It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the choices when you want to buy a bottle of olive oil at your grocery store. We asked Vitina Feo for a few expert tips and why it’s better to shop at a speciality olive oil store.
“My family have been producing their own Extra Virgin Olive Oil in Sicily since 1935, so I feel like I’m enough of a connoisseur to be able to answer those questions. This is my advice for you:
- Look at the bottle. It needs to be a dark glass bottle in order to preserve the quality of the oil. If it’s clear or plastic, don’t even consider it. Just this point alone will dis-count many of the choices available.
- Look at the label and see where the olives are from. Don’t be fooled by a bottle that says ‘made in Italy’, the oil may just have been bottled in Italy. Look for single source or origin on the label, this will tell you where the olives are from and you’re not buying a blend of lower quality olive oil.
- Notice the words ‘first, cold pressed’. This means that you’re getting the nutrition from the first press of the olive and that no heat is used during processing which depletes the nutritional value.
- Look for the acidity of the oil which is measured by the amount of Free Fatty Acids (FFA) it contains. Extra Virgin Olive Oil must have an acidity rating of less than 0.8 % but the lower the number, the higher the quality of the oil.
This is a quote from oliveoilsource.com about the acidity of EVOO:
“The FFA is a direct measure of the quality of the oil and reflects the care taken right from blossoming and fruit set to the eventual sale and consumption of the oil. Freshly pressed oil without the use of excessive heat, from healthy, freshly picked olives, normally has a pretty low ‘acidity’, well under 0.5% FFA.” *
Obviously the healthier the olive, the healthier the oil will be to your body.
5. Don’t forget to consider the price. If you’re looking for a high quality oil, then it comes at a cost. At our olive groves in Sicily from every 10lb of olives we harvest, the yield in oil is approximately 1.8lb. We guarantee that every drop in the bottle is pure, unadulterated juice that is pressed out of the olives and that’s why the premium is higher.
I hope this helps you to make up your mind and make an informed choice. In my opinion it’s always worth going to an olive oil store whether online or a physical location, where you can ask questions, get advice and find what you’re looking for. Happy Shopping … and don’t forget to watch my video!”