Olive Oil LabelingOlive oil labels can be confusing. Be aware that the only terms recognized by the U.S. labeling laws are Fancy and Super Fancy.
The United States is not a member of the International Olive Oil Council (IOOC) which sets strict standards on olive oils to ensure better products.
The California Olive Oil Council offers a certification program to assure oils with the extra virgin label actually comply with the strict IOOC standards. Those that qualify can carry a special seal.
Countries such as Greece, Portugal and other countries often label olive oils as Extra Extra Virgin, which are in general of much lesser quality than fine olive oils, and can be inferior even to other inexpensive olive oils produced for ordinary cooking.
Olive Oil StorageStore olive oil in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months or in the refrigerator up to a year. Check the label for a bottling date for freshness. Olive oil does not improve with age like fine wine and is best when used during the first 6 months of pressing.
Refrigerated or very cold olive oil will become cloudy, but will clear up when brought to room temperature. Be sure it is kept in an airtight container.
In general, use higher quality forms of olive oil for flavor foremost, and lower grades for high-heat applications.
More About Olives, Olive Oil, and Olive Recipes• Olive Selection, Storage, and Labels
• Olive Varieties
• Olive Brining and Curing
• Types of Olive Oil
• Olive and Health
• Olive History
• Olive and Olive Oil Recipes
Olive Photo © 2008 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
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