Few tips to bear in mind while opting for an olive oil

Day in and day out on various cookery shows, we come across chefs pointing out the goodness of olive oil and the benefits of including olive oil in various cooking practices. Now, after seeing one such show you are inspired to pick up olive oil for your cooking at home. You head straight for the store near you but are in a daze after finding out the varieties of olive oil up for sale. Now, what do you do? How do you select an olive oil that is best and will suit your needs?

Here are a few tips that will help you opt for an olive oil that is best for you and how to store the olive oil.

– Color tells you a lot about the olive oil. Green-colored olive oil is one that is prepared from early-harvested olives and has a fruity, peppery and ripe flavor. On the other hand, olive oil that is yellowish-golden in color has a buttery and smooth flavor. The green olive oil has increased amounts of polyphenols and other antioxidants. These polyphenols and anti-oxidants are beneficial for our health.

– Stay away from the so-called light olive oils as they are thinned, have little to offer in terms of flavor and have same caloric value as the regular olive oils.

– If tasting the oil before buying is allowed at the store then do go in for it. This will help you in selecting the olive oil with the flavor you like.

– If you are lucky enough to be residing in an area where olives are pressed to extract oil, then pick oil that has been just recently bottled as the fresh oil is considered the most savory of all. October to late January is the time when olives are pressed, so watch out for olive oil during these months in such areas.

– For churning out recipes that do not require much frying use extra-virgin olive oil. For frying, it is advisable to use virgin olive oil, since it is less costly, gives off less flavor and does not burn as easily as extra-virgin olive oil.

– If your cooking involves a lot of sauteing and roasting, filtered olive oil should be selected and choose an unfiltered olive oil for salad dressings and to drizzle on soups or pastas.

– For olive oil to be flavorful, it is imperative that it is stored properly. A cool, dark place is considered best to store olive oil. Olive oils too can turn rancid as time passes. Different types of olive oils have different shelf lives depending on how they are prepared and bottled. An unfiltered, late-harvest olive oil packed in clear glass bottle can last for about as little as three months and an early-harvest, filtered oil filled in a well-sealed tin or dark bottle can last for as long as four years.

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