How To Shop For The Best Olive Oil

Posted bySamuel West Posted onJune 26, 2024 Comments0
Olive Oil Bottle

There are so many olive oils on the market when you walk into your local grocery store. It’s funny because they all state different things on the front of the bottle. Words like pure and authentic mean nothing when you are sifting through the massive sum of olive oil bottles in the supermarket. There was a time when the only term we looked for as consumers was extra-virgin, but not anymore. The food industry keeps getting more complex year after year. Food manufacturers are on the run to cut corners and process food items to make them cheaper but charge higher. This is also when you will notice food transparency gradually going out the window. In this case, when it comes to olive oil, you want to know all there is to know. There are a few essential things that I look for when purchasing a bottle of “liquid gold,” AKA olive oil.

Distance is an essential factor when looking for the best olive oil; the closer, the better, and the fresher. Choosing olive oil in the same country can be a sustainable approach, unlike choosing oil produced in another country thousands upon thousands of sky miles away. Many consumers think that to get good quality olive oil, it must come from across the globe, which is totally false. There are wonderful olive oil producers in the U.S., and I’ve tasted some of the best straight from California. Don’t let exotic destinations trick you into purchasing oil that could cost a fortune from overseas. 

When the olives are harvested is also a significant factor when selecting olive oil. Any reputable olive oil producer would reveal this vital information; it shows that they care about their consumers and their products. The truth is olive oil doesn’t last long, and the shelf life is short. Good quality olive oil shouldn’t be stored for over one year. After the bottle of oil is opened and exposed to the air over time, it could start to taste a little different, and at some point, it may begin to taste a little funny. Game over at that point, and that is because olive oil is a fresh product and is not meant to be kept for an extended period of time. The only way to keep your oil from going bad sooner is to store the oil in a dark, cool place. The point of having olive oil in the home is to use it in various ways. With all this being said, finding the harvest date on the bottle is imperative, and if you can’t find it, don’t buy it. It is probably garbage! This comes to my next point when finding your next best bottle of olive oil. 

Avoid olive oil, which bears the term “blend,” which is a major red flag. I will never purchase oil produced with olives from all around the world or blended with a cheaper oil like canola. You have to be very careful; some olive oil producers blend oils together and call it olive oil, not cool. Talk about cutting corners. Just leave that crap on the shelf; you deserve better for your health and wellness. Some food manufacturers just don’t care. They want your money but will produce a junky oil for your body to compete with. No blends whatsoever!

When I’m interested in any product on the market, I find out the company’s web address or social media channels. I want to investigate the product and the people behind the brand more. When it comes down to food, do they care about the environment and the world around them? Is it a family business with an actual labor of love? What I’ve known to be true is food businesses that are authentic to themselves are willing to share with you all there is to know about what they produce. So, when it comes down to this olive oil business, do as much research as possible until you know exactly what you are purchasing. 

I’m not one to go crazy over seals on food products because most of the organizations behind them are not interested in the well-being of their consumers. Most just try to enrich themselves, making low-quality olive oil stand out. Now, that’s not the case for every organization. There is one organization in California that I have found to be authentic, and it’s the California Olive Oil CouncilTheir mission is to encourage the consumption of certified California extra virgin olive oil through education, outreach, and communications. *According to the California Olive Oil Council, extra-virgin olive oil is the highest grade an olive oil can receive. In addition, the term extra-virgin indicates the oil is free of defects of flavor or odor evaluated by a trained sensory panel and cannot be detected by laboratory tests. I am so glad an organization has a trusted seal that means precisely what their mission states. 

Who would have thought in a million years that going to the market to shop for olive oil would be so complicated? It should be as simple as going into the market, selecting a bottle, and moving on with your life. Unfortunately, this is not the case in a world of massive food business. I certainly hope this post will guide you to a better olive oil experience. In the comment section below, let me know some of your favorite olive oils on the market.

EXTRA CREDIT: Spot the term “Estate Grown” on a bottle of olive oil. You are in luck. Not all olive oil companies grow their own olives to make their olive oil. Many olive oil companies receive a shipment of olives from a farm locally or abroad. If you are lucky enough to see estate grown on a bottle of olive oil, purchase it. Of course, check to see if the other tips I have stated above are still present. One, in particular, the harvest date. If the date is present, you are good to go to enjoy a good quality oil.

Work Cited

* California Olive Oil Council. (2022). COOC Statement of Mission.