The essential key to a great dish is using exceptional ingredients. Of course, sourcing the best quality ingredients is easier said than actually done. Not all of us live around the corner from a bounteously stocked farmers market or have a friendly butcher who can cut up a few locally raised lamb chops on request.
Olive Oil As A Main Ingredient
The backbone of Mediterranean cooking and drizzled into everything from cookies to chicken is Olive Oil. If you ask us, we think It's a pretty essential ingredient. And yet most of us don't have any idea what to look for when faced with bottles of "Freshly pressed!," "100-percent olives!," and "Direct from Sicily!" in the supermarket condiments aisle.
Add to that the problem of fraudulent vendors passing off subordinate Olive Oil as Extra Virgin Olive Oilas well.
What To Search For On An Olive Oil Label
Our Olive Oil experts suggest that you focus in on two things:
- The year of harvest
- And "best before" date
This is because all oils goes bad. The fresher the olive oil, the better it tastes and the higher the health benefits.
Olive Oils goes bad when it makes contact with the air around it. The best Olive Oilsare created using fruit pressed soon after picking and stored in airtight tanks, often under nitrogen, which helps stop oxygen from getting in.
Where Should Olive Oil Come From?
Let’s face the facts, only about 25 percent of the global production is truly Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Therefore our suggestion would be to do your due diligence and ensure you know and trust the brand of olive oil you are purchasing from. Price is often an indication but not all the time.
In simple terms, it means the highest quality grade. It is simply the juice of fresh olives which has not had any heat, chemicals, or solvents used to extract the oil. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is created by crushing fruit and extracting the juice. Nothing else.
Of course, there are a lot more steps involved in making Extra Virgin Olive Oil than simply squishing a few olives and bottling the Olive Oil.