How to Shop for Extra Virgin Olive Oil
If you're new to buying high-end olive oil, you may be wondering what to look for and how to compare different products. There are a number of different varieties of olive oil, along with different factors to consider when it comes to origins, flavors, and pairings. In this buyer's guide, we'll walk you through the basics and provide helpful tips so you can determine which type of olive oil to buy for your cooking needs.
What Is Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
Olive oil comes from pressing olives, a process that dates back to about 3000 B.C.E. Thought to have originated in Ancient Greece, the process of making olive oil later spread throughout the Mediterranean region, including Italy. Today, authentic Italian olive oil is considered to be some of the finest in the world, and it's produced in 18 of the country's 20 regions.
There are different types of olives which are grown for olive oil, each of which has a distinct flavor profile. The process by which the oil is pressed from the olives can also vary and have an effect on the finished product. Once olive oil is produced, it's graded to determine the quality. The best type of olive oil is extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), which is the finest grade available.
Features of the Best Olive Oils
The EVOO available in most grocery stores today is not made to the highest standards. Our Italian extra virgin olive oil, on the other hand, is made using cold pressing, which means that the temperatures never exceed 60 degrees Fahrenheit during the pressing process. Cold pressing prevents the antioxidants in the oil from being destroyed by heat, so it allows for the production of olive oils with more natural health benefits.
To find the best authentic extra virgin olive oil, we recommend products from small producers in Italy. All true extra virgin olive oil has been cold pressed. It may say "spremitura a freddo" on the label. Top olive oils may carry additional designations on the labels, including awards received, DOP designation (Protected Designation of Origin), or the symbols for Organic Certification.
Italian olive oils are the best for cooking. However, it's even more important choose the best Italian olive oil for finishing a dish. This is when you'll taste the pure flavors the most, so it's important to use a product from one of the best olive oil brands.
What Do the Best Olive Oils Taste Like?
Authentic EVOO tastes very different from a typical supermarket brand, which is usually fairly bland and may have a musty, vinegary, metallic, or even rancid taste. You'll find that top-quality, organic olive oils feature distinctive flavor profiles which can enhance a dish. For example, the oil may have hints that are floral, grassy, sweet, robust, or herbaceous.
The following are a few of the best olive oil brands to try to experience different flavor notes:
- Fonte di Foiano: Classic robust Tuscan with spicy, bitter, and peppery notes
- Quattrociocchi Olivastro Organic: From Lazio, the region of Rome, with notes of herbs, lush flavor
- Frantoi Cutrera Primo DOP: Lush grassy notes with elements of tomato leaf
Where to Buy the Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Olio2go is the ultimate resource for high-end olive oils. We work directly with more than 70 producers from 18 out of the 20 regions of Italy, each of which offers small batch productions with a limited supply of authentic extra virgin olive oil featuring exceptional flavor and quality.
It's important to us to make sure we have close relationships with the producers of the finest authentic Italian olive oils. We make regular visits to Italy to witness their production processes firsthand, and we obtain lab reports for the oils we directly import. By reviewing items such as free fatty acid levels, peroxides, UV K232, polyphenols, and the sensory analysis, we ensure that our customers always get a top-quality product no matter which oil they choose from our selection.
As the leading online retailer of the best authentic extra virgin olive oil, Olio2go is the best place to find high-quality EVOO. Shop online now to discover premium olive oils according to flavor profile or region.