HOW TO CHOOSE AN EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
Check the date of harvest or the expiry date “Best by…”
In order for extra virgin olive oil to retain all its nutritional characteristics, it has to be fresh. Olive oil that is past its “best by” date tastes rancid and lacks its major nutritional and flavor characteristics. Select olive oils with harvest dates from the most recent season.
Choose an Extra Virgin Olive Oil that features dark or non-transparent packaging. This helps to protect it from light. Light, oxygen and heat are the three biggest enemies of olive oil, as they compromise its taste and nutritional characteristics.
Way of Pressing
Choose an Extra Virgin Olive Oil that has been cold-pressed. Cold-pressing means that the temperature throughout the processing stages hasn’t exceed 27degrees Celsius. This helps olive oil to retain its nutritional characteristics, taste and aroma.
Read the label
From the label you can learn a lot about the quality of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. For example, if the label indicates that the olive oil is PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) or PGI (Protected Geographical Indicator), this means that it has been produced according to the Standards of the European Union. The note “Country of Production” has to be clearly visible and the name of the variety/varieties used is a good hint of attention to quality. Awards received in international taste competitions is another indication of good quality.
Choose the taste you like
As you would with a wine, choose an Extra Virgin Olive Oil that best suits your flavor preferences and the meal you are preparing.
Extra Virgin Olive Oils described as “early harvest”, “full-bodied” or “peppery” best accompany full-flavored dishes. On the other hand, extra Virgin Olive Oils described as “mild taste” or “mild fruitiness” go really well with fine-flavored dishes.