The reality is that many people do not know how to choose good olive oil. The good news is that Marqt.no is on a mission to change that.
We know that choosing the best olive oil might be confusing, with many different olive oil producers and shops claiming to sell the best. So what is the best olive oil, and how to choose one? It is not easy, even for us.
We recommend doing a little research and learning a thing or two about how to choose the best olive oil for you and the environment. Following these ten hints will help you choose the best olive oil that will benefit your health, which should be your number 1 reason why buying an excellent extra virgin olive oil in the first place.
- The first hint is visual, the way the olive producer bottles their olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil should ALWAYS be bottled in dark glass bottles or other containers that don't allow UV light to reach the product as it will affect the olive oil. Avoid anything in a clear glass bottle, no matter how pretty and impressive the label and bottle are.
- Olive oil vs Extra Virgin Olive Oil - always choose extra virgin olive oil, the highest grade of olive oil, also often called EVOO.
- The third hint is an easy hint on what olive oil to buy. If extra virgin olive oil is in Flos Olei, go for it! Flos Olei is the olive oil guide book known as an "Olive Bible"; it is the world's most influential and extensive guide of olive oils; you can be sure that it is an exceptional extra virgin olive oil if listed there.
- Another simple indicator if the olive oil is good is - if it has won any awards. There are many recognizable international olive oil competitions, such as the NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition, AVPA Paris Gourmet Awards, London International Olive Oil Competition, Japan Olive, to name a few.
- It is much likely to find better extra virgin olive oils in specialized gourmet shops than in supermarkets.
- Unlike wine, extra virgin olive oil does not get better with ageing. Pay attention to dates! Try to buy extra virgin olive oils from the latest harvest; the fresher the olive oil, the better = healthier.
- Some top olive oils indicate the harvest year on the bottle or website, or at least the best before date should be on the label. If extra virgin olive oil does not have a "best by date" on it, don't buy it.
- The best extra virgin olive oils usually come in small bottles of 100 ml to 750 ml. Note, when you open an olive oil bottle, it will start to oxidize and slowly deteriorate in quality and health benefits, so if not a big olive oil user (yet). We suggest going for smaller bottle size, especially if you don't use olive oil often. Once you open a bottle, you should use it within a month to get the best health benefits.
- Buying from trustworthy artisan award-winning olive oil producers is one of the best indicators of both quality and authenticity. Those olive producers produce small batches of extra virgin olive oil, as that is the only (best) way to control the superior quality of the extra virgin olive oil quality. At Marqt.no, we carefully selected and partnered with Mediterranean olive producers to bring you high-quality olive oil produced with love, care and integrity, but also loaded with antioxidants. Our beloved olive oil producer Ivo from the Gardens of Eden has little as 1,500 litres. Unfortunately, many claims that they represent smaller producers, while the reality is different. At least this is something easily checked. Look into the olive producer and check their volume (note that 150,000 litres are not a tiny olive production). Again, please do your research; and choose the best possible healthy olive oil option, not just a pretty bottle.
- Do not assume that buying a more prominent, well-known brand name guarantees the best quality. More often than not, they compromise quality for quantity.
We hope to educate people on making the right decisions when buying the olive oil that will be good for their taste buds, health, environment, and the olive oil industry. Better education of consumers on olive oils will help the sector most and solve fraudulent olive oils issues.
If interested in olive oil news and learning more besides reading our articles, we recommend following the Olive Oil Times.
Photo: Olive oil producer Giorgio Clai from Istria, the world's best olive producing region according to Flos Olei, is producing an award-winning organic extra virgin olive oil Terrebianche.
To learn more about olive oils and how to choose the best, we recommend reading the following article(s):
- How can you tell the quality of extra virgin olive oil?
- and many other interesting articles that you can find here.
- D. Putier, How Packaging Influences Olive Oil Quality, 2014
- A. Piscopo & M. Poiana, Packaging and Storage of Olive Oil, 2012