I grew up in the berber mountains of North Africa (Algeria ) where almost every family in my little town owns at least 100 olive trees. ( The pictures bellow shows my dear mother and brother during the olive oil harvest on November 2014 ). Olive oil has been used as part of the human diet for more than 5000 years. modem research performed in universities and research institutions around the world indicate that olive oil is beneficial to health and that we should definitely include it in our diet. It’s considered as a natural remedy for almost everything in my culture. Before we even finish complaining about some sorts of aches, my mom would rush and crab some olive oil. In the post I will share with you how to chose a real olive oil and show you the right source for it.
What To Look When Shopping For Olive Oil
Did you know that not all olive oils are created equal? It is almost impossible for the average unsuspecting consumer in the United States to find real extra virgin olive oil. Almost impossible, because 95% of the olive oils available in supermarket selves in the US are of inferior quality and of questionable origin and composition.
I discovered Kasandrinos through my friend Caitlin over at grassfedgirl.com and was sold right away. It’s imported directly from the family olive groves where it’s grown and cold-pressed in the Sparta region of Greece. Founded by Effi and Tony Kasandrinos, the company combines their passion for health and love for family in a pristine product that honors both their personal heritage and the family’s ancestral wisdom. Click here to buy real, pure olive oil from Kasandrinos.
What To Look When Shopping For Olive Oil
- Look for extra virgin olive oil in dark green glass or in packaging that shields it from light: avoid plastic, exposure to light, heat, or oxygen as all these factors can cause rancidity.
- The color of the oil doesn’t matter: Many people think green olive oil must be richer in flavor than yellow olive oil. In fact, some producers have taken advantage of this myth by adding leaves to the olive crush, which increases chlorophyll and achieves a darker green color.
- Real and Well-made extra virgin olive oil will never be dirt cheap: If you see that the olive oil is cheaper from some of the other oils in the shelf, then that’s a red flag. Do it buy it. One olive tree only produces about 3 liters per year. That’s crazy! Imagine the farmers trying to make a living off of real EVOO when they’re being undersold by fake stuff.
- Look for a harvesting date on the bottle: If you’ve had olive oil in your pantry for more than a year, I’d advise you to chuck it since that’s about the extent of its shelf life. Most bottles will have the bottled date not the harvest.
- Phrases like “packed in Italy” or “bottled in Italy,” does not mean that the oil was made in Italy, much less that it was made from Italian olives. Italy is one of the world’s major importers of olive oil, much of which originates in Spain, Greece, Tunisia and elsewhere, so don’t be taken in by Italian flags and scenes from the Tuscan countryside on the packaging. Some of the oil imported into Italy is consumed by Italians, but much of it is blended, packed and re-exported. Generally speaking, avoid oils whose precise point of production – a specific mill – is not specified on the label.
- Taste: All this said, if you can shop for olive oil in a market that allows you to sample them before you buy, that is the best place to start. The different flavor profiles that a top-quality extra virgin olive oil can have (spicy, floral, nutty, fruity, buttery, herbal) can only be judged on the nose and the tongue, not with they eye. A good olive oil will always taste “clean” and “fresh” on your palate, and never leave a waxy residue when swallowed. The flavors can be subtle or even assertive, but never overpowering in a way that indicates rancidity. The Italian word amato is used to describe the desired effect of swallowing a top-quality extra virgin olive oil: a peppery finish that begins on your tongue then migrates to back of your mouth.
- Be aware of refined olive oils: Only about 30 percent of all olive oil production ends at extracting the oil from the olives. Refining involved using solvents and high heat to neutralize the tastes of the oil. This allows producers to use olives that are not in the best condition, and blend from oils from a wide variety of sources (even countries) because the bad tastes resulting from oxidized olives and the mass production process are chemically removed. When you see “Pure Olive Oil” at the store, or a bottle that says simply “Olive Oil,” these are refined.
- As health conscious consumers, it’s our responsibility to research what we put in our mouths and if Real Food Whole Health can help ease some of that burden by doing a little homework on your behalf, well, we’re happy to help.Pin it!