The Extra Virgin Olive Oil is one of the most common foods on our tables, so much that Italians, within the international market, are the first consumers. We consume more than a liter per month.
A whole lot of quantity that Italian production is not able to satisfy, to an extent that it is necessary to import from Spain, Greece and Tunisia.
It is quite difficult to recognize a quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil right in front of a sealed bottle, even if we are becoming careful and must have been learning to recognize their properties and benefits.
Here are our tips to choose a healthy, good and quality product.
Read the label
It is not always possible to taste an oil before buying, but it is always possible to read the label.
Reading the label of a bottle of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil is a bit like having an identity card in your hands. It explains where production comes from, who packaged it, which technique was used to produce it. Our advice is to pay close attention to the word "product and packaged", which differs totally from "packaged product": In the first case, the producer and the packaging machine coincide; in the second case we have information only on the packaging of the oil, but not of its origin of production.
Always prefer 100% Italian extra virgin olive oil
In Italy, the legislation that regulates the market of Extra Virgin Olive Oil provides many checks and restrictions not only on the final product but also on the plant of origin. There are many institutions that examine the productions and verify the compliance with chemical parameters. A standardized process that guarantees constant control over the product and consequently, a greater guarantee of quality.
Look for the word "cold pressing" on the label
If you read on the label of an extra virgin olive oil "cold pressing" you are looking at a well-crafted product having the best quality. This type of processing, in fact, allows you to work at temperatures below 27 °, keeping all the same organoleptic properties of the oil.
Be willing to pay the right price
The price is a starting point, perhaps the most immediate way to recognize the quality of an Extra Virgin Olive Oil. As for any other artisan food, the production of oil is long and expensive and also entails a higher cost – 8 / 10 euros per bottle – compared to an industrial product. On the other hand, why save on what we eat every day?
Buy oil in dark bottles
The worst enemies of oil are light and heat. In particular, the light accelerates the oxidative damage and consequently, the rancidity of the oil. For this reason, we advise you to buy Extra Virgin Olive Oil packed in dark glass bottles – green or brown – or in metal milk. In this last case, for a perfect conservation, we suggest you cross it, in a couple of months, in glass containers.
Do not trust the green color
Let's debunk a myth: the green color is not an indication of a quality extra virgin olive oil. For years Oil in transparent glass bottles has been sold to allow the consumer to verify its green color.
Unfortunately, however, you can just add a little chlorophyll to turn any type of oil green, so the ability to see the color actually gives only a false security to the consumer. Extra virgin olive oil must be clear and bright and never copper or brown.
This post is also available in: Italian