If you’re on a mission to make olive oil a part of your clean, healthy lifestyle, you have probably noticed that there is an abundance of choices available when shopping for olive oil. While it might be tempting to choose the cheapest, largest bottle of extra-virgin olive oil you can find, it’s not always the best idea. Not only could the flavor be subpar, but it might not even be real olive oil.
Unfortunately, adulteration of olive oil is common. Seeking profits, tricksters blend extra-virgin olive oil with low-quality varieties, or even with other plant oils such as sunflower oil, reducing olive oil’s superior health benefits.
Here are four tips to make sure you’re getting the real thing when shopping for olive oil.
- Look for the origin. High quality products from olive oil-producing countries like Italy usually have what’s called a DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta) label indicating exactly where the product came from. DOP, also referred to as Protected Designation of Origin, ensures products are produced in accordance with strict guidelines.
- The vessel counts. Look for olive oil in a very dark glass bottle or tin container. A light bottle or container can make olive oil turn rancid faster.
- Choose extra-virgin olive oil. Extra-virgin olive oil is the highest quality oil, as it is minimally processed. The oil has been extracted from first-harvest olives solely through mechanical means – not by chemical solvents.
- Sample it. High-quality olive oil is intensely aromatic, fruity, vegetal, peppery, and pungent. If your olive oil is mild, not flavorful, and nearly scent-free, chances are it is either low-quality or adulterated with other oils. Conventional grocery stores probably won’t let you taste the olive oils they carry, but farmers’ markets and olive oil tasting bars welcome it.
What are some uses for olive oil? You can drizzle it over salads or fresh, sliced tomatoes, or use it as a simple dip for whole grain bread. Olive oil also tastes great with pasta as a substitute for sauce.
See how olive oil can be used to make your own healthy cooking spray.
Source: Delicious Living