Posted by ~Chefs Olive Mix on April 07, 2014
What if a water supplier could provide water that in reality was contaminated?
What if an olive oil company could sell olive oil as “Extra Virgin” when actually it’s NOT—and in some cases even rancid?
Unfortunately for you and me, that last question is our reality.
According to USDA law, an olive oil company can fill a bottle that’s been pre-labeled “Extra Virgin”, yet fill it with “any ol’ olive oil” and still sell it for the same price and prestige as a true extra virgin oil. As a Californian, coming from a state with a reputation for producing good olive oil, it’s disturbing to think that buying local doesn’t necessarily guarantee quality.
The reason this happens is in 2012, the USDA updated the standards for distinguishing olive oil grades. We’d like to think that would be a good thing, but part of that publication created avoluntaryprogram of compliance.
So how do you make sure you don’t end up with one of those low-quality olive oils? Orietta Gianjorio, highly revered UC Davis Olive Oil tasting expert, says it’s beautifully simple, because you are more of an expert than you realize…
“I believe the only way for consumers to be sure they are buying ‘real’ extra virgin olive oil with actual health benefits is to taste it looking for undesirable aromas and flavors….[they] are a direct measure of the oil quality.
Consumers must learn how to taste olive oil looking for these undesirable aromas and flavors if they want the power to make healthy choices.”
So learn to taste, because, “tasting olive oil could be the beginning of a healthier and, at the same time, a more rewarding approach to food.”