Not all Extra Virgin Olive Oils are the same, so we’re sharing a few key tips on what to look for when buying olive oil to help you make the right purchase.
Freshness: Olive oil in WA goes rancid over time. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is best used within 2 years of it being pressed. Always look for the harvest date on the label. Avoid products that don’t list a harvest date. In Western Australia, harvest time is April to July, depending on the location, the season and the olive variety.
Extra Virgin Status: The International standard for an oil to be classed as Extra Virgin is that it must have less than 0.08% free fatty acids (FFA). Check the FFA percentage on the label. This is an indicator of freshness, good grove management and timely processing. Rokewood EVOO has always had a FFA less than 0.02% (four times less than required!)
Taste: Oils are categorised as delicate, medium or robust according to the level of polyphenols in the oil, influencing the oil’s intensity and style. It is an individual preference as to which type of oil you prefer.
Packaging: If oil is exposed to air, it will go rancid faster. Oil kept in a cask is ideal as the inner bag deflates as you use the oil, hence decreasing the presence of air coming in contact with the oil. Choose dark bottles as light also negatively affects oil quality.
Storage of Olive Oil: Keep your oil in a cool, dry, dark place. The perfect long-term storage temperature is between 17 and 21 degrees. Oil will congeal if it gets too cold. Should this occur, just put it out in the sunlight for a while and it will return to its liquid state without harming the oil. Oil does not like to be overheated either, so don’t leave in the car for a long time on a hot day.