Saturday, November 23, 2013

Quick tip-olive oil, the best and purity

Ojai Olive Farm in California
Saturday, November 23, 2013

My sister shared recently an article that not olive oils are what they say they are.

How do you decide what kind to purchase to minimize the risk that you are getting what the label says?  I would buy an organic olive oil that is extra virgin, cold pressed from an estate.  Extra virgin is oil from the first press of the olive.  Cold pressed means that heat or chemicals have not been used so the oil is as close to the olive as you can get.  Buying an estate olive oil means it is coming directly from a specific olive farm.  With their estate on the label, their reputation is on the line.

There are olive farms in California and Texas in the US.  The olive oil from our US growers are typically estate olive oils.  Many Italian olive oils are a blend of olive oils from many different olive tree farms.

You can buy from a grower you know or have visited. When visiting family in California, we took a tour of a great little family run olive farm Ojai Olive Oil.  You can order from them on-line. 

We have a family that has an olive orchard in Greece that live in West Chester, Ohio, that comes to our local farmers market.

You can also adopt an olive tree and get the oil from it.  One program is in Texas from an organic olive farm.

I have also found estate olive oils at TJ Maxx.  They get in some really fun specialty foods here.

If you just want to go to the supermarket, I buy from Whole Foods.  They check out the companies that they sell in their stores.

Look for the date that the olive oil was pressed and bottled.  You want oil that is within 1 year of bottling.  A fresh oil will have a much stronger, grassy taste, full of nutrients.  Nutrients fade with time.

If you decide you want flavored oil, be sure to use dried herbs.  Just add 1/3 cup of dried herbs, let set in a dark place for 2-4 weeks, strain out the herbs, and you have oil flavored with your favorite garden herb ready to start dressing up homemade dishes!

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