This aspect, perhaps one of the most important of extra virgin olive oil, not all oils taste the same and therefore we can find different flavors among the same producer or even within the same variety of olive.This is because the taste of extra virgin olive oil depends mainly on the variety of the fruit, but also to a large extent on the place where it is grown, the climatic conditions, the optimal time and the way of harvesting, the optimal amount of water and sun that the harvest has received and many more aspects.Therefore we can say that there are as many flavors as oils. A peculiarity of the freshly extracted oil is its spiciness in some varieties of olives and the intense flavor.” If it stings and makes you cough… THE BETTER”
Conservation is a key factor when we talk about olive oil since we are facing a product that begins to lose its properties, like each fruit, at the moment we remove the olive from the tree.Unlike wine or whiskey, virgin olive oil does not improve over time. We must take into account that when consuming olive oil that is not from a very old harvest and if it is from the the last years harvest so much the better, this will guarantee that we consume an oil that has lost very few properties due to the passage of time. In addition to this there are many factors that influence the conservation of the oil, among them these are the main ones:
The Light.- Once the juice of the olive is extracted, we must keep it in containers or places where they are not exposed to light, especially sunlight because this will also cause temperature changes. Always avoid exposing containers to light and sudden changes in temperature. The ideal is to keep the product in dark or black containers where light does not penetrate and keep it around a constant temperature of 15ºC.
Air.- This is another enemy of oil since it accelerates the oxidation of the product, in the same way that it is a product very susceptible to capturing and retaining external odors. Therefore it is best to keep it in airtight containers.
Containers.- As mentioned before, you should use containers as opaque as possible and avoid contact with metal containers since contact with iron can cause rancidity (old taste ) in the oil.
Contrary to what we may think, color is not a key indicator in the quality of olive oil, in fact in the official tastings of oils opaque glasses and containers or some color are used so that this is not decisive in the score of the oil.
The color of extra virgin olive oil can vary from green to yellow and is closely related to factors such as the variety of olive, the point of maturity of the same or the time it has been packaged.
When the fruit is greener it contains more chlorophyll and pheophytins which gives the oil a greener color and when the olive is riper, it increases the content of carotenes and xanthophylls which gives it a more yellowish color.
Therefore, instead of taking into account the color, we should look more at the packaging date when choosing our extra virgin olive oil.
This is a key factor in the quality of extra virgin olive oil since as we have explained in the section “Types of Olive Oils” extra virgin olive oil must comply with an acidity equal to or less than 0.8% so we can say that the lower the acidity, the higher the quality of the oil.
However, we must bear in mind that the degree of acidity is not detected in the color or flavor but must be fixed by a laboratory through specific tests.
It is common for us to confuse acidity with an intense, acidic, sour or bitter flavor but these characteristics have to do mainly with the variety of olive and not with the acidity of the product.
Therefore, let’s look at the label and keep in mind that “the lower the acidity, the higher the quality of the oil”.
As we can see in the section “Types of Olive Oils”, the denomination of EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL is what guarantees us that it is an oil extracted from the olive only by mechanical means without the intervention of chemical or temperature processes (Olive juice) as it was done in olden times even before our era, In addition, this denomination also guarantees that the acidity is below 0.8%. Therefore when choosing an olive oil, always keep in mind that it is “EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL” with only that name, at least in Spain, it is always a guarantee of good oil.
To guarantee this quality, all our oils are called “EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL” so you will not be able to find other types of oils on our site.
The date indicated on the label is very important since, as we have said before, extra virgin olive oil begins to lose properties at the time of extraction of the olive itself, we would even dare to say that at the same time of the harvest of the fruit. That is why it is important to take into account the date reflected on the label, if the expiration date is very close, the oil may have lost many of the properties attributed to them.
Many of the producers reflect on their labels the packaging date instead of the expiration date so we can know which harvest the oil is from. The ideal would be to consume oil from the last harvest.
It is a peculiarity that we often overlook but at the same time no less important.
Both the harvest of the olive at its optimum moment and the time that elapses from when it is collected until the oil is extracted in the mill, are factors that play a very important role in the quality, taste and smell of extra virgin olive oil. Therefore, the shorter the time elapsed between the harvest of the fruit (olive) to the packaging process itself – bottling, the less properties the oil will have lost. To guarantee this quality, all our oils are packaged in the place of origin or very close to the olive plantations themselves because we work with small producers in small mills (extraction mills) where rapid extraction is guaranteed and we avoid mixtures with other oils.
Lately we can find in stores or oil mills (mills where they sell oil directly), filtered and unfiltered extra virgin olive oils, even being from the same harvest and variety, these are the main differences:
Unfiltered extra virgin olive oil.- It is not strictly as its name suggests since it is not literally oil that has not had any filtering. The ground olive has only been subjected to a decanting process and a very light filtering without removing vegetable and water remains from the olive itself, thus having a cloudy colour. The advantage that this oil has is its intensity of flavor and that it preserves even more of the properties of extra virgin olive oil. Another advantage is the certainty that it is oil from the last harvest since over time all the impurities are deposited little by little at the bottom of the container and the oil ceases to be cloudy. The drawback is that having traces of water and olive particles, its oxidation is faster and loses the properties more quickly. They are advisable to eat at the time of olive harvesting for their intense flavor and for their magnificent properties.
Filtered extra virgin olive oil.- It is the same oil as the previous one, it is not refined oil and of course without chemical treatment or subjected to high temperatures, but that through a more meticulous decantation and filtering process, the water and the small particles resulting from the mass of the olive have been extracted.
Lacking water and small olive particles, conservation is better because oxidation is much slower.
If we choose to buy oil for several months, for example for the whole year, the ideal is to stockpile filtered oil and apply our own conservation rules. In this way we will guarantee an excellent extra virgin olive oil for the whole season.
In recent years and especially in Spain, the price of olive oil has been the subject of trade wars between large distribution chains with the intention of attracting customers. We must bear in mind that a good quality extra virgin olive oil will never have a cheap price tag since as we have said, to reach this quality we need a series of measures in the elaboration that moves away from industrial processes, mixture of oils from other seasons, overproduction, applying heat and several factors that we have explained above.
For all this we must be wary of very cheap oils or offers in this type of product. “If it’s very cheap, don’t trust it.”
The best oil is the one we like, as long as we take into account all the rules we already know about the oil and of course as long as it is extra virgin olive oil.
Depending on the variety of olive we can find more spicy or less spicy, bitter oils, ones with strong roots to the olive or softer tastes. It also depends on the use we give it, there are oils that go better with salads, others for dressing cheeses, for frying or to have at breakfast with toasted bread (Old miller’s breakfast). It all depends on our taste and our experience with extra virgin olive oil.