Is your Extra Virgin Olive Oil in your kitchen in a dark bottle, or a clear glass bottle?
Do you keep it on hand on the bench or tucked away in a dark cupboard?
Is your Extra Virgin Olive Oil Fresh or has it gone off?
According to David Lewis’s latest article from Kitchen Ambition, experts say that rancid olive oil is common in American Kitchens. This would most likely be true in New Zealand kitchens as well, particularly because many of the cheaper supermarket olive oils are stored in clear glass jars, and have probably been shipped by sea through the tropics to get to New Zealand. We have no idea how long they were stored before being shipped, no idea how long they took to get here, and no idea how long they have been on the supermarket shelves before arriving in your pantry.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil needs to be stored properly in Dark Bottles, away from heat and light to maintain it’s freshness. A harvest date should be clearly shown on the bottle, and the oil should be used up within 2 years of that date. You should look for the Red Sticker from Olives New Zealand which tells you that it’s definitely Extra Virgin Olive Oil for that peace of mind that you are getting only the best quality.
David Lewis’s article explains how to tell if the extra virgin olive oil has gone bad by testing it in a few steps...
“First, pour 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil into a small container like a dish or bowl. Smell deeply from 4” to 6” above the dish. Fresh olive oil should smell like ripe olives and perhaps slightly bitter, peppery, or grassy. Rancid oil is often characterized by the smell of crayons, putty, glue, fermented fruit, or even old fish. These are derived from spoiled fats.
Next, taste a small amount of the oil and let it roll across the surface of your tongue. If there is rancidity then you are likely to taste crayon and old peanut flavours in the sample. You may also recognize a sensation of greasy residue in your mouth.
Any bitterness you may encounter when tasting the oil is actually considered a positive characteristic, indicating freshness. Bitter oils with sharp or fruity flavours are highly regarded by industry professionals. “
Lastly – Extra Virgin Olive Oil that has gone off, means that all the health benefits will have been lost from the oil.
The best way to make sure you are getting good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil, is to buy local, and NZ produced. Check out your local farmers market, or simply pick up a bottle online from Isobel Olives.
Isobel Olives Extra Virgin Olive Oil is stored in stainless steel tanks with a layer of argon gas on top to prevent oxidation and stored at around 16-18 degrees. It is certified to ensure quality and has a best by of 2 years and bottled in dark glass bottles.