What to look for in a high-quality extra virgin olive oil
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 a really good quality extra virgin olive oil like Morocco Gold.
Where an olive tree grows has a tremendous influence on how an olive oil will taste due to different cultivars (olive species), climates, soil, and time of harvest. Like the grape varieties of wine, different olive varieties, or cultivars, have unique characteristics in their taste, colour, aroma, and texture. Understanding the olive cultivar used to produce the olive oil will give you great insight into how it is going to taste.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Origin
Genuine extra virgin olive oil should be grown, pressed and bottled in a single country, from a single source. “Product of Italy” does not necessarily indicate that the olives are grown or pressed in Italy, only that it was packaged there.
Evoo Is Cold-Pressed
This indicates that no heat was used to extract the olive oil from the olives. Adding heat to the olives allows producers to extract more oil from the olives, but simultaneously destroys the delicate flavours, aromas and critically the polyphenols so prized in the finest quality extra virgin olive oil. It should be noted that “cold pressed” means at a temperature not to exceed 28°C, not actually “cold.”
To Filter Or Not To Filter Your Extra Virgin Olive Oil
During the process of making extra virgin olive oil, there is an optional step of filtration which removes olive particles suspended in the oil (remember, olive oil is a juice!). Some producers choose to filter their olive oil, while others don’t.
Unfiltered olive oil may have tiny particles of olive inside, appear cloudy, and is likely to have sediments at the bottom of the bottle. It does however retain more of the health enhancing polyphenols, one of the many reasons discerning, health-conscious food lovers enjoy their extra virgin olive oil.
How Long Will It Last?
A good quality bottle of extra virgin olive oil with have a date of harvest and a ‘best before’ date on the label, so you will know the age of the product and when it should be used by. Unlike wine, olive oil does not age well. If you store it properly, away from light and heat (never on the back of the stove!), a good bottle of olive oil will not go rancid during its time in your kitchen.
Is Color An Indication Of A Good Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
Despite our natural inclination to associate a rich, deep colour with better flavour and quality, the actual colour of extra virgin olive oil is not an accurate judge of its quality. In fact, extra virgin olive oils can range in colour from deep grassy green to bright, yellowy gold. This variance is due only to the level of chlorophyll in the olives when they are pressed.