17 Aug How do you identify a high-quality Extra Virgin Olive oil?
Sometimes, it can be difficult to know which ingredients are worth the money and which aren’t. Take olive oil, for example: It’s a staple in any kitchen, but how do you know if your bottle of EVOO is actually extra virgin? Here are some tips on how to identify a high-quality extra virgin olive oil so that you can get more bang for your buck (or rather, euro).
Freshness is the first thing to look for.
The first thing to look for is freshness. An olive oil that’s been sitting on the shelf for years will taste stale and flat, no matter how good it is otherwise. Look for one with a date stamp or other indication of when it was bottled. If you’re buying online, check to see how long since the bottle was opened; oils are good for up to three years after they’ve been opened, but it’s best if you can find something that has been kept under refrigeration during storage.
If you can’t tell from the packaging or label whether an olive oil has been stored properly, ask about it at the store where you’re shopping—if possible, try asking someone who works there instead of speaking with a salesperson: They may be more likely to give an honest answer about whether something’s past its prime than someone whose job depends on selling items regardless of their quality (or lack thereof).
Look for an olive oil harvest time
When it comes to olive oil, there’s no such thing as an “expiration date.” However, the best quality extra virgin olive oils are often freshly pressed and bottled—this means they can be enjoyed within a few months or even weeks of harvest. In contrast, lower-grade products are sometimes made from older olives that have been sitting in storage for many years (which may be why you’ve noticed them on sale at the supermarket). If you see an oil with no mention of how fresh it is, avoid that bottle like the plague!
Avoid olive oil blends.
When shopping for olive oil, look for a single variety or blend of extra virgin. The reason is simple: blends can be easily manipulated to lower the quality of the oil. The best way to appreciate the flavor and health benefits of extra virgin olive oil is to purchase one made with only olives from a single region or farm, where you can be certain that all olives are processed together.
When it comes down to it, blends are often made from lower-grade oils (such as lampante). This means that they contain a higher level of free fatty acids and peroxides than their single-variety counterparts. As such, they may not taste as fresh or be as beneficial to your health when consumed regularly.
You don’t have to be a chef to know when you’re using quality ingredients!
You don’t have to be a chef or cook to know when you’re using quality ingredients. Here are some simple tips that let you know what’s good, and what might not be so great:
- Freshness is one of the biggest indicators of taste and quality, but it can also tell you whether your EVOO has been adulterated with other oils, which happens sometimes in order to extend shelf life. The best way to check this is by looking at the harvest date (the bottle should have one) – if it’s fresh, it will be labeled as such on the label; if not, look for another brand!
- Harvest time and blend type. For example, sunflower seed oil doesn’t go bad like olive oil does; so many manufacturers mix small amounts of sunflower seed into their EVOO in order extend its shelf life without sacrificing flavor or quality too much (or at all). This practice is totally fine but can lead consumers astray if they don’t know what they’re looking for: read labels carefully!
So, now you know how to identify a high-quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Whether you’re using it in your own kitchen or buying it as a gift for someone else, this information should help you make an informed decision when choosing what kind of oil will work best.
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