ONLY BUY EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL IF….(handy guide to choose the right EVOO)

Everybody has been talking about how healthy extra virgin olive oil is for a while. With the gradual lift of COVID restrictions, you feel you could use a switch to a healthier lifestyle and the first step is definitely to review your bad eating habits.

So, the scariest thing you’ve heard is about saturated and trans fatty acids promoting heart disease, a condition with a very high mortality rate. On a happier note, they say you might dodge heart disease, but you’ll definitely put on some not-so-appealing extra weight. So, as even the NHS recommended to replace those saturated and trans fats with unsaturated fats (and Mediterranean cookery is so yummy!), you just go online and look for your new health ally, extra virgin olive oil.

Why Is Extra Virgin Olive Oil so Healthy?

Extra virgin olive oil is the king of monounsaturated fats with a stunning 75% of them. This figure makes it a much healthier choice compared to animal fats and processed, calorie-packed condiments, sauces and ready-to-eat food.

Although, there is another peculiarity of extra virgin olive oil that puts it on top of the list of healthy fats: the antioxidants content. But not every EVOO is the same. High quality organic EVOOs can contain more than 350mg and up to 900mg of polyphenols per liter. A sign of a high polyphenols content is the bitterness and the pungency of the EVOO. However, if you don’t really trust your beginner palate, you can always contact the shop and ask If they hold the lab tests of the EVOO you want to buy. If they can help, it is definitely a good sign and they’re likely to be a reliable seller.

How Long Does An Extra Virgin Olive Oil Last?

We always recommend buying an EVOO harvested in the current year. In Italy for example, the harvest lasts from late October to December according to the area considered. Usually the EVOO is kept in special containers under specific conditions to maintain the organoleptic properties. When it’s bottled, the producer must set the expiry date in 18 months.

What happens after 18 months?
  • High quality extra virgin olive oils will last even more. But probably the antioxidants content will have decreased and the acidity level increased a bit. In terms of flavour, this only translates in a faded aroma and less pungency, but it’ll still be a good EVOO.
  • Lower quality EVOOs will taste more “mature” after a few months but they’ll still be good for cooking.
  • Low quality EVOOs will acquire a not so pleasant taste that makes them not suitable to eat.
Companies selling high quality products are always happy to provide extra information. When you call the right shop, you will always find out more than you expected. Especially when you buy imported food, it is vital to make an informed choice before you make a purchase. So, be proactive and send that email.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published