Use olive oil? Bet you don't use REAL olive oil...
December 07, 2017
If you are anything like me, extra virgin olive oil has been a staple in your kitchen for years. I consume it almost everyday - drizzled over salads, sauteed with vegetables, in a bowl for dipping (gluten free) bread… ;)
I’ve been hearing so many misconceptions about olive oil that I just can’t stand it any longer! Get ready to learn the truth about olive oil; are you sitting down?
Olives are fruits. Olive oil is essentially... fruit juice.
So why is it that our olive oils don’t really smell fruity, fresh, or all that great? Simple answer: we’ve been consuming FAKEolive oil!
Here are the three ways your olive oil is faking it:
1. The “good stuff” (pressed oil from olives) has been combined with seed oils like canola and soybean oil. This is kind of like when drug dealers “cut” their cocaine with baby powder or crushed chalk. Tasty.
2. The “good stuff” is diluted with even lesser olive oils that have been heavily refined and are loaded with harmful chemicals. Delicious.
3. The olive oil has been produced at the very lowest end of what regulation requires. Kind of like getting an F+ on a test. You juuuust passed but you still did shitty.
Ok, so you know I never like complaining about a problem without offering a solution… so how do we get the good sh*t?
How to Find the “good stuff”:
1. Buy EVOO that is both picked and bottled in the same vicinity - this helps ensure the freshest picks. Just because something says “Made in Italy” it is not a promise of high quality!! 2. Look at the harvest date. This is one of the most important things you can look at to verify the freshness. Ignore the “best by” or “bottled on” - it is not an accurate depiction of the freshness. 3. Most labels don’t include composition but if they do look for FFA of .3% or less and PV of 8 or less. 4. Labels to look for: Approved by California Olive Oil Council - COOC Certified Extra Virgin, EVA approved - Extra Virgin Alliance, and 100% Qualita Italiana
5. Purchase European oils in the spring and summer. Purchase Chilean, Australian, and South African oils in the fall and winter.
Is this too much to remember? I feel you. Just buy your olive oil from my favorite source: oliveoillovers.com
I started buying my olive oil (and balsamic vinegar) from there, and I gotta tell you, I feel pretty fancy.
MORE THINGS TO KNOW:
- If you purchase blindly, the best geographic locations are Chile and Australia. - Your olive oil needs to be kept out of light and heat and should be stored in colored glass. - Olive oil IS perishable! Use it within 6 weeks of opening ←--- read this line again. You wouldn’t keep fruit juice in the fridge for 6 months either! Thus, it’s better to buy smaller cans.
So, that’s the lowdown on olive oil. I know it's overwhelming. Take a breath or two. Now go to your pantry and throw out your old olive oil and get some fresh olive “juice.”
“If the label just says olive oil or pure olive oil I wouldn’t recommend using it for anything food related. Use it to oil the hinges of your door.” - Celine Beitchman, from Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in NYC
***Information taken from the amazing book Real Food Fake Food by Larry Olmsted
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