Extra virgin olive oil is not like wine – it doesn’t get better with age. Actually it’s the complete opposite. You want to consume your extra virgin olive oil as fresh as possible. Think of it as fruit juice because that’s what it is – the juice of the olive fruit. The ‘extra virgin’ refers to the way the juice is extracted and is the gentlest process, essentially just a pressing of the fruit.
How do I know I know I’m getting a fresh oil?
The best way to know if you are buying a good oil is to look first and foremost for an Australian extra virgin olive oil. The standards are exceptionally high in our local industry and so we really can place our trust.
Second, look on the bottle for the harvest date. Although you can safely consume extra virgin olive oils for about 2 years from harvest, the fresher they are the better. You are, however, best to use up your oil within 4-6 weeks of opening the bottle to ensure you benefit optimally from the health and taste benefits.
Finally, how you store your oil also matters to keep the oil fresh. A cool, dark pantry is the best place for your oil… but don’t hide it away at the back! Keeping it in easy reach will ensure you use your extra virgin olive oil every day for the best health (and taste) benefits.
"Look first and foremost for an Australian extra virgin olive oil. Second, look on the bottle for the harvest date. Finally, a cool, dark pantry is the best place for your oil"
Can you taste the difference?
Yes, you can! In fact, you can smell AND taste the difference.
Try testing the oils in your pantry at home. Tip it into a small cup, swirl the oil around with your hand on top of the cup and put it close to your nose.
A fresh oil smells like freshly cut grass, banana leaves, or the fresh smell you get when you walk into the fresh produce section of the supermarket – fresh vine ripened tomatoes or apple cider.
Rancid or refined olive oil might smell vinegary, musty or earthy (like a mouldy damp wood/floor) or even a muggy dirty car smell.
Take a taste. Fresh extra virgin olive oil tastes fresh and clean on your palette, and is not greasy or oily. You will also get a slight tingling in the back of your throat after you swallow – this is the antioxidants in the oil.
Rancid or refined oil tastes rough; you may taste cucumbers and it will leave a greasy, oily film around your mouth and sometimes a sticky taste.
"You can smell AND taste the difference."
Fresh olive oil which smells and taste like the above is what you’ll find with Australian extra virgin olive oils. They taste better and they’re better for you.
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