How To Buy Olive Oil: Tips For Buying The Real Thing
If you want to buy olive oil stay on your guard. There’s fraud, deceit and quacks lurching about!
With the Olive oil market being one of the most fraudulent markets worldwide, it is hard to know whether you’re buying the real thing.
During the last decades the worldwide demand for olive oil has peaked. Everyday more research about olive oil health benefits goes public and with that, the demand grows.
The awkward thing is despite the rising demand, the price of olive oil has dropped to such a low-grade, that for decent organic olive farmers it has become impossible to produce quality olive oil and make a profit. In fact, they’re losing money. In come the big brands…
Well-known brands are importing oil from not so renowned olive oil-producing countries and stretching their quality oil with low quality or non-olive oils. And then selling it as cold pressed extra virgin olive oil. They buy cheap and sell dear, whilst all we do is look at a fancy label and believing their fables.
But there is a way around these scams by sticking to some basic olive oil buying tips:
When You Buy Olive Oil You Get What You Pay For
If the price is hot, the oil is not. There is no such thing as high quality for little money when it comes to buying olive oil. Good quality and freshness come at a price and it’s one worth paying for. Organic extra virgin olive oil starts around $20 per bottle. If you find EVOO that sells at $10 per gallon you can safely assume it’s not even olive oil, but a blend of oils that’s been refined and enhanced with chlorophyl and aromas. Plenty of that stuff on the market. Worthwhile not getting smeared with too..
So the price is a good (but not fool-proof) sign for the quality.
Always Look For Quality Marks On Bottles And Labels
These can be found on the label. Official organic labels, labels that say BIO can be an indication. However these are often faked or meaningless. Below are some olive oil seals that are trustworthy.
When a label has an address or name of the producing company, you can check if it really exists and if the bottle or tin have a batch number of some kind it is a good sign. Unfortunately, most labels don’t have anything but the promise of (non-existent) virginity.
Other quality abbreviations for olive oil are:
- COOC (California Olive Oil Corporation)
- D.O. (Denominacion Original) Spanish
- A.O.C. (Appelation Origine Controllée) French
Imagine you see two different labels. One is fancy looking that says ‘extra virgin cold pressed’ but nothing else and the other looks basic and says ‘Olive oil blend of refined olive oil and virgin olive oil’.
Which one would you choose? Probably the first one. But you can bet your new shoes that the first label is a scammy olive oil and the second is exactly what it pretends to be. Of course there’ no way to be sure, so let’s do:
The Olive Oil Taste, Look And Smell Test
Good quality can be tasted and smelled. If you open a bottle and you smell nothing special, there’s probably no decent olive oil in it. If it smells musty, it’s old. It should smell fruity-olivy.
Visible quality can be some residue at the bottom of the bottle (Sign of extra virginity) or if the oil has flakes. This happens if it is stored in a cold place. As soon as the oil reaches room temperature the flakes should disappear.
Tasting: If the oil is any good, the seller will let you taste it. Fresh EVOO should taste of olive, a bit of a spicy kick at the end. Of course, every olive oil tastes different and well, if you don’t taste a natural product, it probably isn’t.
If the seller won’t let you taste it, you’re in a supermarket and that’s not a good place to buy olive oil.
Best Places To Buy Olive Oil
Buy At the source: Of course this is near impossible for most consumers. But it’s the very best place to buy.
Buy olive oil at a mediterranean food store: Many of these stores have trusted suppliers and most store owners will give you a taste before you buy.
Buy olive oil online: Firstly, you can visit our amazon store for a selection of good brands. Or buy online from olive mills directly. There’s plenty of olive oil producers that now have seized the opportunity and opened up their own online olive oil store.
So you see, if you stick to these tips it’s easy to safely buy olive oil.