10 mistakes that olive oil consumers should avoid making
10 mistakes that olive oil consumers should avoid making

Olive oil is the par excellence Mediterranean product and it is hardly ever missing in any Spanish home, but,  are we really acquainted with it?  Do we actually know how to use it? Do we preserve it adequately?


# 1 Not being aware of the existence of various kinds of olive oil. Lack of knowledge about the diverse options that are offered in the oils market, often  leads us to choose a product for its price rather than for its quality.  Naturally, one may consume the kind of oil of one´s choice, and of course, buy  the cheapest class if one wishes so, but it is always useful to be informed about the goods you are buying . Otherwise, the usual trend is to consume refined oils, such as olive oil or  sunflower oil, instead of virgin olive oils (that is either  virgin olive oil or extra virgin olive oil). If you are not acquainted with what I am talking about, let me better explain it here: the difference in price between refined oil and virgin oil amounts to cents  but doesn’t it pay to get a finer quality product which is at the same time healthier?


#2 There is no better oil in the world as the oil produced in my home town. Have you never heard such statement? Indeed, the best oil is Extra Virgin Olive Oil, (EVOO) from your town ... or my own! You may prefer one to the other due to its organoleptic characteristics, however none is better than the other provided they are Extra Virgin, although one may  distinguish from another in their organoleptic characteristics. Then there is the  matter of personal taste . Besides, if you confine yourself to that idea, you are missing the chance to taste other excellent oils of different marks, varieties and origin.


#3 Having just one kind of oil in use at home. Although this is by no means a “mistake”, we would like to point out the following for consideration:  the usual trend is to buy big bottles of oil for use in every kind of dishes. However, for best profitting  from the potential offered by Olive Oils, it is advisable to have different sorts of them, according to what we can afford. For cooked or fried food, use either virgin orextra virgin olive oil, which are less fruity,  whereas for cold dishes, use Premium EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil).  This will enable you  to enjoy their taste better. Besides if these are of different varieties, we may try our own choice of  blends.


#4 The belief that all the oils that are on the market are alike in quality. It is a gross mistake to buy oil from seeds, like sunflower, on account of lower price, fancing that there is little diffence between it and any of the category  virgin olive oil.  For virgin olive oil is  pure fruit juice, in the present case olives, and thus it is the only one that retains all the healthy properties of the fruit, in addition to containing natural  anti-oxidants. Oils from seeds are refined,  that is, they have undergone an industrial process in order to be apt for consuming.

#5 Inappropriate preservation of oil. There is a much extended wrong habit of keeping edible oil in places like the garage or close to the gas cylinder or smelly garlic and cleansing products. Thus the foul smell pervades the place and passes through to the oil which consequently tastes unpleasantly. Oil should be kept in cool, dry places away from bad smell and direct light and heat, for the latter may bring about quick   deterioration of the product.

#6 Paying little or no attention to the labels. Although there may be no best before date for edible oil, it is true that over a long period of time it will lose its taste and smell until it  becomes  rancid.Therefore,  it is  recommended to take notice of the date of bottling, as well as the best before date,  as indicative data. It is bestto consume oil produced in the season of acquisition, as this  will then  surely  keep its fresh qualities.  Unlike in the case of wine, aging works against oil. Another important suggestion is that of minding the variety of olives the oil is made from, since each  variety  has different stability, as for instance,  “picual” and “arbequina”, to mark an extreme example of difference.

# 7 Avoiding olive oils for frying. Olive oils are ideal for frying, much more so if they are virgin olive oils. They can withstand a temperature of nearly 200°C and may be re-used several times. Besides, food fried in virgin olive oils keeps its properties best and absorbs less fat than food fried in other kinds of oil. Best varieties for use in frying are Picual and Cornicabra, since, due to their  fat acid  composition these are highly resistant to degradation through heat.

# 8 Not using olive oils habitually because of their having an acid or strong taste. Failure to appreciate the acidity of the oil and mistaking its taste for low quality creates serious inconvenience.  Do not miss the article where we explain the concepts. Besides, if you think the oil has too strong  taste, it is likely that you are not using the right variety of oil; not all varieties have the same taste. This has much to do with personal preference and luckily there are varieties enough for every kind of taste: the question is to find that whichsuits your preference best. Gloria Argandoña’s article, in her blog  De vinos con Alicia (in search for  wines with Alice)will make you acquainted with varieties other than Picual, Hojiblanca and Arbequina.

# 9 Not buying  virgin olive oils due to their price.  It all depends on how much you appreciate  it in relation to other products: surely, you do not mind spending 2.5€ on  a 200 ml soft drink  that will last you 15 minutes,  nor spending 30€ on a bottle of wine that you will enjoy no longer than over a dinner. The range of prices for olive oils is very wide and there is a large supply of these products in the market, making them available as regards  packagingas well asprice. In the long term, virgin olive oil proves to be unexpensive, not only on account ofits healthy properties and superb taste, but that it keeps  in good condition over a long period of time and may last for months if we store it adequately.  Do not refrain from taking healthy products just to save cents.

# 10 Buying large quantities of EVOO. If you do not intend to consume the oil over a period of six months at the most, it is best to buy small quantities of it. Although it may be cheaper to buy a large bottle of 5 litres for use throughout a year, it  may result in a drawback. The empty space left in the bottle as the content is consumed is filled by air, thus, the remaining content of oil becomes oxidized. Where olive oil is used in rather small quantities , it is advisable to buy  1litre bottles as needed, so as to ensure taking the oil in excellent condition.

Published in Aove Sour&Hot
By: Laura González.