Are you looking to buy the best oil? Yes, it’s true. The market is flooded with commercial brands and different types of olive oil: virgin extra, virgin, olive oil and blended oils. How can you pick out the best oil from what’s on offer?
We know that it’s not easy and that, often, the information on the label isn’t sufficient. So, for that reason, in this post, we’re going to throw some light on this subject to help you to choose a high quality extra virgin olive oil.
It’s an important matter. Not only because you’re going to enjoy the aroma and flavour much more but also because you will gain from all its beneficial properties such as polyphenols which all juices of the olive should have for your health. So, let’s begin:
To produce the best oil, it’s necessary to have the best olives, something which should go without saying. Healthy olives and ones which have fallen naturally from the tree. The fruit of the olive tree has to be at its exact moment of ripeness when it is collected and taken to the oil mill. The process of collecting the olive and its transport has to be clean and done as quickly as possible. The healthier the fruit arriving at the mill, the less acidity it will have and the better the olive oil produced.
Producing the best oil demands rapid transport to the oil mill
Collecting the olives is carried out in the months of November, December and January. And the system of beating the tree with a hand-held pole has to be used. This consists in moving the branches so that the fruit falls. This has traditionally been a manual job but now, it’s logical to see machines which carry out this process more quickly.
Once the olives have been harvested from the olive grove, their transport to the oil mill must be carried out as quickly as possible. And that’s how it’s done at Masía El Altet. Transport has to preserve the olive. Using sacks has to be avoided; it’s much better for them to be loose.
And, don’t forget this, to ensure quality and to obtain the best oil, the olives have to be processed within the 24 hours following their collection . This is a prerequisite which we carry out to the letter at Masía El Altet. Once in the oil mill, they are classified and cleaned.
Producing the best oil, always from cold pressing
The best oil requires the best food technology. Modern machinery for extraction. At Masía El Altet, to be precise, we use systems of continuous extraction in two stages. A far cry from traditional pressing.
And why is it called cold extraction? It’s all to do with the temperature. And the temperature at which the paste is extracted, to be more precise. In Masía El Altet’s extra virgin olive oils, the temperature at which the paste is extracted is 21º.
The maximum temperature is 27º but we, to guarantee maximum taste and flavour, have decided on 21º. Above 27º, we can’t speak about extra virgin olive oil and even less , of the best oil. That’s what you’re looking for.
The higher the temperature, the more litres of olive oil extractd per kilo of olives. But this is at the expense of the quality of the olive oils. And this is the last thing we want in our oil mills.
Advice on how to buy the best oil
It’s necessary to bear in mind other factors when you’re going to buy the best olive oil. Now, we’re going to point out some of them to:
1. The type of oil
We’ve already told you this before. The one with the best aroma and flavour and the most beneficial for your health is extra virgin olive oil. It’s considered the real juice of the olive. Of high quality and very natural and what you’ll find at Masía El Altet. Give other types a wide berth and above all blended oils which are nothing more than a mixture of oils to cover up for impurities.
The flavour of the best olive oil is unmistakable. It should smell clean, of natural elements, it should have touches of recently mown grass and a wide variety of fruit touches. The perfect oil would be one in which the grass and fruit touches are perfectly balanced. This is achieved thanks to the best experts in the producton of olive oil.
Although the colour of olive oil should not be an indicator of quality, since there are poorly balanced oils which are very green in colour and other complex ones very yellowbut we can usually aassume that the greener the oil, the earlier the moment of collection of the fruit. The type of olive also influences the colour.
Opaque bottles preserve better all of the properties of the juice of the olive. Light together with sudden changes in temperature are the greatest enemies of extra virgin olive oil. Closing the bottle after use is crucial; if not, oxygen will speed up the process of rancidity.
5. The date
It’s a good idea to look at the sell-by date when you’re going to buy olive oil. It’s true that because of its characteristics, you can use it for many years, but it’s no less true that if you consume olive oil from the year in which it’s produced, it’s far better for your health and palate.
6. Look carefully at the label
Olive oil is a foodstuff. As you well know, it’s at the base of the Mediterranean Diet and the label has to contain all the information the consumer should have to know precisely what he or she is buying. It’s specific name, that is to say, whether it’s extra virgin olive oil, or only virgin or blended oil must be clearly stated.
You should also check that the name of the producer is clearly visible and also the address and country of production.
And finally, and in order to be sure that you’re buying the best oil you should look to see if has been awarded a prize in international competitions. Experts in the world of olive oil are those in charge of judging if the oil fulfills all of the requirements for it to be recognized as extra virgin olive oil which, as we’ve said before, is the purest oil in existence.
These are the things which you must bear in mind to ensure you’re buying the best oil Don’t be in a rush to choose it and look for all of the things we’ve mentioned. We’re talking about a foodstuff and because of that, we’re also talking about your health.
What type of olive oil do you buy? Do you take into account all of the indications we’ve mentioned when you’re buying it? Tell us in the comments section.
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