How To Choose The Best Olive Oil

How To Choose The Best Olive Oil

At Kolossos Life, we are firm believers that not every olive oil should have the right to call itself a "good olive oil." Learn how to tell the difference between a high quality olive oil versus a lower quality olive oil.

We strive to use only the finest olives that are hand selected and grown in Greece. You can rest assured that any Kolossos Life olive oil (and any other Kolossos Life product) are made with high quality ingredients that you are sure to love. Here are some important facts to consider when you are shopping for a new olive oil to try:

  • "First Cold Pressed" does not qualify it as an Extra Virgin olive oil only. This is an out-dated term. The proper term is :"Cold Extracted", which is the modern technology mostly utilized today.
  • Not all Extra Virgin olive oils are created equal
  • Olive oil can be used for cooking, baking, sautéing, deep-frying and finishing
  • High quality Olive Oil has a 410F smoke point
  • Pairing is possible! Varietals pair differently with other ingredients for delightful flavor combinations
  • Look for harvest and best by dates on the bottle, usually up to 2 years difference
  • Look for the specific cultivar (olive variety) and region that it is grown and produced in
  • Extra Virgin olive oil is the only oil that is 100% pure, meaning no chemicals are used during refinement
  • Free acidity is not the only parameter to qualify as an Extra Virgin
  • When olive oil is exposed to oxygen, light, and heat, it is subject to oxidation and may become rancid
  • Unlike red wine, olive oil breaks down with age
  • Extra Virgin olive oils are loaded with antioxidants that will have a positive impact on health, wellness, and illness if incorporated as a lifestyle backed by numerous studies

Why Unfiltered Olive Oils?

It is producer and culturally dependent.

Filtration is a process of removing the extra fruit particles known as sediment after extraction. It can be done by several filtering processes, using filters or even naturally by the laws of gravity in a process called racking. However, racking does not remove all particles. Sediment varies by olive variety and batch, among other factors.

Most Greek producers say, "leave the olive oil alone as it should be!" For this reason, we do not filter typically and carefully rack. It is merely a personal preference, not a matter of quality. However, unfiltered oils with heavy sediment are not conducive for a greater shelf life. As a tip, shake the bottle before each use!

How to sniff and taste properly

Does your olive oil smell like olives?

Extra Virgin olive oil must possess 3 positive characteristics and be free of any taste defects.

The positive attributes are as follows:

  1. Fruity: Aromas of cut grass, banana, artichokes, and the like.
  2. Bitter: Sensed on the front or back of tongue
  3. Pungency: Peppery sensation in the back of the throat

Swirl, sniff, slurp, and swallow olive oils to determine these factors. Use a tapered wine glass. Swirl and inhale slowly. Is it pleasant? Next, slurp. Is it bitter on the tongue? What is the tactile sensation? While the oil is still in your mouth, close the mouth and breathe through the nose for retro-nasal stimulation. Finally, swallow the oil. Does it leave a peppery sensation in your throat?

Learning how to taste properly will educate your senses and allow you to select oils with desired flavor characteristics that can be paired with other ingredients.

I know this is a lot of information just for determining what makes a good olive oil! Now that you know what it takes, try doing these tests on one of the Kolossos Life olive oils yourself. *SPOILER ALERT: They pass all of the tests.*