To buy the right olive oil, you have to decide what kind of oil you need; you should also know what distinguishes a great oil from a mediocre one. It also helps to be familiar with the processes used by olive oil manufacturers so that you can pick the best oil to suit your end application.
Anyone in the olive oil business can tell you their opinion, but finding the right olive oil is like finding the right wine: it's very subjective. But if you know where to start, doing a few taste tests is all you need to get you on your way.
1. Check out traditional olive oil made using the cold pressing method. This process doesn't use heat to get the oil from the olives and therefore, produces a better oil.
2. Find information on olive oil brands that produce extra virgin olive oil. This oil is of the highest purity and is preferred by many customers because of its lower acidity.
3. Taste a few olive oils infused with different flavors. An infused olive oil can really add a special kick to your dishes.
Buy cold pressed olive oil for the best qualityTraditional olive oils are pressed from fresh picked olives. This usually occurs within 24 hours of harvesting. Whole olives are first pressed into a paste, then pressed again to squeeze out the oil. This process is known as cold pressing and is the best way to make olive oil that has a quality taste.
Give your customers the best; use extra virgin olive oilExtra virgin oil, or EVO, has less than .8 acidity. This oil has the highest purity of any of the olive oils, and to assure that you're getting the best, look for the seal of certification from the California Olive Oil Council.
Cook with infused olive oil for an extra zingOlive oils can be "infused" with a variety of herbs and flavors to add to the taste of the oil. The most common type of infusion is with herbs, but some companies have gotten creative and are offering flavors like blood orange and jalapeño.
- Organic olive oil is probably the best olive oil out there. It is pure, it's "green" and it tastes great. Many organic olive oils aren't much more expensive than traditional oils, so they are cost effective as well as high quality. Even better, get an organic EVO.