Walking down the aisle of olive oils can be an intimidating experience. There are so many different types of olive oils and brands that are claiming to be the best. Over the years, there have been reports of imported olive oils not being 100% authentic and possibly mixed with lower quality oils but still labeled pure olive oil. There are some significant benefits to consuming olive oil, but only if you purchase olive oil the way nature intended it be. Below are a few things to look for when you are in the market for olive oil that will not only enhance the quality of cooked meals but boost your confidence in supermarkets and specialty grocers the next time you are shopping for olive oil.
Yes, there was a time when we thought Spain or Italy had the world’s best olive oil. Which still may be true but are they keeping the superior liquid gold to themselves? We don’t know, but we don’t have time to play the guessing game. I recommend sticking with olive oil produced locally or somewhere domestically. This way you actually know where the olives came from and some place or brand to hold accountable for quality control that is familiar. Buying olive oil that is domestic is always sustainable. There are plenty of olive oils that travel for miles on a plane to later sit on a shelf and wait for a place on someone’s kitchen counter.
2. Harvest Date
On most olive oil bottles the only date that is clearly labeled is the best by date. The best buy date is the date where the product may taste the finest, but best buy dates won’t get you the best liquid gold. Knowing the best by date is not enough information for consumers to make an informed decision. The harvest date is the date or season when the olives were picked. Why is it so important? Most olive oils are only good for approximately 18 months after the harvest date. If you consume the olive oil after the 18 months, the oil may not be as flavorful or beneficial to your health. The key is always making an informed decision when purchasing any food item.
Try to purchase olive oil in dark-colored glass bottles that are not exposed to a significant amount of light. Less exposure to light can extend the overall shelf life for olive oil. This tip is correct for numerous items that are typically stored in pantries as well. Remember always read directions on all food items to store food correctly for quality and food safety purposes.