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Many of us don’t inherently know what type of olive oil we should be buying so we often base our purchasing decision on name brands we recognize, an attractive bottle and the price of course, but we should be basing our decision on what’s IN the bottle instead. Here are 5 foolproof tips for buying good-quality olive oil.

1. Type of bottle. The three enemies of olive oil are light, heat, and air. Not all olive oil is created equal to begin with but the way it’s packaged and the way it’s stored can tell you a lot about the respect that the seller has for it. Never ever buy olive oil in a clear bottle – even if it looks attractive with that sprig of (likely mouldy) rosemary inside. Avoid letting oil sit in your car for too long or in your home in direct sunlight. Keeping the bottle closed will ensure the oil lasts as long as possible and will prevent unnecessary oxidation which will age it faster.
2. Taste. If you have an opportunity to test out an olive oil before buying it, do it. There are different intensities of extra-virgin olive oil and you’re never going to know which one suits your needs or pallet until you have an opportunity to taste it. And if it has no flavour it’s likely stale or rancid.  Please know that rancid does not mean olive oil it is harmful, It basically means that it was never produced properly or it’s stale and has no healthful properties left.
3. Best by date. Please be aware that best before dates on bottles of olive oil ore somewhat arbitrary and usually are set about two years out from the day the oil is bottled. Extra virgin olive oil is a fresh fruit juice and should only be consumed within about 18 months after the date it was crushed – that’s the date you should be looking for! And if it’s for sale on the grocery store shelves for $4.99 per litre, it’s probably been sitting there for quite some time or was a cheaply produced product initially.
4. Check out the type of oil. The vast majority of olive oils available on the market use a blend of both green and black olives but green olives are robust and stronger in taste and when they are used exclusively you get healthier and fresher oil. We prefer to stock olive oil that is monocultivar; in other words using just one type of olive, for example Arbequina, Coratina, Picual, Hojiblanca, Koroneiki, Picholine etc. With a monocultivar olive oil, you get more defined characteristics and we can differentiate more clearly which oil compliments which food. From time to time we also feature blends.
5. Look into the polyphenol levels. Generally speaking Polyphenols are a key component to Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and are considered to be one of the best health benefits within the oil. Polyphenols furnish the immune system, protect us from heart diseases and display anticancer activity as they act as free radicals. We always have full chemistry analysis available on every extra-virgin olive oil we have in stock because the chemistry doesn’t lie. Most bottles of olive oil don’t show polyphenyl information and that’s because most olive oil isn’t tested for quality.

We pay a lot of attention to the type of fuel we put into our cars and we need to pay at least as much attention to the type of fuel we put into our bodies.  if there is just one thing you can do to improve your health it would be to consume a tablespoon of olive oil every single day (on your food!) and you may as well buy the stuff that tastes great and offers the best health benefits. We would love to pour you a sample!

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