The Ultimate Guide to Buying the Highest Quality Olive Oil. Olive oil has many health benefits and is a versatile ingredient in the kitchen. It can be used for sautéing, dressing salads, and even baking when substituted with butter or other oils.
The quality of the oil you buy will determine its flavor and shelf life, so it’s important to find an olive oil you can trust.
Buying the Highest Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Read labels carefully – When shopping for olive oil, be sure to read the label carefully to see where it was produced and what other ingredients may have been added. Look for “100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil” on the label; this means it is the highest quality.
- Check for a seal of approval – Look for an official seal of approval from international organizations like the International Olive Council (IOC). This means that the olive oil has been tested and meets certain standards, guaranteeing its quality.
- Buy in small quantities – Olive oil can go rancid quickly, so it’s best to buy in small quantities and store tightly sealed at room temperature.
How to make your Extra Virgin Olive Oil last
- Check the date – Always check the expiration date when buying olive oil. For the best quality, look for labels that say “bottled on” or “harvested on” instead of just an expiration date.
- Purchase only cold-pressed olive oil – Cold-pressed olive oils are the best quality because they retain all of their natural flavors and aromas. The cold extraction process also helps preserve the health benefits associated with olives, so it’s worth paying a little extra for this type of oil.
- Only buy Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a dark glass bottle– Even a few weeks of light exposure will accelerate the aging of olive oil. Dark glass bottles slow down the aging, and storing your bottle in a cool cabinet instead of on a countertop, which is likely brighter and warmer.
- Store your Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a cool spot – Store extra virgin olive oil away from light, air and heat. These elements accelerate the process of oxidation which leads to rancidity.
- Shelf Life – As oxidation occurs naturally over time, it is best to use the oil up once it is open within the first 6 months or sooner.
Following these tips will help you find the highest quality olive oil and ensure it has all of its beneficial properties. With good-quality olive oil, you can create delicious dishes and enjoy all the health benefits that come with it. Try out different brands to find your favorite!
One caveat is that I do NOT cook in olive oil, and would only use animal fats for cooking- they are more stable at high temperatures (this is not the smoke point, it has to do with saturated fat content).