Extra Virgin Olive Oil: How to Spot a High-Quality one

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: How to Spot a High-Quality one

Apr 12, 2024Federico Milone

Olive oil is a staple in many kitchens around the world, and for good reason. It's a versatile and healthy cooking oil that can be used for everything from drizzling over salads to sautéing vegetables. But not all olive oil is created equal. There are two main types of olive oil: extra virgin olive oil and regular olive oil.

Extra virgin olive oil is the highest quality type of olive oil. It is made from fresh olives that are cold-pressed, meaning that no heat or chemicals are used in the extraction process. This results in an oil that is high in antioxidants and polyphenols, which have been linked to several health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Extra virgin olive oil also has a fruity flavor and a slightly peppery aftertaste.

Regular olive oil, on the other hand, is made from olives that have been heated and refined. This process removes some of the oil's beneficial compounds and gives it a higher smoke point, making it more suitable for high-heat cooking. However, regular olive oil also has a lower flavor and aroma than extra virgin olive oil.

How to choose a high-quality olive oil

When choosing an olive oil, it's important to look for one that is extra virgin and cold-pressed. You should also check the acidity level, which is a measure of the oil's freshness. A lower acidity level means a fresher oil. Finally, pay attention to the oil's color and flavor. Extra virgin olive oil should be a light golden green color and have a fruity, slightly peppery flavor.

Here's a breakdown of other factors to consider when selecting olive oil:

  • Color: Extra virgin olive oil should be light golden or green. Regular olive oil will be a paler yellow.
  • Aroma: Extra virgin olive oil should have a fruity, herbaceous scent. Regular olive oil will have a more neutral smell.
  • Taste: Extra virgin olive oil should have a slightly peppery or bitter taste. Regular olive oil will have a milder flavor.


Beware of Imitators: Spotting Fake Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Unfortunately, there is a lot of fake extra virgin olive oil on the market. Here are some things to look for to spot a fake:

  • Price: Extra virgin olive oil is relatively expensive, so if you see a bottle of olive oil that is very cheap, it's likely to be fake.
  • Label: The label should say "extra virgin olive oil" and it should also list the country of origin.
  • Certification: Some olive oils are certified by organizations like the North American Olive Oil Council. Look for the organization's seal on the label.


Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

Italy boasts some of the world's finest olive oil. Italian extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is renowned for its exceptional quality and flavor. Italian EVOO is among the most valued globally, known for its intense taste, aroma, and superior quality. There are many varieties of Italian EVOO, each with its unique flavor profile. Some of the most popular include:

  • Arbequina: This variety is known for its delicate, fruity flavor.
  • Leccino: This variety has a slightly bitter and peppery flavor.
  • Coratina: This variety is known for its robust flavor and high polyphenol content.


When selecting Italian extra virgin olive oil, look for one labeled DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta). This signifies that the oil was produced in a specific region of Italy and meets specific quality standards. So, keep an eye out for the DOP or IGP label. These labels guarantee that the oil comes from a designated region of Italy and adheres to certain quality standards. Here are some additional tips:

  • Choose an oil that is certified organic. Organic EVOO is produced without using synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.
  • Support small producers. Small producers often create higher-quality EVOO than large, mass-produced brands.


Tips for Using Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Here are a few recommendations for using extra virgin olive oil:

  • Use it for cold dishes like salads and drizzling over pasta.
  • