Various options are available in our local supermarkets, from virgin and extra virgin olive oil to domestically sourced or imported. So we understand it may be tricky to decide which bottle to take home.
Today we’ll be demystifying some recurrent assumptions about olive oil purchasing. From its origins to color and even the packaging. After reading this article, you’ll never wonder which one you should put in your pantry.
We will now teach you the 5 most important things you should look out for when buying a bottle of olive oil:
1. Light Containers
Never go for a clear glass of plastic olive oil containers, even if the packaging is aesthetically pleasing. As light and heat damage the oil’s quality quite rapidly, you should favor dark-colored bottles. These will help preserve the oil, making it last and taste better.
Also, once you’ve brought it home, make sure to keep it somewhere cool and away from light.
2. Expiration & Pressing Dates
Contrary to what some may believe, olive oil does not improve over time. As a matter of fact, it is best to consume a bottle within the first month of opening. Once the seal is damaged, the oil will be exposed to air and begin to deteriorate.
You should check not only the expiration date but also when it was pressed. This is the best way to ensure it is at its peak quality. And in regards to the pressing date, the best olive oil to buy is one that has been pressed within the last year.
You do not necessarily need to know the coordinates or the name of the estate where the olives were harvested. Still, it’s good to know the region where they were grown, as it will impact quality and taste.
Some more dubious producers happen to mix olives from various Mediterranean countries to then slap a ‘Made in Italy’ or ‘Product of Italy’ on the bottle. So, it is best to look for a label that expressly says the olives were ‘grown, produced, and bottled in’ whatever region it claims to be from.
4. Cold Pressed & Extra Virgin Olive Oil
For those who do not know, EVOO is a protected designation. As such, it adheres to strict guidelines, like ensuring it is not exposed to heat. So, all extra virgin oils must be cold-pressed.
Heat or alternative techniques are often used to neutralize the taste or remove impurities. However, an untreated version is not only the best olive oil for health but also for cooking, as it has more benefits and tastes great.