Want to buy the best (extra virgin) olive oil? Pay attention to these 5 tips!
Choosing the right olive oil isn’t easy. Olive oil comes in a range of varieties. There’s so much choice that it is sometimes hard to see the forest through the olive trees! Especially if you want to make the best choice, you need to take more into account than only the taste. Aspects such as sustainability and the right price-quality ratio should also factor into your decision. That’s why we’ve developed 5 tips to help you choose the right olive oil.
1. Choose the type of olive oil that fits your needs
Whether you’re browsing online or in your local supermarket, you’ll find a wide selection of different olive oils. So it’s important that you know what kind of olive oil you are looking for. Do you use olive oil only for braising and frying? Or are taste and health benefits the most important factors for your choice? The following overview of the different types of olive oil and their qualities will help you find what you need:
- Extra virgin olive oil: packed with flavour and health benefits. This oil is often the most expensive option in this segment because it is pure oil from the first press. You can use extra virgin olive oil to add flavour to cold and hot dishes alike.
- Virgin olive oil: still flavourful, but slightly less so than extra virgin. It is allowed to have an acidity level of no more than 3%. The maximum acidity level with extra virgin olive oil is 0.8%. While generally less expensive, you do have to make sacrifices in terms of quality.
- Regular olive oil: a mix of refined and unrefined olive oil that has been treated with heat and/or chemicals during the pressing. The oil no longer has much taste or colour, which means it isn’t well-suited for use as a flavouring in a salad or a dip with bread. But the oil is suitable for braising and frying because you can heat it to an even higher temperature than extra virgin olive oil and (extra) virgin olive oil.
Want to discover more about frying, braising or heating olive oil? Check out this informative page. Want the best-tasting and healthiest olive oil? Choose extra virgin olive oil for the reasons presented above. It’s by far the best option for your health thanks to the number of antioxidants found in extra virgin olive oil..
Read the label and additional information on the packaging carefully when buying extra virgin olive oil. The name extra virgin must, for example, be stated on the bottle. References to ‘pure’ or ‘real quality’ olive oil are meaningless. What’s more, the acidity level of extra virgin olive oil may not be higher than 0.8 percent. Read more about the different types of olive oil here.
2. Should I buy olive oil in a can or battle?
Voordat we ingaan op de vraag olijfolie kopen in blik of fles, geven we eerst een stukje essentiële informatie…
The most important factors that influence the storage life of olive oil are light, air and heat. Light causes the good substances in the oil to break down more quickly, air can cause condensation in the bottle or can and heat can negatively affect the taste of the olive oil. Many quality brands, including Gkazas Olive Oil, provide information on these factors on their packaging. This is how we take these factors into account at Gkazas:
- Light: The cans don’t let any light through. You can press in the handy spout back into the can after use to ensure no light gets through. The bottles are made of dark glass. This is how we minimise the oil’s exposure to light.
- Air: While you can’t entirely prevent air getting in once you’ve opened a product, you can minimise the amount of air by closing the bottle or can immediately after use. Gkazas Olive Oil has an air-tight closure. This helps preserve the quality of the olive oil for longer.
- Temperature: We store our products in a dark space with a constant temperature. It’s not too cold, but also not too warm. The ideal median temperature is 14-16 degrees Celsius.
Like we said, you’ve got a wide range of olive oil from which to choose. But you will still see, especially on supermarket shelves, a great deal of packaging that is transparent and lets light through. This comes at the expense of the good substances and quality of the olive oil. So you’re clearly better off with opaque packaging (dark glass or tin). The choice between a glass bottle or a can is a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer to pour from a bottle, while others like having their olive oil in a can.
Are you hesitant about olive oil in a can? Don’t be! Olive oil in a can is perfectly fine and 100% light-repellent. We also want to clear up the misconception that tin affects the flavour of olive oil. It isn’t true. In fact, foodstuffs preserve their qualities and flavour better in cans than in other containers. What’s more, tin is unbreakable, has a long storage life and, like glass, is sustainable. This makes it perfect for recycling because tin never loses its quality.
And to top it off, the advantages associated with tin mean that products in cans are often less expensive than those in a bottle for example. This is because tin has the fastest filling speed, does not require any secondary packaging and is easy to stack, making it easy to transport. So it’s very sustainable! And speaking of sustainability and Gkazas… More about that later.
3. Where does my olive oil come from?
It’s important to know where certain oil comes from so that you can make a correct and well-considered choice. Don’t settle for the text ‘imported from’. All this means is that the oil has been mixed there, while the actual olive oil could well originate from another country. So you need to double check this.
The more you know about the origins of the product, the better. At Gkazas we think it’s very important to communicate this as clearly and appealingly as possible. We do this in our online magazine for example. It features lots of stories about members of the Gkazas Family, our olive oil and our friends on Crete.
4. What is a fair price for good olive oil?
It’s a question without an exact answer, but several aspects factor into determining a fair price. For example, you know when you buy olive oil for a couple of euros, you’re buying ‘regular’ processed olive oil. The price of a good extra virgin olive oil is usually a good deal higher at an average of between 10 and15 euros per litre.
The price of the product can also be an indicator of how honest a product is. You naturally hope to buy a good (extra virgin) olive oil at the lowest possible price. But if you’re realistic and think about more than your own wallet, you know you have to pay more for a high-quality good olive oil. This is because producing high-quality good olive oil is an expensive undertaking carried out by dedicated people who put loads of love and effort into it. And at Gkazas we believe everyone who puts their heart and soul into creating a great product deserves to earn a fair price.
This table compares Gkazas Olive Oil to other brands
Quality isn’t just about you – it’s equally about other people and nature and the environment. And this leads us to the last question you can ask yourself …
5. What impact does olive oil production have on nature and the environment?
It might not be the first question that pops in your mind, but it’s an important one nonetheless: What impact does the production of this product have on nature and the environment? While you might not have a clear picture of every detail of the production process, there are a number of distinct quality marks that confirm whether a product has been produced organically. Skal Biocontrole and applicable European Legislation are two examples of bodies that assess this. In order to be considered organic, a brand of product must meet the following requirements:
- The product must consist of at least 95% genuine organic ingredients
- It must be clear exactly where the ingredients come from
- No chemical pesticides must be used in the production process
- No artificial fertilizers have been used
There is an array of different types of olive oil available on the market. This can make it tough to make a choice, but you can make a well-considered choice by following the guidelines outlined above. Gkazas Olive Oil ticks all the boxes. Our olive oil is organic and extra virgin, boasts lots of health benefits and features a fair price for both customers and the people who put their heart and soul into producing olive oil. This production also lessens the load on nature and the environment in every possible way.
An excellent choice! Ready to try our olive oil? Request a free tin of Gkazas Olive Oil today or have a look around our webshop.