Harvest Peace

EVOO: Things You Don't Know, But Should

EVOO: Things You Don't Know, But Should

Your Olive Oil Is A Mixture Of Several Different Countries.

Many will be surprised to know that a large amount of the olive oil on the shelves today are a combination of olives from various countries.

Want to know:

If the label does not explicitly say it is 100% say "Italian" olive oil, then it is likely mixed and the label will provide you with a country code, likely in fine print.  Country codes look something like this: TK = Turkey, AR = Argentina, GB = Great Britain, TN = Tunisia, and so on.

Cooking With Extra Virgin Olive Oil Is Not Harmful



 There is a lot of disagreement on the issue of cooking with EVOO. For starters all true EVOO's are high in powerful antioxidants, specifically polyphenols. Polyphenols are know for their anti-inflammatory properties and have been linked to warding off cancer.

True EVOO is cold pressed, a process of extracting oil from the olive fruit without the use of light nor eat. This retains its quality. For the same reason EVOO should be stored in a dark place away from heat. 

Once EVOO is heated to 356°F (180 °C) it begins to lose its phenols and antioxidants, losing some of its superfood components. With that said cooking, heating and exposing olive oil to light will not covert the oil into something harmful to consume. It will simply not retain the same amount of antioxidants.

Want to know:

Heating olive oil will weaken its flavor and reduce its superfood properties, however it will not harm you nor is it bad for you. 



The Design Screams Italy, But The Bottle Whispers Argentina

Not only are many olive oils created by combining olives from different countries but you may be entirely wrong about its origins all together. It's an easy mistake to make. If you step back in the olive oil aisle at your local grocery store you will likely see an overwhelming trend of Mediterranean olive oil. A variety of brand names and products associated with Italy, Spain, and Greece. This makes sense, as the Mediterranean sea produces some of the best weather conditions for the olive crop, however if you take a closer look at your bottle you might be surprised.

While at first glance you might think it’s Italian olive oil due to its Italian sounding name. Perhaps the bottle is covered in artwork reminiscent of the Italian renaissance, with the colors of the Italian flag represented and words written in the Italian language on the bottle, but unfortunately this does not mean it is Italian. This is only branding. 

Want to know: 

Scour that back of the bottle for a country code. True Mediterranean olive oil comes from Palestine, Morocco, Tunisia, Spain, Italy, Greece, or Turkey.

Your Olive Oil Was In Storage 6 Months Before Bottling

Remember that an olive is a fruit, and all fruit juice goes bad eventually. As with any other juice, the fresher the olive oil, the better. Of course there are ways to effectively store the oil, it’s ideal to minimize the time from olive harvest, to pressing, bottling, selling, and consuming.

Want to know:

Once again take a look at the back label for product dates. Not every bottle has the same information available. You should find either a Harvest Date, Production Date, or Best By Date. If the harvest date is significantly different from the production date that means the oil spent time in storage. Some oils spend 6 months in storage before being bottled.


Your Olive Oil Is Expired Or Maybe It Never Expires

There is no one-size-fits-all explanation to the expiration date of USA sold olive oil. You can see expiration dates ranging from 2 to 4 years. You might even read, “The bottle’s valuable content stays fresh almost forever, especially if you keep it properly stored in your red wine cooler at 65 F.” Hmmm...

Want to know:

Taste it! No, seriously. Have you ever tasted sour milk and had any doubt about its expiration? Of course not! While milk may be an extreme example, an expired EVOO will taste unmistakingly bad. The taste has been likened to crayons, putty, and rotten peanuts. The label will provide you with either the "Harvest Date" or the "Best By Date".

The Best Olives And Olive Oils Are From The Mediterranean

Sorry California, and yes it’s the same with wine. All the money and marketing in the world can not change the weather, and the Mediterranean Sea brings the perfect climate for the olive crop to flourish, with warm, dry summers and cool, mild winters.

Want to know:

Get those reading glasses out and look for Mediterranean countries such as Palestine, Morocco, Tunisia, Spain, Italy, Greece, or Turkey.