Always Buy Your EVOO From…Cali?

Like a virgin — or so we thought.

Extra virgin olive oil, or EVOO, is known for being 100 percent pure, rich in taste and vibrant green in color. But according to journalist Tom Mueller, who has investigated the olive oil business, up to 80 percent of EVOO labels in America are lying.

Many olive oils that we see in grocery stores are a mix of different, cheaper oils, such as sunflower and canola, with barely any EVOO. This could be harmful for those with seed allergies.

California — where the California Olive Oil Council (COOC) is very active — offers first-rate EVOO because they can get it on the shelves quicker, meaning it will be fresher. Trader Joe’s has a good variety of Californian oil, but some of their Italian olive oils may be packaged in Italy, but not made. If you choose to go Italian, look for which city it was made in, preferably Sicily or Puglia.

You can see all the COOC certified oils here.

  • I am happy to see consumers are becoming more aware of the issues in olive oil however to only limit your olive oil to California makes me sad. There are so many great EVOOs out there. It is like only eating chocolate ice cream. It´s good but there are much more flavors. Ways to avoid fraud: if it´s cheap its no good; get to know the producer or at least look them up on line to see their authenticity; look for a harvest date (2015/2016 this year) on the bottle and/or a DO seal; always choose a bottle or can that keeps the olive oil from having direct contact to sunlight or light; look up prizes like World Best Olive Oils. The olive oil from Tunisia in Trader Joes for example is a good solid olive oil that for me in 2015 had notes of ripe tomato. Alexis, try out the picual from José Andes in Whole Foods. It is from a great producer here in Spain. Believe me, after a taste, you won’t want to stick to just California. I don´t know where you are located but if we even coincide, I could give you some tasting pointers to avoid defective olive oils. For one, if it has an aroma of lettuce dressed with vinegar and oil it is winey or vinegary. Take it back to the store. Cheers.

  • I am happy to see consumers are becoming more aware of the issues in olive oil however to only limit your olive oil to California makes me sad. There are so many great EVOOs out there. It is like only eating chocolate ice cream. It´s good but there are much more flavors. Ways to avoid fraud: if it´s cheap its no good; get to know the producer or at least look them up on line to see their authenticity; look for a harvest date (2015/2016 this year) on the bottle and/or a DO seal; always choose a bottle or can that keeps the olive oil from having direct contact to sunlight or light; look up prizes like World Best Olive Oils. The olive oil from Tunisia in Trader Joes for example is a good solid olive oil that for me in 2015 had notes of ripe tomato. Alexis, try out the picual from José Andes in Whole Foods. It is from a great producer here in Spain. Believe me, after a taste, you won’t want to stick to just California. I don´t know where you are located but if we even coincide, I could give you some tasting pointers to avoid defective olive oils. For one, if it has an aroma of lettuce dressed with vinegar and oil it is winey or vinegary. Take it back to the store. Cheers.

 

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