Purchased a bottle of STAR brand Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) yesterday at Safeway. Brought it home, took a swig, and it tasted burnt as fuck. What the hell?!?
This got me thinking: what should Extra Virgin Olive Oil taste like? I came across words describing what it should not taste like: musty, rancid. Yuck!
There’s a UC Davis, California study that cites a high percentage of EVOO that’s imported into California is fake. At least this is what some food/health bloggers have labelled it. What does fake Extra Virgin Olive Oil even mean?
- Olive oil tips for consumers
- Tests indicate that imported “extra virgin” olive oil often fails international and USDA standards (2010 Report PDF)
- Evaluation of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Sold in California (2011 Report PDF)
1) STAR Extra Virgin Olive Oil bears the NAOOA (North America Olive Oil Association) quality seal. Olives used are from Spain, Greece, and Tunisia, as stamped into the label on the back. This tasted smooth – but definitely burnt.
2) Safeway Signature Select California Extra Virgin Olive Oil has NO quality seal on the bottle. Although it does have “California Grown” in seal-of-approval-looking artwork (which I think is vague). The Ingredients listed are: California Extra Virgin Olive Oil. But it does NOT say anything about where the olives were pressed and bottled. I also could not find any further information online. This tasted smooth, and not burnt.
3) California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The bottle bears the OOCC (Olive Oil Commission of California) quality seal. As the OOCC’s website states: “Consumers looking for high quality olive oil should simply look for information on the label indicating the product is grown and bottled in California.” As far as I’ve been able to read on the bottle’s label and their website, this product is grown, pressed, and bottled in California.
The research continues.