How long can you store olive oil?
Olive oil is a particularly versatile product. At least, the extra virgin variety. You can bake, roast, marinate and much more with it. Nowadays, olive oil is also almost standard in the kitchen in the Netherlands. But a question that is often asked is: how long can you store olive oil? Gkazas Olive Oil is extra virgin olive oil. The best version of all types of olive oil, so we will only focus on this variety.
What not to do?
The main factors that influence the shelf life of olive oil are light, air and temperature (too hot/too cold/not constant). Light causes that the good substances in the oil break down faster, air in the olive oil can cause condensation in the bottle or the can and heat is a danger to the taste of olive oil.
For example, the sun with its light and heat has the greatest influence on olive oil. Therefore, do not store the olive oil in the window. That can be very tempting, but is not a good idea. Also, do not keep your bottle or can in the fridge. This can cause condensation dilution in the bottle and that makes the oil rancid quite quickly.
So what should you do?
The best place is a dark place in a cupboard at room temperature. In addition, a can is actually slightly better than a bottle, because there enters no sunlight. By the way, don’t think that you should immediately remove your bottle off the table while still eating. We prefer to see it remain in place throughout the meal and be used a lot.
Storing olive oil: a difficult question to answer
But exactly how long you can store olive oil remains a difficult question to answer. There are even tales that 2,000-year-old jars of olive oil were found on Knossos and are still edible! We do know one thing for sure: the extra virgin olive oil can easily be used for years, if stored in the dark and at a constant room temperature. The extremely low level of free oleic acids in this olive oil means that the flavor only gets marginally stronger (more nutty/vinegar-like) over time. Many Greeks therefore have a number of vintages at home and choose from them, depending on the dish they prepare.
Do you have doubts about the quality of the olive oil after a while? Taste the oil neat from a spoon. If the olive oil smells and tastes very strong, musty, rancid or too sour and is therefore no longer good to use with food, you can always use the olive oil for other purposes. Think, for example, of using olive oil as a lacquer for your furniture or when lubricating your bicycle chain. But of course we assume that you are such an olive oil lover, that the olive oil is used up pretty quickly and it doesn’t even get the time to lose its quality! 😉