Olive Oil Times recently published a simple yet effective list of things that you should be aware when purchasing olive oils.
First of all, and most obvious, check the “best by” date. If it is close to expiring or past, it most likely is not poisonous, but surely not worth the extra $ for the extra virgin.
Second, quality extra virgins have an aroma like fresh cut grass or even garden tomatoes. If there is no pleasant aroma, there is a good chance it has been deodorized to mask old age, rancidity or poorly processed olives.
Third, if it smells like s barn yard, feed it to the hogs. Odors such as hay, mud, rotten fruit or wet cardboard are signs of an oil that has oxidized and will lack all the benefits you paid for
Fourth, if it has a “nosey” flavor like vinegar or wine…well, no comment except that good evoo’s impart their flavor on the back part of your pallette, Save fruit forwardness for a nice red wine from Puglia (like our “Nero di Troia” from Mazzone)
And fifth, have you ever tried to eat an olive off the tree? I don’t reccommend it. But the extreme bitterness of healthy olives are what make a great olive oil. Take a sample, smell the aroma, sip it and swoosh it around in your mouth. It should smell fresh, like green grass, have a pleasant bitterness on your tongue and cause a sting in your throat. Farmers even have a classification for the bite of olive oils: “One, Two or Three Cough” oils.
So keep an eye out for these characteristic and your next bottle will be great, better yet, come down to the Sararota Farmers Market or visit us at the shop on Tamiami Trail and pick up a fresh bottle of our Coratina Monvarietal Extra Virgin.
Find us online at www.mazzoneoliveoil.com