By Catherine Kenwell

Once customers discover their favourite EVOO or infused olive oil, the first questions they ask are, “What size bottle should I get—and how long does it last?”

I often joke that they’ll use it up long before its ‘best before’ date because it’s so delicious, but it’s true—many of our customers purchase refills within 1-3 months of their initial purchase!

Our EVOOs and infused oils are investments for both your health and your palate. You’re investing considerable cash in a superior product, and we want to help you enjoy it as long as possible. So here are a few facts and tips to maintain the freshness and nutritional value of your EVOO:

First, ever wonder why we store our oils and balsamics in those stainless-steel containers called fustis or in dark green bottles?

Light and air can damage the oil by creating oxidation, which changes and decreases those beneficial chemical compounds you look for in a high-quality EVOO. When we pour directly into dark green bottles, we minimize its exposure to light, heat and air.

Those olive oils in clear bottles on the shelves of your grocery store? Not protected from light. This is another reason why investing in a superior olive oil is preferable, because you know you’re getting a fresh, health-beneficial product.

When you get home, store your olive oil in a room-temperature cupboard or a dark, cool corner of your kitchen counter. I store mine in a shady spot underneath my cupboards so that they’re at the ready when I’m making meals.

When stored correctly, olive oil will last a year to 16 months from the crush date in your cupboard or counter. After that time, the oil isn’t harmful, but it might not taste as fresh. The health benefits are also affected, as the polyphenol levels and other nutrients decrease because olive oil is, after all a fresh, unrefined fruit juice.

Make sure you keep the cork or spout closed when not in use, as oxygen can seep into the oil and degrade the product. While self-closing spouts are handy, they don’t seal tightly, but that’s ok—the tiny amount of air that gets into the bottle is of little consequence and won’t affect your oil any more than opening your bottle will.

And that refill I mentioned? We encourage you to wash and completely dry your bottles and bring them back for a refill (Barrie stores only at this time). We’ll give you a dollar off your refill, and you’ll leave with a brand-new, fresh, delicious and quality oil!

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