A handful of “extra-virgin” olive oils, including some major names, do not taste good enough to merit that actual premium description. By definition, Extra Virgin Olive Oil is supposed to be practically flawless.
You may not be able to easily spot a low quality olive oil product. A high percentage of individuals don’t sip olive oil straight from a glass, and foods can mask imperfections. In addition, many consumers assume that olive oil should be a liquid version of the fruit they put in a salad or martini. That is wrong my friends.
Premium High Quality Olive Oils are fresh and fragrant, with complex flavors of ripe and unripe fruit, grass, herbs, nuts, or butter, for starters. If you’re used to a specific product, you might not realize what you’re missing until you do your own side-by-side comparison.
Ratings display that you do not need to purchase olive oilwith an Italian heritage to experience the best. California, which generates about 3 percent of the olive oil consumed in the U.S., is the source of the only two products judged Excellent, one of which costs far less than the other: 35 cents per ounce compared with $1.73.
Three of the six Very Good olive oils also have a California pedigree. Only two are from olives grown in Italy. The other rated products contain olives from a mix of nations, such as Argentina, Greece, Italy, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia, and Turkey.
What’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
In Europe, the International Olive Council, chartered by the United Nations, establishes standards and works to ensure that products labeled extra-virgin, the highest grade of oil, live up to their billing; the countries do the policing.
Supposedly, according to the IOC, extra-virgin olive oil must meet strict chemical and organoleptic (taste and smell) standards, including low levels of acidity and ultraviolet-light absorption.
- (High levels suggest poor processing or deterioration.)
- It has been extracted from mashed fruit by mechanical means, not through the use of heat or chemicals, which can reduce flavor.
- It should have at least some fruitiness and be free of defects in flavor and aroma.