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WHY MUST YOU STORE YOUR Olive Oil PROPERLY?
Firstly, before starting with explanations about how and why should we keep and maintain our EVOOs, I need to clarify what kind of product I’m talking about.
The reason why we talked so much about Olive Oils conservation is because like most of vegetable fats on the market, EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL is a pure fruit juice, which provides subtle flavors and aromas that can’t be reached by any other oil. It’s a full life product.
I can give you an explanation based on the “orange juice theorem” from Rosa Marchal: (http://www.rosamarchal.es/en/2012/01/08/calidades-de-los-aceites-de-oliva-virgenes-zumos-naturales-de-aceituna/). basically, she makes a comparison between olive juices (or oils) and orange juices that is easy to understand.
EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL = ORANGE JUICE DIRECTLY MADE FROM ORANGES PICKED FROM TREE MINUTES AGO. (EXTRA VIRGIN ORANGE JUICE)
VIRGIN OLIVE OIL = ORANGE JUICE MADE FROM ORANGES STORED IN GOOD CONDITIONS FOR DAYS. (VIRGIN ORANGE JUICE)
LAMPANTE OLIVE OIL = ORANGE JUICE MADE FROM ORANGES STORED IN NO GOOD CONDITIONS OR DIRTY (LAMPANTE VIRGIN ORANGE JUICE)
I’m talking about conditions during production time, when virgin olive oils must be classified into these categories. After that moment (remember that Virgin Olive Oils are a live product) uses and conditions determine the degradation that occurs.
Time between these phases is variable by the factors listed above and mainly by variety, and Picual oils last much more than others as Arbequina (which must be consumed as soon as possible).
This degradation process makes it pass from EVOO to VOO and finally Lampante, which is not recommended to be consumed by humans.
THAT’S WHY YOU MUST STORE YOUR Olive Oil PROPERLY!
Now that you know that the quality of EVOO degrades with time, unlike wine, I will show the proper methods of maintaining a great olive oil.
1º Harvest date.
You have to take into account that olive oil’s harvest date is around November-January in the north hemisphere and around June-July in the south hemisphere. We must check the labels to get our first clues.
With these figures, and the estimated harvesting date (knowing that EVOO is produced within 24 hours from the olives first being picked), it is not be recommended to purchase EVOO from varieties with an optimal lifetime of four months from harvest date in August, nor an EVOO of a prior harvesting date if you’re buying in January .
Direct light exposure is one of main EVOO enemies, that’s why it’s recommended to be bottled in opaque recipients. This kind of recipients don’t allow pass through it some wavelengths of visible spectrum which damage our oils.
Optimal ones would be those made in opaque glass, waterproof tins or stainless steel. Sometimes tetra brick is used to protect EVOO benefits, although consumers didn’t like it at first sight.
By one hand, these kind of containers preserve EVOO benefits from light action, but otherwise, don’t allow us appreciate its real color which determinates the final choose of consumers,
It’s vital that container can be sealed, that is the main condition to store your Olive Oil in a good condition.
In general, you have to store your olive oil above room temperature. Specifically, the optimum storage temperature is around 20 °C or 68ºF.
Olive oil should never be stored in the refrigerator, and if it appears semi-frozen or denser than usual for having been kept at a lower temperature than desired, you have to store your Olive Oil somewhere where the normal temperature is about 20 °C or 68ºF and keep it there regularly.
Oxygen exposure quickly degrades EVOO, so it’s not advisable to transfer the oil between containers since this also mixes oxygen with the EVOO; this contact is terrible for its quality and taste.
In order to avoid this problem, the top quality EVOO is usually present in very small containers in order to reduce the total quantity of oxygen it makes contact with.
Olive Oils tend to absorb odors around them, and the stronger these odors are, more they will be absorbed by our EVOO.
This means that one of the main things to keep in mind when choosing a proper storage space is finding somewhere free of strong odors. Additionally, you must avoid places with high humidity. Store your olive oil away from chemical products and away from drains or other sources of unpleasant odors.
Besides this, the storage must meet the guidelines on temperature and exposure to light that were described earlier.
6º My advice
Check the label before buying, and if you have any doubts, ask the shop assistant for advice (little shops are often more knowledgeable about their products).
- Find seasonal EVOO, January in north hemisphere, and July in south hemisphere (more or less).
- EVOO isn’t better with time, consume it as soon as possible
- Always buy Extra Virgin Olive Oil if you want to get a great experience in a raw way.
- Do not refill a container without cleaning the container first.
- Buy locally, you will help small artisan producers and you will benefit from knowing you are consuming heart-made product.
- Try to ensure that the bottled product is the same that labeled product. It there is any doubt, ask the shop or do your own research.
- Use containers that can be sealed properly.
- Look for your ideal place in your house and store little quantities of a variety of Extra Virgin Olive Oils.
- And mainly, Be olive oil my friend, take its place and think where you would be better.
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Thanks a lot, be olive oil my friend