You Might Be Using Fake Olive Oil - Here's How To Tell
How to Buy Olive Oil
Buying olive oil might seem like an obvious task, but for people who view olive oil like wine, it is not so simple. The selection of olive oils available today are extensive and varied. Use our guide to help select the right oil for your tastes and cooking needs.
Preparing to Make Your Olive Oil Selection
Learn about the different kinds of olive oil.The olive is a stone fruit, and thus olive oil is actually the juice of the olive fruit.Trying to select a tasty, quality olive oil can be quite overwhelming.
- There are over 700 different kinds of olives, grown in moderate climates throughout the world, with multiple factors such as growing conditions, soil type and quality, and seasonal weather patterns all affecting the taste and quality of the final product.
- There are many different types of olive oil. For example, you'll find products labeled “extra virgin,” “virgin,” “olive oil,” or “pure olive oil”.
- If you're planning on using your olive oil for consumption, experts recommend selecting products labeled “extra virgin olive oil”. To merit this designation, the olives are either pressed—or more typically spun using a centrifuge—without the use of heat or other chemicals. This is the highest grade of olive oil.
- Products labeled “olive oil,” “pure olive oil,” or “light olive oil” are processed oils that are more similar to simple vegetable oil. They are not harmful to consume, but will lack the fruity, spicy complexity of a fine extra virgin olive. oil.
Be open to trying new products.Particularly if you are searching for an extra fine (no pun intended!) extra virgin olive oil, you should not feel as though you must remain committed to one particular brand.
- Just like wine, the product of a particular label can vary from year to year. Thus, even if you find a brand that you like this year, know that the taste of the product may differ next year. You should be open to frequently sampling and trying different varieties.
- Be open to trying olive oils in different price ranges from different regions. Just as wines are sampled and rated by experts, so too are olive oils.You can stay on top of new trends and leaders in taste-tests by searching for excellent olive oils online.
Think about how you will use your olive oil.Different oils are better-suited for different purposes.
- As noted above, extra virgin olive oil is the highest grade. If you are looking for an olive oil to use for salad dressings, finishing dishes, or perhaps to use with fresh-baked bread, you'll want to select this type.
- If you are looking for a general cooking oil, you may be satisfied with a lower-grade olive oil (or even regular vegetable oil), particularly if the flavor of the oil will be lost under the other flavors of the dish.
- There is conflicting advice about whether or not olive oil is well-suited for frying. You'll read many claims that olive oil has a low smoking point, but high quality extra virgin olive oil remains stable up to 365–400 °F (185–204 °C).
- Because the ideal frying temperature is usually cited as 356 °F (180 °C), there is thus no apparent risk to using olive oil for frying.
- However, because of its high cost, and because you need such a high volume of oil to fry, it tends not to be very cost effective to use olive oil for frying. Also, any subtlety in the olive oil's taste will be lost in the frying process. You'd most likely be better off with vegetable oil.
Selecting Your Olive Oil
Decide how much you can spend.Becoming a true olive oil connoisseur can quickly prove to be an expensive hobby. Once you've determined how you want to use your olive oil, your budget will point you towards the products that will best serve your cooking goals.
- As a general rule of thumb, more expensive olive oils tend to rate higher among the experts. Producing high quality extra virgin olive oil is an expensive process, and the cost is passed on to consumers.Nonetheless, it's possible to find quality olive oils to fit any budget.
- If you want to splurge, select an extra virgin olive oil and use it sparingly on dishes where it will shine as the star of the dish.
- Be sure to comparison shop (both in different stores and from online merchants) to be able to snag the best deal for your final choice.
Read the labels.While the International Olive Council (IOC) sets the standards for labeling olive oils as extra virgin, virgin, or ordinary virgin, it should be noted that the US has not adopted these standards.Nonetheless, spending some time reading the labels of your potential purchases will be time well-spent.
- Again, look for a label that indicates the product is extra virgin. This will help ensure that you are not purchasing lower-quality olive oil.
- Look as well for a harvest date on the label. Unlike wine, olive oil does not get better with age. It is a perishable product (a natural fruit juice), and will deteriorate within a few months of being harvested.Try to choose products with relatively recent harvest dates.
- If a harvest date is not indicated, then look for a “best-buy” date. Avoid products which are quickly approaching this date.
- Look for an estate name on the label. This is not a guarantee of a quality product, but is typically a good sign that the oil was grown and pressed by a small producer.
- If you don't see an estate name on the label, look for an olive oil with a PDO or DOP (Protected Designation of Origin). This status is granted by the European Union to designate agricultural products which are produced, processed, and prepared within a geographical area which specializes in that product and which have been handled according to specific industry standards.
- You may also find labels with PGI (Protected Geographical Indication), which is a similar, yet slightly less strict designation.
