How to Identify a High Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)Martina Crocker
Dipping oil, extra virgin olive oil, EVOO, no matter what you call it, it’s delicious. But, how can you choose a truly great EVOO? How can you tell that what you’re paying is a good price for the product? Here we tell you all about how to identify a high-quality extra virgin olive oil, or EVOO, for short.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is a mainstay of many regional diets, such as Italy and the Mediterranean. But there are a lot of olive oils on the market, and not all are created equal. Olive oils come in a wide range of qualities, but only Extra Virgin Olive Oil holds the gold standard for flavor and health benefits.
If you are wondering how to identify extra virgin olive oil, we have compiled a handy resource guide to help you as you wander the grocery store aisles. Read on for more information!
What is Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
To put it simply, extra virgin olive oil is olive oil that has not been tainted by any heat or chemical processes during the oil extraction. It is simply raw olives, mechanically pressed.
This means that you are getting the most antioxidants and healthy fats out of your olive oil, while also experiencing a far superior taste and consistency. Some extra virgin olive oils even come in flavored varieties.
To qualify as extra virgin olive oil, the oil must pass inspection by a certifying council. But there are a lot of fakes on the market, even sold in commercial grocery stores.
These fakes get through by getting a batch of oil certified, then mixing it with lower quality oils after certification. Some also will re-use oil from older batches, which is not technically illegal but can compromise the quality.
What Matters on the Bottle and What Doesn’t Mean Much
When you’re looking at a bottle of EVOO you’re looking for certain phrases that give you clues into its quality. It should always say extra virgin if you’re looking for that wonderful tasting oil.
Now, the other words are up to debate. Some may say cold-pressed, some pure, or first pressed. However, what you’re really looking for is extra virgin olive oil and a quality certification seal. What is that you ask? Keep reading.
How To Identify Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The number one tip for avoiding fake extra virgin olive oil is to keep in mind that the more specifics on the bottle, the better.
The first thing you should avoid is pretty obvious: anything not labeled as “extra virgin olive oil.” Olive-pomace oil, light olive oil, and virgin olive oil are NOT extra virgin olive oil, so eliminate these right off the bat.
The next thing to look for is third-party certifications. This includes certifying entities such as the California Olive Oil Council, which has some of the strictest certification policies in the world.
The bottle itself also makes a huge difference in determining whether an extra virgin olive oil is quality or not. Extra virgin olive oil is highly susceptible to light and temperature.
A high-quality oil will always be packaged in a glass bottle. Avoid plastic bottles at all costs. Preferably, the glass bottles will also be darkened glass, although some quality brands use clear glass and package the bottle inside a box to keep out light.
Finally, ignore the “best by” or “bottled on” dates. What you should look for instead is a pressing or harvest date and location. High-quality oils will always include this on their labeling, as it is a source of pride for the company.
Check the Oil for Quality Certification
When you reach for a bottle of EVOO check it for a certification seal. If it’s a European oil or some other place in the world, it will have the seal of the International Olive Council or IOC.
If a bottle has this seal you know it’s a quality oil and need do no further investigation.
If it’s American oil then check for the certification seal from the California Olive Oil Council to tell if you’ve got a winner.
Bearing these seals means the extra virgin olive oil in the bottle has undergone scrutiny and testing to prove its purity and quality. You know you’re getting what you pay for.
How Does EVOO Earn the Seal?
To become a certified EVOO the product must undergo many different laboratory analysis tests to determine it’s quality.
The scientists are looking for things like the sensory defects and fruitiness of the oil. How much UV the oil absorbs. It’s acidity and peroxide values.
All of these must fall into a specific range of numbers in order to award the certification seal. All these tests must be performed at an approved laboratory and they are taken very seriously.
There’s No Guessing With Secolari, Only the Highest Quality EVOO is Sold Here
Secolari is named after the ancient olive tree that can live for thousands of years. We expect our standards to be as foundational as this ancient tree.
We are dedicated to making the mundane into the exceptional and aiding in the health and wellness of all those around us. By using the finest olives we can find we make a healthful and beautiful tasting extra virgin olive oil.
Finding the Best Olive Oil
Now that you know how to identify extra virgin olive oil, you can find the best products. If you are searching for high-quality extra virgin olive oil, Secolari offers several varieties and flavors, as well as balsamics, vinegars, salts, and gift baskets.
We want you to taste what EVOO should taste like. Please click here to shop our fine selection of the most high-quality extra virgin olive oils in the country and experience the difference Secolari makes.