What to look for when choosing any Extra Virgin Olive Oils...even if they are not ours!
- Always look for a HARVEST date on a bottle - no harvest date, don't buy it! (Harvest Date is NOT a BEST BEFORE DATE) the oil is typically at its best 18-24 months from Harvest date. If I am a dishonest producer I can make the Best Before date longer than 2 years...BEWARE!
- DOP or PDO or COOC on a bottle is a guarantee of ORIGIN- it means the producer has met the standards to say it comes from this area and has met the standards set out by that body of designation. You can be assured that this oil is Extra Virgin Olive Oil from that area. This should not be your only measure when selecting a great oil because there are some wonderful oils that choose not to get this designation.
- Oils should be in dark glass bottles or coated metal tins - this protects the oils from light. A great producer would never bottle in plastic or clear glass.
- The best oils will tell you the region they are from and most times from the farm. The olive varieties will also often appear(not always) on the label. As in wine the more you enjoy great Extra Virgin Olive Oils the more you will see what varieties and blends you like most.
- Try new ones! don't get stuck on just one. Take a teaspoon and taste it by itself and compare with the other olive oils you have.
- Great extra virgin olive oils cannot be bought for $8.99a bottle or less.
A good bottle of Extra Virgin Oil will typically cost $20-$35 for a 500ml bottle some a bit more. Think of it like buying a decent bottle of wine, only it's better because the bottle lasts longer than one meal!