- You may also consider looking for a certified organic seal from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which guarantees that at least 95% of the product is made from olives grown without the use of pesticides or other synthetic fertilizers. Keep in mind, though, that many organically grown products will lack this label, as it is expensive for growers to pay for this certification.
Sample your olive oil.Because olive oils can vary so much in flavor even within the same brand from season to season, you'll be assured of choosing the best oil for your own palette if you can sample the product before buying.
- You may need to go to a higher end supermarket or cooking store to be able to sample olive oils before purchasing. Farmers markets can also be a good place to sample selections.
- Don't base your selection solely upon the color of the olive oil. You may think that a darker colored oil indicates that it is less pure, but the color of the oil is primarily a result of the particular olive variety and the point at which it was harvested during the growing season.
- For example, if the olives were harvested earlier in the season, the final product will tend to be greener in color with a more peppery flavor; conversely, if the olives were picked and pressed later in the season, the oil tends to be more golden with a mild, even buttery flavor.
- Choose any olive oil that appeals to your tastebuds, but know that typically a light, fruity olive oil will pair well with lightly sauteed vegetables, while stronger, peppery, or even fruity olive oils complement meat dishes.
Select dark-colored bottles or tins.Because olive oil degrades quickly, and because it will degrade even more quickly when exposed to light and heat, it is recommended that you select an olive oil that is packaged in a dark bottle or in a tin.
- This is an especially important guideline to keep in mind if you haven't been able to sample the oil before purchasing it.
Using Your Olive Oil
Use your olive oil quickly and liberally.Unlike many wines, olive oil does not get better with age. It is a perishable product (a natural fruit juice), and will deteriorate within a few months of being harvested.Thus, there's no good reason to hoard your olive oil for special occasions only.
- This may mean that you will want to purchase your olive oil in small amounts, particularly if it is an expensive, high-end extra virgin olive oil.
Store your olive oil in a dark container away from heat.We've explained how you should ideally choose an olive oil that was packaged in a dark container (who knows how much heat and light the product was exposed to while it sat on the shelf awaiting your selection!); you should also be careful with how and where you store your olive oil at home.
- If the bottle you purchased is not dark or opaque, consider transferring the contents into a darker container once home.
- Even though it makes intuitive sense to store your olive oil right next to the stove-top for easy access, it's best to keep it in a cool, dark space in your kitchen. This will keep it fresher tasting for longer.
Experiment with different dishes.Once you've selected an olive oil that appeals to you, don't be afraid to look for new ways to incorporate it into your meal planning. Olive oil is featured prominently in many Italian and Mediterranean style dishes, but it is a flexible and tasty oil for many other cuisines as well.
- You'll be sure to find hundreds of recipes (if not more!) which feature olive oil online.
- Be sure to scope out recipes which feature olive oil by browsing titles at bookstores and your local library (often a surprising source for excellent cookbooks).
QuestionWhere can I get olive oil?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerOlive oil is very widely available in many supermarkets in grocery stores; you can usually find it in the baking aisle.Thanks!
QuestionWhich olive oil is best for cooking with high temperatures?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerExtra virgin olive oil will not only prevent your food from taking on a taste like less pure olive oils will do, it is also good for cooking at high temperatures.Thanks!
- As a general rule of thumb, purchase a small quantity of the best extra-virgin olive oil you can afford (usually, this will be a more expensive brand).
- Purchase and store olive oil in dark containers, and store your olive oil in a cool, dark place.
- Look for an estate label, and/or a PDO, DOP, or PGI seal in order to try to ensure better quality, pure extra-virgin olive oil. Absent these, you may want to select an olive oil with a U.S. certified organic seal.
- Use your olive oil quickly, as it does not have a long shelf life.
- Similarly, don't think that oils labeled “Product of Italy” or “Packed in Italy” are an indication of better quality: these labels do not guarantee that the oil was made in Italy or even that the olives were grown there.Additionally, many fine olive oils are produced from regions outside of Italy.
- Don't be taken in by labels which tout that their olive oil is “first pressed” or “cold-pressed”; these methods are rarely used any more (most olive oils are made with centrifuges), and to be labeled extra virgin, it must come from the first pressing and be processed without heat.
Sources and Citations
Upload a picture for other readers to see.
In other languages:
Português: , Español: , Deutsch: , Italiano: , Français: , Русский:
Video: Step 1 in Buying Good Olive Oil ~ How To Buy Olive Oil
Your Guide to Asthma Treatment
Eating for Cold Weather Exercise
How to Make Different Colors With Food Coloring
23 Fancy Hairstyles for Long Hair
How to Run MediaWiki on Ubuntu
Capelli mossi: il ritorno dellonda
Iceland Becomes the First Country inthe World toMake Employers Pay Men and Women Equally
This Delightful Dancer Will Inspire You to Let Loose Every Day
March Mood Board: 12 Things We’re Really Excited About ThisMonth
The 8 Best Walking Canes to Buy in 2019