No one likes spoiled food whether it’s rotten milk in the fridge or that hidden cooking oil in the back of the cupboard. For one, we all agree that we hate wasting food (though it does happen) and second, there are ways to prevent this from happening.
When it comes to extra virgin olive oil especially, we’ve got some handy tips on ways to make sure you keep your oil fresh and delicious until the last drop. Check them out below.
1. Know Your Harvest Date
Olive oil is a fresh product and is made from the pressing of the olive fruit. Just as with any fresh product you want to be sure that you know when your oil was harvested and bottled. When you purchase you oil in the store, one clear indicator on quality will be this information which should be located on the label.
We also recommend that if possible you purchase your olive oil from a specialty retailer who will know the harvest date of each oil and most likely bottles their oil when you make you purchase ensuring peak freshness when you head home.
2. Keep It Away from Sunlight
Sunlight is a killer for olive oil as exposure to both light and heat is one way to speed up the spoiling of the oil. When you purchase your olive oil and take it home, the most ideal place to store it is in a cupboard where it can stay cool and out of the sunlight.
If you use it regularly and want to store it on your counter, then be sure you choose a shady spot and keep it away from the stove. The temperature in the room will rise around the stove when you cook and this could be unintentional exposure to heat for your oil.
This is why high-quality oils will be bottled in dark glass bottles to help ensure light and heat are kept away from the oil.
3. Limit Exposure to Oxygen
Exposure to oxygen is another issue for olive oil and can cause it to go rancid before its expiration date. We recognize that exposure to oxygen isn’t 100% avoidable as the oil will be exposed once it’s opened. However, you can limit the exposure by opening only the oils that you plan to use at the time, and not opening all of your oils at once. In addition, use up your oil as quickly as you can by using it in a variety of ways and in a number of dishes. We recommend using your oil within 18-24 months after bottling and within 6 months of opening.
If you’re looking for creative and fun ways to use your oils then check out our recipe section which will give you tons of great ideas https://dolivotastingbar.com/recipe/
How to Know If Your Olive Oil Is Bad
Smell the oil – open the bottle, pour some out and smell the oil. A good olive oil should smell fresh and green like ripe olives. Rancid oil will smell a bit waxy like crayons or putty.
Taste the oil – this is the ultimate test. A good oil will taste “green” like fresh grass or ripe green olives. If it is at all greasy or tastes like nuts that have gone bad get rid of it.
While eating rancid oil won’t make you sick, the off flavor you’ll get is likely to ruin a recipe. If you find that your oil has gone bad we suggest tossing it out and making a trip to the store.