Tips for Storing and buying quality extra virgin olive oil
Olive oil is actually fresh pressed olive juice that is extracted by crushing olives. Some of you might be surprised to learn that that olives are considered fruit, but they are. As such, we should treat the olive oil like a fresh -pressed juice. Olive oil has three enemies: light, air and heat. Prolonged exposure to any one of these three will make olive oil deteriorate much faster than it normally would. The good news is that olive oil is high in monounsaturated fat content, and it can be stored longer than most other oils -- so long as it’s stored properly.
Most of us would like the convenience of having oil accessible when we cook, preferably close to the stove or any area where food is prepared. However, if we take into consideration that heat is one of the reasons for rapid deterioration of olive oil, then the stove top becomes a very undesirable location. The same goes for any other location that is exposed to a lot of light, like close to a window for example
Should You Store Olive Oil in the Refrigerator
Storing it in the refrigerator usually would be the best option, however, it's probably the least convenient one. Why? Oil will solidify in the cold environment and you might have to take it out a half-hour before you actually use it in order to bring it to room temperature. This requires planning ahead, but if your cooking schedules allow for this, then by all means go for it. We find this to be too constraining for the way we plan our meals. Most of the time we need oil immediately and are not willing to wait half an hour for it to come from a solid state into liquid form.
The Perfect Place
Since exposure to air is one of the culprits of faster oil deterioration, try to consume the oil within a few months after the bottle has been opened. Sealed bottles will usually last two years after the harvest if they have been stored in a cool and dark place. Placing the oil in the cabinet will ensure that it is away from heat and light, so that would be our preferred place to keep it. If you like to have it close by while you cook, then store it in the cabinet after you are done cooking . This will ensure that your olive oil retains all of its good characteristics.
Where to Buy Good-Quality Olive Oil.
The last place you want to buy any olive oil is at your local supermarket. What you usually will find there is a rancid oil obtained from dubious sources. Accept the facts that many oils that are “Bottled in Italy“ are just oils that have been bottled in Italy and are not Italian oils. Usually these products will come from all over including Turkey, Tunisia and God-knows where else and then will be mixed together in Italy. Coloring and other oils will be added and slapped with a label “Bottled in Italy”. Is this really what you want to be using? An olive oil of questionable distinction and quality?
There are plenty of small, wonderful, oil producers, but they rarely sell their products to supermarkets. Hence, if you want quality olive oil, our advice is to search gourmet shops that specialize in olive oil or online sources that are reputable. The wonderful advantage of local shops is that you could actually go taste the different oils, but we understand that not everyone has a gourmet olive oil shop in the neighborhood. This is where reputable online shops are a great resource.