Did you realize olive oil is a perishable fruit juice?
Don’t get me wrong, olive oil has been a staple in my kitchen for years.
I just never gave much thought to it, other than reaching for it pretty much every time I cook. I love it for sautéing, marinating, making salad dressings – you name it.
So it’s safe to say olive oil – especially of the first cold-pressed, extra virgin variety – holds a place of honor in my kitchen.
In fact, I have a pretty clear glass bottle with a bright hand-painted rooster on it sitting right beside my cooktop. I love it.
Turns out, my favorite hand-painted rooster and I have been committing ALL 4 of the deadly sins against olive oil.
Are You Guilty???
Natural Enemy #1: Time – As a perishable fruit juice, olive oil isn’t meant to sit on shelves forever. So pay attention to the “harvest date” on the bottle before you buy. If it’s been more than 18 – 24 months since it was harvested, keep looking.
As far as how much you should buy at one time, experts recommend purchasing only as much as you can use within 15 – 30 days.
(By “Experts” I mean the fine folks I met from California Olive Ranch at the International Food Bloggers Conference in Seattle last month. I attended an olive oil tasting they conducted – and I can’t stress enough what a HUGE difference there is between a high-quality olive oil that has been stored properly – and what I’ve been using at home.
Even my 12-year-old stepdaughters refuse to have anything to do with the old stuff. 🙂
Disclaimer: I may earn referral commissions on products I recommend on this site, but my stepdaughters do not 🙂 ~ and they won’t touch the old stuff anymore.
Confession: Last time I bought olive oil – I found a great “deal” at a local store and bought 8 bottles of it – and am just now working through the end of it. Never again.
Natural Enemy #2: Temperature – high temperatures will damage your olive oil. So, keep it away from heat sources (like your cooktop or oven).
Natural Enemy #3: Oxygen – air tight storage is the way to go with when storing olive oil. Just like my other favorite perishable fruit juice (more commonly called “wine”) – exposure to oxygen will quickly ruin your olive oil.
Natural Enemy #4: Light – exposure to sunlight and other sources will also cause your olive oil to break down. Therefore, dark glass bottles (preferably dark green) that block light are recommended instead of clear glass ones.
So, as you can see from my picture above – I’ve been guilty of committing pretty much all 4 of the deadly sins against olive oil.
How about you? How do you select and store olive oil in your kitchen?