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.