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Old 01-11-2022, 10:02 PM   #1
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Anyway to tell if Xtra virgin olive oil is real?

a long time ago there was a scandal with a company that was selling a low grade oil of some sort bottled as Xtra virgin olive oil. I think it was imported from Italy but was a popular brand. Ever since I have been skeptical of the olive oil that I use. Anyway to know for sure? Maybe someone remembers that happening. I think it was about 10 years ago.

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Old 01-11-2022, 10:44 PM   #2
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The olive oil industry is a mess. There are virtually no controls and you can not be sure a bottler labeled olive oil is actually oil from olives.
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Old 01-11-2022, 11:20 PM   #3
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The only way to guess is by taste. Extra virgin should have a sort of grassy or herb-y taste to it.
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Old 01-12-2022, 07:23 AM   #4
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I've actually done a couple of taste tests, uncertified of course, just in my kitchen. Although I could tell there was an actual difference in taste from a spoonful - I (personally) could NOT tell any significant differences when being used in conjunction with other ingredients.
Both my friend and brother could.

So, for me, I buy which ever one is on sale as, obviously, my taste buds do not warrant any worry about them.
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Old 01-12-2022, 08:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by georgevan View Post
a long time ago there was a scandal with a company that was selling a low grade oil of some sort bottled as Xtra virgin olive oil. I think it was imported from Italy but was a popular brand. Ever since I have been skeptical of the olive oil that I use. Anyway to know for sure? Maybe someone remembers that happening. I think it was about 10 years ago.
OK - first of all, as you said, that was a long time ago. The EU has a severe bureaucratic grip on food administration and control these days, and any EVOO which comes from ANY European country has to be correctly labelled and certified.
Even though many of us gasp in awe when Italian olive oil is mentioned, Italy does not produce enough olives to make all its oil. Spain in the largest olive producer in Europe these days. I recently bought olive oil "Bottled in Italy" - it listed the olives from Italy, Spain, Greece and Tunisia. If you want genuine Italian olive oil, it will HAVE to be stated on the label : "Prepared and Bottled in Italy with Italian olives", something like that.
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Old 01-12-2022, 08:44 AM   #6
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Oh, and taste-wise, just an anecdote.
A few years back I attended an olive oil tasting.
the guy directing the show said " OK - taste #1, then taste #2. What do you taste, Green or Red?"
(Green or red? Is this guy nuts??
Sure enough, we said the first sample was "green". Yes, said the guy, because it tastes of freshly cut grass, it reminds you of green fields, etc. Red is like its spicy, has a bit of a burn to it.
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Old 01-12-2022, 09:20 AM   #7
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The only way I know of is to buy olive oil from specialty stores that can tell you when and where the olives were harvested. You can't tell from taste because olives are like wine grapes - there are different varieties with different flavors and flavors vary even more depending on whether the olives were harvested early in the season, mid-season or later in the season. You won't find this type of olive oil in the supermarket, except maybe California Olive Ranch.

The store we buy olive oil from has a tasting room where you can taste them before you buy. Each cask of oil describes details of the oil. Interestingly, this time of year, the best olive oil comes from South America because it's summer there.

DH and I have different favorites - I like the sweeter, grassy oils and he likes the more bitter ones.
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Old 01-12-2022, 09:47 AM   #8
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Costco's magazine had an article on olive oil. They discussed the buyers the growers and the importers. They used real names, real companies and real importers. They talked about pure EVO and blends. They talked about where they are grown, who packs them and they advised on which oils are best suited for.
Now they either were lying, or they were telling the truth. If they were lying they sure did a good job.
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Old 01-12-2022, 09:48 AM   #9
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EVOO's have many flavor profiles - if there's an olive oil bar in your area a short tasting tour will reveal bottles you like / don't like.


based on the past scandals CA set up an "authority" to certify EVOO.
https://cooc.com/


and CA is producing some very good olive oils . . . .
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Old 01-12-2022, 01:44 PM   #10
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Since the majority of scams on EVOO are with misleading or outright wrong labelling of Italian EVOO, I avoid that. It could be adulterated with soy oil, which is one of the foods I avoid based on my doctor's recommendation. I figure that it's mostly the Italian stuff because, Italian EVOO has the cachet and the demand. I heard and read about this a number of years ago. I have been buying Greek, Spanish, Portuguese, and Tunisian EVOOs.

I did some internet searching and found this. It's interesting, even though I feel like it's painting a rosier picture than warranted.
Italian Olive Oil Goes Digital to Fight Fraud
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Old 01-12-2022, 03:00 PM   #11
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Buy your EVOO from a reputable source. I usually buy mine in NYC at Fairway.

I like Spanish and Greek oils more than Italian ones. California makes good ones too. And Australia. I brought some back from a trip to Morocco but I havent seen Moroccan oil here.
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