How to Shop for Olive Oil

May 6, 2021

If you want to get the highest quality olive oil for your home cooking in Ohio, it’s important to understand what you should be looking for when you’re buying olive oil at the store.

You’ve probably heard reports that olive oil labels can often be highly misleading. That extra virgin olive oil you’ve been using might not actually be “extra virgin,” or the language used by the brand might be confusing on purpose.

This is a global issue with olive oil branding, and is one of the reasons why groups like the North American Olive Oil Association have formed—to ensure quality and authenticity of oils and to root out bad marketing practices.

Here are just a few tips that will help you get your hands on the good stuff when you’re shopping for olive oil in Ohio:

  • Know where to go: Where you purchase your olive oil is often just as important as checking the labels. If you go to a specialty olive oil retailer or wholesaler, you can be certain you’re working with knowledgeable staff and higher quality products. If you’re at the supermarket, you’re going to have to rely much more on your own instincts and ability to decipher the labels.
  • Look for proper storage: Ideally, you should only purchase olive oil that’s been stored in cool, dark places. Heat and light are both bad for olive oil—if it’s been sitting out exposed to those conditions, it’s likely to spoil. Oil should be stored in dark glass bottles to prevent too much light from getting in and affecting its quality.
  • Don’t purchase a lot: It can be tempting to purchase oil in large quantities if you know you use it a lot, but olive oil doesn’t age extremely well. Real, high-quality olive oil should be used within a couple months of purchase, because it has a lot of the same properties as fruit juices.
  • Look for extra virgin: There are a lot of industry standards that go into creating extra virgin olive oil, and not every oil can simply call itself “extra virgin.” This is the purest, least processed type of oil and offers the most flavor. There are no chemicals or heat involved in the process of making it—it’s purely mechanical, and involves crushing the olives and separating the liquid. Oils labeled “light” or simply “olive oil” will go through refining processes that result in impurities and lower-quality flavors.
  • Expect to pay for the good stuff: High-quality oil will cost you a bit more, but you get what you pay for with olive oil, much like many other types of foods. Most expensive doesn’t always mean best, but in general, less than $10 for a liter is the sign that the oil should be avoided.
  • Look for expiration dates: The “best by” date is a good sign that you’re getting a high-quality product, because it isn’t required by federal law to include this. It’s also a sign that the manufacturer cares about the customer getting the best experience.

For more tips about buying olive oil in Ohio, contact Olivamed LLC today.

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