There is hardly anyone who does not like olive oil. The oil, extracted from olives is replete with nutrients and also offers antioxidant benefits. For centuries, olive oil has been an integral part of Mediterranean diet. It has also been used since the ancient times for making packs for skin healing and care. However, you need to buy top quality olive oil to obtain maximum benefits. There are various types of olive oil and the benefits and flavor varies according to the preparation process. Generally, extra virgin olive oil is considered to be the most beneficial and flavorful of the available olive oil variants.
Shopping For Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Those who have tasted and used extra virgin olive oil swear by its flavor and benefits. However, it is somewhat akin to wine- In the sense the flavor and quality may vary from one year to another. If you want to procure the best quality extra virgin olive oil, keep the following tips in mind.
1. Read The Labeling
The instances of fake brands selling regular olive oil as extra virgin variant are not unheard of. To evade this, you need to analyze the labeling on the olive oil bottle. You are likely to be on the safe side if the labeling mentions the oil is made through cold pressing method. This ensures heat was not applied during oil making and so the properties of olives were not altered.
2. Check The Bottle
Olive oil, despite all its goodness can become rancid if it is not stored properly. Therefore, you should always buy extra virgin olive oil kept in dark colored bottles stored away from sunlight.
3. The Color is Not Very Important
Some people have a perception that the color of olive oil indicates the quality and the same is true for the extra virgin variant. However, this is not necessarily true. Green hued olive oil may not be tastier than yellow colored oil. In fact, the light-colored oils can also be rich in nutrients and have rich flavor.
4. Cost is a Factor
As a rule of thumb, extra virgin olive oil made through traditional process is not going to be very cheap. If you find any shop selling the variant at lower rate than others, it is time to be cautious! Extra virgin variant of olive oil is the most expensive and involves specific manufacturing methods that produce best quality oil.
5. Country of Origin
Despite its Italian root, extra virgin olive oil is now produced in the USA and many other countries- especially in Europe. Some people opt for olive oil processed in California because California Olive Oil Council resorts to stricter evaluation criteria than other olive oil standard regulation entities. California made olive oil also reportedly contains lower amounts of oleic acid, which reduces risk of rancidity.
6. Use the Web
For a beginner or first time buyer identifying authentic extra virgin olive oil can be tough. So, you can make use of the web resources to help you make the correct choice in this regard. You can search the web for resources on views of experts on olive oil. When you buy olive oil from certain reputed brands, the risk of getting counterfeit product is less.
7. Tasting the Oil
After buying a bottle of extra virgin olive oil, you need to taste it to assess quality and authenticity. Remember that authentic extra virgin olive oil will have a fruity flavor, slightly more acidic taste than other variants and create a peppery feeling in mouth and throat. You can use it on salads, dishes and also for cooking. However, do not use it for cooking on very high heat.