These days, supermarket shelves are filled with so many different kinds of extra virgin olive oils. Without the benefit of tasting them, it may seem impossible to judge their quality. However, learning to read their labels properly can give you a bit of insight into the background of each oil.
The reality is that many people do not know what a good olive oil is supposed to taste like. And since I have many recipes that include olive oil, I thought I would give some tips on what to look for in a good olive oil. We always hear that good food comes from fresh ingredients.
Are you in an olive oil rut? If you're anything like us, you may tend to grab the same bottle over and over on rushed trips to the grocery store. And since very few olive oils taste offensive, that probably suits you just fine.
The olive oil aisle at the supermarket is not short of options. You should be able to detect fruity notes alongside punchy pepper with a long aftertaste often present in some of the more premium bottles. Things to look out for when buying good quality olive oil is the harvest date which is simply the date the olives were picked. The best before date will let you know when to use it by, but in general olive oil will last about 18 months, deteriorating as it ages — so use liberally.
For something so dearly essential to our cooking, a bottle of EVOO can be a pain in the ass to purchase—just look to the glass expanse of green bottles in the grocery store, and you'll be met with dozens of options that range anywhere from a couple dollars to an Andrew Jackson or two. But we also admit we're lazy and would rather stick to just one great all-purpose bottle. While qualities like aroma and the exact shade of jade are nice things to take into consideration, in the end, they play a negligible role in our everyday cooking.
Every product is independently selected by obsessive editors. Is this one better for cooking or finishing? These are valid.
The highest grade, called extra-virgin, is lively, bright, and full-bodied at its best, with flavors that range from peppery to buttery depending on the variety of olives used and how ripe they are when harvested. In general, an earlier harvest yields greener, more peppery oil; a later harvest results in a mellower, more golden oil. But like any other fresh fruit, olives are highly perishable, and their pristine, complex flavor degrades quickly, which makes producing—and handling—a top-notch oil time-sensitive, labor-intensive, and expensive.
Fresh, high-quality extra virgin olive oil is one of the world's healthiest foods. Olive oils crafted with care are packed with antioxidants and phenolic compounds that are proven to help reduce and prevent diseases. The best olive oils are blow-your-mind delicious and they elevate the tastes of our foods in ways we never imagined.
All olive oils are not created equal What does extra virgin mean to you as a consumer? To use as a condiment unheated To brown, stir fry, or fry with To enjoy its health benefits To use on your skin To make soap To burn in an oil lamp If it seems too cheap…. Extra virgin, virgin, light, pomace, filtered, cold pressed, stone milled, organic, …. The list goes on and on.