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There is nothing quite as divine as a rich, delectable extra virgin olive oil. Whether using it in marinades, dressings, or cooking, genuine and authentic EVOO is a delightfully healthy way to add flavour and mouthfeel to any dish – but with so many on the market, how do you choose a high-quality product? While nutrition labels do a good job identifying more general information about an EVOO, they lack the specific knowledge and transparency consumers need to select an authentic, premium extra virgin olive oil. Thankfully, the International Olive Oil Council (IOC) and the European Union set forth the minimum requirements for various olive oil categories. However, there are additional details to look for when identifying premium products that may not be labelled directly on the bottle. Here are some quick tips on seeking out these sublime food products:
Beyond the labels, conducting a simple taste test and consistency check is another reliable way to choose a delicious extra virgin olive oil. Ensure that there is no crayon smell, rancid nut taste, or other signs that the product has not been spoiled or altered. A quality EVOO has a fruitness, bitterness, peppery, and smooth flavour and texture but never greasy like traditional oils. When choosing a high-quality EVOO, it is always beneficial to select producers and farmers who practise sustainable farming and production. Choose products created by artisans and small farmers committed to eco-friendly agriculture, production techniques, and environmentally friendly packaging. The truth is, choosing an excellent EVOO doesn't have to be cumbersome or confusing – you need to know what to look for on the label, trust your taste buds, and do your part to protect the environment.
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