How to recognize a goodExtra virgin olive oil?
Ormai troviamo la dicitura Extra Vergine dappertutto. E se non bastasse una scritta sull’etichetta a rendere un olio un vero olio Extra Vergine di Oliva?
There are some attributes to consider to identify a good Extra Virgin Olive Oil: the flavour, the taste and the color.
Our advice? Trust your nose and mouth. Evaluating the quality of the oil from the color, despite being the method most used by inexperienced people, it is the one that deceives more easily.
Focus on the bitter and spicy (peppery) notes. A quality EVO has these attributes. If you feel a tingle in your throat when you taste it, nothing strange, it is the right oil.
The bitter and spicy notes are synonymous with quality and are due to the presence of polyphenols that are beneficial for your health!
A quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a world of scents in it. Learn to recognize them.
You will find the flavour of freshly cut grass, chamomile, artichoke, tomato, aromatic herbs, almonds and many more. If the oil smells like mud, vinegar or has no smell: avoid it!
A beautiful color is not always synonymous with quality. We cannot consider it as a reliable method of evaluation. It can vary from one production area to another, from the state of ripeness of the olives and from the cultivar (the type of olive). However, it can give us some general indications.
A good Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a medium density.
If it is too thin it could be weathered or old oil.
Viceversa, if it is too thick (such as seed oil), it could be an oil rich in unsaturated fatty acids.
What else to look out for?
To maintain all the organoleptic properties, an Extra Virgin Olive Oil must be stored away from light.
This means saying yes to tin or dark glass bottles with hermetic closure and anti-refill cap and absolutely no to transparent or plastic bottles.
A careful look at the label can help you understand if you have a good Extra Virgin Olive Oil in front of you. In addition to the name of the producer, the batch to which it belongs, the point of origin, the year the olives were harvested and the nutritional table, it must bear the words "Extra Virgin Olive Oil".
Oil category should be duly specified: "Superior category olive oil obtained directly from olives and solely by mechanical means".
Finally, the words "cold extracted". Only cold extraction (below 27 degrees) guarantees that the crushed olives retain their aroma and all the charge of polyphenols and antioxidants that is good for health.
Oh yes… watch out for the price!
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is among the most counterfeit foods worldwide.
This is because the production of pure and quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil requires a lot of energy and a lot of work.
If the price of the bottle is low (2, 3, 5 euros per liter), it is most likely a poor oil.
Yes, even if it says "Extra Virgin Olive Oil" on the label.
Why is it important to recognize a good olive oil?
Extra Virgin Olive Oil - of high quality - is a real elixir of long life.
But be careful: all these beneficial properties are available only in high quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Low-quality oil, on the other hand, can even be harmful to our health.
It can come from crops that use pesticides and poisons. It can create problems with circulation, blood pressure, cholesterol. It may contain synthetic products and heavy metals that lead to physical and mental fatigue and premature aging.
Oil is on our tables every day. We use it as a condiment to cook, as an ingredient on a nice slice of bread or in a dipping sauce. We offer it to the people we love. That’s why we choose quality - and health.