Are you looking for the best olive oil? There’s a lot of debate around olive oil and it’s purity but it’s really not too difficult to find good olive oil at the grocery store. Here are my tips for finding the good stuff!
While coconut oil holds a special place in my heart, I frequently turn to olive oil in my kitchen. Olive oil is great for making salad dressings, marinades, sautéing, and as a finishing oil. It’s a favorite cooking oil in my house and I even use it in my DIY skincare!
As you stroll down the olive oil aisle of your local store, you’ll encounter a myriad of choices with varying labels. Extra virgin olive oil, virgin olive oil—how do you discern the best option? Which brand should you select? Before revealing my personal favorites, let’s demystify olive oil labels together.
Decoding Olive Oil Labels
As you stroll down the olive oil aisle of your local store, you’ll encounter a myriad of choices with varying labels. Extra virgin olive oil, virgin olive oil—how do you discern the best types of olive oil? Which brand should you select? Before revealing my personal favorites, let’s demystify olive oil labels together.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: Regarded as the crème de la crème, extra virgin olive oil stands at the pinnacle. Crafted from freshly harvested olives, it undergoes extraction using low-heat technology without the use of solvents. EVOO boasts high levels of polyphenols and antioxidants, making it the recommended oil on the Mediterranean Diet. This type of olive oil shines when used for dressings, finishing touches, and light cooking. To maximize the benefits of EVOO, it’s advisable to avoid exposing it to high heat.
Virgin, Pure Olive Oil or Olive Oil: These terms are largely interchangeable, denoting oils that possess minor defects and are typically extracted using heat, occasionally with solvents.
Olive Pamace Oil: This oil represents the second phase of extraction. Obtained with high temperatures and solvent-based methods, olive pomace oil is characterized by its odorless and flavorless nature.
How To Find The Best Olive Oil
When shopping for a quality olive oil, these are the things I search for on the label.
Olive Oil Label: Always pick Extra Virgin Olive Oil. EVOO is pure, fresh juice of olives. Any other oils are refined and not pure.
Cold Extraction: When looking at an olive oil label always look for either first-cold pressed or cold extracted. This means that the oil was extracted with a cold process and without heat or solvents.
Harvest Date & Expiration Dates: Contrary to popular belief, olive oil has a limited shelf life. Due to its raw and freshly pressed nature, it’s crucial to pay attention to both the harvest date and the expiration date. The expiration date is typically within a year of the harvest date, offering insight into the oil’s freshness. Choose oils that provide transparency in this regard.
Packaging: Olive oil is sensitive to heat, light, and air, which can cause oxidation and compromise its quality. To safeguard against these factors, select a bottle of olive oil packaged in dark glass bottle or tin. These opaque containers protect the oil from harmful UV rays, maintaining its freshness and flavors. Additionally, store your olive oil in a cool, dark place to further preserve its integrity.
Best Olive Oil To Buy
So now that you know what to look for when shopping for olive oil, let’s highlight some of the best brands available at the grocery store or online!
California Olive Ranch
This brand checks all the boxes and offers a mild, balanced flavor profile, making it a go-to oil for any cooking preparation. I’ve used this brand to make olive oil cake and ice cream!
Grown on small family farms in California, these olives are cold-pressed by a master miller, ensuring freshness and robust flavor.
Pianogrillo Farm Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This Sicilian olive oil has a butter taste with a zest. Great for making salad dressing and marinates.
Created and bottled in southern spain, this organic extra virgin olive oil is one of the best spanish olive oils I’ve tasted. It has milk flavor with a light almond flavor.
Kirkland Signature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
This is the best budget friendly olive oil brand on this list! But don’t let the low price fool you, Kirklands cold-pressed olive oil is high quality and great for anyone looking to bulk buy olive oil. This olive oil has great flavor and is what I use in place of vegetable oil in most recipes.
With these tips in mind, you can confidently navigate the olive oil aisle and choose the best option for your needs. Remember to prioritize extra virgin olive oil, cold extraction methods, check harvest and expiration dates, and consider packaging quality. Enjoy the rich flavors and numerous benefits of high-quality olive oil in your culinary adventures .