7 Tips for Choosing and Using Olive Oil
Here are a few tips that our Olive Oil ExpertsI follow when purchasing, using, and storing Olive Oil:
1. Keep Olive Oil Out Of the Light.
You might have spent a good amount of money on your Olive Oil and you want to look at those labels lined up on your countertop. Unfortunately, light destroys Olive Oil so our Olive Oil Specialist suggest that you stow it away. Nothing destroys Olive Oil quicker than light, except heat.
2. Keep Olive Oil Away From Heat.
Don’t store your olive oil on that shelf above your stove or right next to it, although that’s where it's usually handy. in addition, try and keep it away from sunlight as well. It’s best not to store Olive Oil in the refrigerator. If you do, a handful of Olive Oil experts state that when you take it out, the condensation can dilute the Olive Oil and cause it to spoil quicker.
3. If You Can, Taste Before You Buy.
Olive Oil changes from batch-to-batch, and a variety of places offer you an opportunity to taste it before you purchase it. Our Olive Oil experts suggest that you take a good smell first; a lot can be determined by how the oil smells before you even taste it. Is it nutty, grassy, sweet, oily, or ‘green’? All those are qualities you might like, or not. Look for shops and food markets in your area that offer tastings, so you can sample. It’s a great way to find one that you like.
4. Don’t Pay Much Attention To The Country Of Origin.
Just like people say, “American food is bad,” there’s good American food and there’s bad American food. Same with olive oil. There’s good Tuscan olive oil and there’s bad Tuscan olive oil. Just because something says ‘Tuscany’ or ‘Provence’ on the label does not mean it’s necessarily good or bad.
Also be aware that “Made In France” (or “Made in Italy”) means something different than “Product of France.” “Made In…” means the oil is actually made in that country with olives that are supposed to be grown and pressed there.
“Product of Italy” means that the olive oil was bottled there, but could be made from olives from North African that were shipped to Italy for bottling. It’s not that that’s necessarily bad, but it’s nice to be up-front about those kind of things with consumers so we know what we’re getting.
5. Spend More On Olive Oil, You'll Generally Get More.
People will pay $15 or $20 on a bottle of wine, that will last through one meal. On the other hand, when it comes to Olive Oil, which will last weeks or months, consumers balk at paying anywhere near those prices. Price is not necessarily an indication of quality, but a $3.99 bottle of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil is more then likely not the real deal.
6. Use Olive Oil While It’s Still In It's Best Form.
Great Extra-Virgin Olive Oil will last about a year if stored the right way. Typically, cheap Olive Oils are often already rancid when you open them since they’re mechanically-harvested, which bruises the fruits. Then they’re allowed to sit for a few days before pressing, which likely increases the chance and speed of spoilage.
7. Organize Your Olive Oil Own Tasting!
Regardless of what anyone else says, only you know what you enjoy and what price you feel comfortable paying for a bottle. Our Olive Oil experts suggest that you check your local markets and food shops and taste what available. Purchase various Olive Oils and taste them with others. Read up and learn why an exceptional Olive Oil is actually worth it, and you’ll appreciate that drizzle of fragrant, zippy, or peppery olive oil from the bottle even more.
- Alexis Barros