Where to Buy Good Olive Oil
When it comes to enhancing the flavors of your favorite dishes, few ingredients can rival the versatility and richness of good olive oil. Whether you're drizzling it over a salad, dipping bread, or using it in your cooking, the quality of olive oil can make a significant difference.
But with so many options available, where can you buy the best olive oil to elevate your culinary creations? Let's explore some trustworthy sources to ensure you're getting the most out of this liquid gold.
By following these rules you cannot be 100% sure you'll find where to buy good olive oil. However, ignoring them you will almost certainly buy something wrong and then will think you do not like olive oil. And this is definitely not what we need.
Where to Buy Good Olive Oil? Of Course, Directly From Good Olive Farm!
Explore the possibility of purchasing olive oil directly from local producers or farmers. Many olive farms offer tours and tastings, allowing you to witness the entire production process.
By buying olive oil directly from the source, you not only support local businesses but also gain insight into the passion and dedication behind the olive oil you're bringing into your kitchen.
So, the best place where you can buy good olive oil is an olive farm. The problem is that you probably live far enough from such places, otherwise, you would not be researching where to buy good extra virgin olive oil.
Also, it's worth considering farmers' markets, which are not only a haven for fresh produce but also a treasure trove for exceptional olive oils. Many local farmers and producers showcase their products at these markets, allowing you to establish a direct connection with the source.
You can inquire about their production methods, taste the oils on-site, and purchase directly, often ensuring a fresher and more authentic product. So farmers' markets could also be places where to buy good olive oil.
What else? Consider exploring local specialty stores or gourmet food shops that focus on providing high-quality products. These establishments often carry a curated selection of artisanal olive oils sourced from reputable producers. The advantage of shopping at specialty stores is the opportunity to engage with knowledgeable staff who can guide you through the various options and even offer taste tests.
And of course, online stores. The digital age has brought the convenience of online shopping, and olive oil is no exception. Reputable online retailers specialize in high-quality olive oils, offering a wide range of options from different regions.
Look for special olive oil online stores that provide detailed information about the olive oil's origin, extraction process, and any certifications it may have, ensuring transparency in your purchase.
And the last place where to buy good olive oil is the supermarket. Why so? Because the chance of buying fake or poor-quality olive oil in a supermarket is much higher than anywhere else.
The percentage of fake olive oil in the world is difficult to estimate with certainty, as there are many different types of fraud and no comprehensive global data on the issue. In different countries, the percentage of fake olive oil may vary depending on factors such as the regulatory environment and the prevalence of fraud.
It is important to note that even if an olive oil product is not completely fake, it may still be adulterated with lower-quality oils or other substances, which can affect its quality and health benefits.
Various sources say that in food retail chains the amount of fake olive oil is around 70%. According to our experience, the number is more than 90%, depending on the category of the supermarket. For example, we never managed to find real extra virgin olive oil in retail chains like Aldi or Lidl.
Don't Look for Famous Olive Oil Brands When You Are Looking for Where to Buy Good Olive Oil
Google searches for "best olive oil" or "best olive oil brands" lead you nowhere. Such brands simply do not exist. When you are buying a car, watch or smartphone, a famous brand guarantees you quality. But that doesn't work with real olive oil or any other natural food.
The best olive oils come from small, family-owned companies that few people outside their region know about. These olive oil makers simply cannot afford to perform poorly because this means ruining their reputation and losing all their customers.
So yes, they are the best olive oil brands but not famous and popular. And Google, unfortunately, doesn't even know they exist or does not know that they are the best brands.
The large, well-known olive oil producers are plants that do not grow their own olives. They buy (as cheaply as possible) olives from farmers of different regions and sometimes even from abroad. For example, most of the Italian large olive mills buy olives from Spain to produce “Italian olive oil”.
One of the necessary conditions for extra virgin olive oil production is that the olives are pressed no later than 12 hours after harvest. Some varieties of olives only live 3-4 hours after harvest. So no comments.
There is one more necessary condition - cold pressing. When heated above 25°C, olives die so instead of a healthy product rich in polyphenols and vitamins, you get just dead vegetable fat.
With cold pressing, oil production is only 10-15%, that's why real olive oil is expensive. By heating the olives and adding solvent hexane you can increase productivity.
Move on. Add some real extra virgin olive oil to this hellish mix and voila - we get something that can be sold as extra virgin olive oil. If it is produced in tens or hundreds of tons per month, the cost is low enough. So they have an opportunity to sell cheap olive oil in the supermarket and people are happy to buy this.
Ask the Seller to Tell About Olive Oil in Their Store.
The more they know about the features of different olive oil types, the higher their competence. Usually, professionals do not stoop to sell fake or poor-quality products.
