How to choose a quality olive oil.

What items do you keep in your pantry as a must have to help you answer the most important question you ask everyday, “What’s for dinner?”?

One pantry staple I recommend is olive oil.

 

Olive Oil is an Ancient Oil With Growing Demand

It’s ancient oil that has been used for centuries in cuisine and medicine, and for health benefits.

The United States is the third largest consumer of olive oil in the world and demand is growing.

When you go to the grocery store you’ll likely see several choices and price points.

How do you choose a good quality oil?

 

All Olive Oils Aren’t What They Seem

Unfortunately for olive oil lovers a lack of industry regulation and global standards in the United States and abroad has resulted in a lot of fraud.

A study conducted by the University of California Davis Olive Oil Center found 69% of imported olive oils and 10% of California olive oils failed to meet the standards required for the label.

Here are my tips.

 

How To Choose A Quality Olive Oil

Begin with a cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil.

Olives are a stone fruit like a cherry or a plum.  That means that real extra virgin olive oil is a fruit juice, fresh-squeezed.

Extra virgin means that the oil has been produced by a simple crushing of the fruit without the use of heat or chemicals.

It also means that the oil is free from taste and odor defects.

 

Additional Purchasing Tips

Choose a dark glass over clear or plastic bottles. The dark glass protects light from entering and damaging fatty acids in the oil.

If you’re buying an Italian or other European olive oil, look for a designation of PDO, Protected Designation of Origin. This means that the entire production of the oil was carried out in the region declared on the label.

If you’re buying olive oil stateside, look for oils certified by the California Olive Oil Council.

Unlike wines olive oils don’t improve over time. So look for a harvest or a best used by date on the bottle.

Olive oil tastes good and is good for you.

Use it often and buy it wisely.

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