Olive oil shop­ping tips

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE -

Tom Mueller, who spoke on the “60 Min­utes” re­port about the ex­tra vir­gin olive oil fraud and au­thored the best-sell­ing “Ex­tra Vir­gin­ity: The Sub­lime and Scan­dalous World of Olive Oil,” is a top ex­pert with lots of ad­vice.

He sug­gests avoid­ing bar­gain prices be­cause pro­duc­ing gen­uine ex­tra vir­gin oil is ex­pen­sive — any­thing less than $10 a liter is prob­a­bly an in­fe­rior oil, he says. He also points out the Cal­i­for­nia Olive Oil Coun­cil (cooc.com) has a list of cer­ti­fied oil pro­duc­ers and its own taste panel.

And the re­spected Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia Davis Olive Cen­ter of­fers th­ese tips: In­sist on a har­vest date. Qual­ity pro­duc­ers will in­di­cate on the con­tainer when the olives were har­vested. Look for the most re­cent har­vest, which is typ­i­cally Novem­ber to De­cem­ber in the North­ern Hemi­sphere and May to June in the South­ern Hemi­sphere. A “best by” date of­ten is two years from the time the bot­tle was filled, not when the olives were pro­cessed, and there­fore is an un­re­li­able in­di­ca­tor of qual­ity.

Choose a good con­tainer. Heat and light are the en­e­mies of fresh­ness. Con­tain­ers are made from dark glass, tin or even clear glass largely cov­ered by a la­bel or placed in a box.

Look for a qual­ity seal. Pro­ducer or­ga­ni­za­tions such as the Cal­i­for­nia Olive Oil Coun­cil and the Aus­tralian Olive As­so­ci­a­tion re­quire olive oil to meet qual­ity stan­dards that are stricter than the min­i­mal USDA stan­dards. Other seals may not of­fer such as­sur­ance.

Keep cool and dark. Ex­po­sure to heat and light will di­min­ish fresh­ness and shorten the shelf life of olive oil.

Use it. To en­joy ex­tra vir­gin olive oil at its best, buy in a con­tainer size that can be fin­ished in about six weeks or so. Fresh­ness will di­min­ish with time.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.