Read the olive oil label, especially the back label. All contact details (website, email, phone number), olive varieties, harvest period, acidity, and awards in exhibitions and competitions must be indicated on the label.
The more details oil-makers are ready to tell about themselves the more trust they deserve. Check the bottle: real extra virgin olive oil should be stored in dark bottles to protect it from light and maintain its quality.
Ask the seller about the region of origin, farmer's family, olives, and harvesting method. Find out which types of olive oils are best for various dishes.
Ask if you can taste olive oil in their shop. And this is the most serious part of the story.
To Buy Good Olive Oil You Have to Taste Olive Oil
Yes, it is really critical to taste olive oil. Even if the bottle looks very attractive, you are interested in what is inside.
Those who poison us with all kinds of rubbish have learned to fake everything: labels, color, and even the smell of olive oil. The only thing they don't know how to counterfeit is taste. You will immediately detect the taste of fake olive oil, even if you are not an olive oil sommelier.
Important: do not consume coffee, cigarettes, and spicy food at least an hour before the start of olive oil tasting. You will need completely fresh receptors.
Pour some oil into a glass bowl. It is advisable that the vessel be opaque so that you do not see the color of the oil. The color of olive oil has nothing to do with its quality but depends on the region, soil, harvest period, olive variety, and the degree of oil filtration. Therefore, olive oil sommeliers always use such bowls so that the color of the oil does not interfere with objectively assessing its quality.Cover the bowl with one palm while warming it with the other. The taste and aroma begin to reveal at a temperature of 28 °C. Make some circular motions. Bring the bowl to your nose and inhale the scent. Hold your breath for a while so that you can completely immerse yourself in the aroma.
The smell must be natural. You may smell freshly cut grass or wild herbs such as rosemary or oregano. Perhaps you will catch the aromas of lemon, tomato, or artichoke. Either way, the scent should be intense, natural fruity, and pleasant. If there is no fresh aroma, or it is heavy and musty, then it is not extra virgin olive oil.
By the way, do you know why real olive oil smells like herbs or fruits? The fact is that the olive tree has a wide and powerful root system. This allows it to grow without water, extracting moisture and nutrients from the earth, and reaching for the soil on which other plants grow. So olive trees absorb and transfer different tastes and flavours to their fruits. Here you can find more details about this.
Take a sip of olive oil but don't swallow it. Keep it in your mouth while inhaling air. Try to determine the density and roundness. When tasting real extra virgin olive oil you feel its natural, in-artificial taste. Bitterness may appear and this is normal, especially with early harvest olive oil.
If you feel heavy and rigid, almost metallic shades then it’s time to stop, say goodbye, and forget the way to this store. You have just tasted pomace olive oil (Italians call it lampante), made from olive mill waste by heating the pomace and adding solvents.
When swallowing, pay attention to the sensation in your throat. Real olive oil must be peppery, from mild irritation to real burning and coughing.
These sensations are indicative of the high amount of polyphenols contained in real olive oil. If you feel nothing, then this olive oil is not extra virgin, or it is too old and worn out. Naturally, this oil should be refused, as well as a store offering such a product.
Did You Manage to Buy Good Olive Oil? Now Help It Stay Good for as Long as Possible
Olive oil is not a wine. It won’t get better if stored for a long time. Although, it should be noted that not all wines get better with age.
Typically, olive oil has a shelf life of 18-24 months. However, you should be aware that the season for olive harvesting and olive oil production runs from mid-October to the end of December.
Therefore during new harvest, honest sellers reduce prices for last year's oil, despite the fact that there are still six months before the expiration date. So you have a choice: to save 10 - 15% or buy absolutely fresh olive oil, pressed from olives that were growing on a tree just a few weeks ago.
Olive oil should be stored in a dark, dry, and cool place. It is advisable to buy oil in dark glass bottles or metal cans. And of course, no plastic! Olive oil quickly absorbs all chemicals from a plastic container. This will not only kill the taste of the oil but will also make it unsafe for your health.
Also, pay attention to the temperature in the store. The optimum storage temperature for oil is from 15 to 20 °C. The critical temperature is about 25 °C. Olive oil kept in such conditions within a month or two will completely lose all its taste and beneficial properties.Learning about olive oil features can seem hard enough but when you find your types of olive oil you'll agree that it is worth it. Your efforts will be rewarded with a palette of flavors that will accompany your dishes, making them new and different every time.
When it comes to finding where to buy good olive oil, the key is to prioritize quality and authenticity. Whether you choose to explore specialty stores, farmers' markets, online retailers, or local olive oil producers, each option offers a unique way to connect with the world of olive oil.
Experiment with different varieties, explore the stories behind olive oils, and let your taste buds guide you on a journey to discover the unparalleled flavors of top-notch olive oil.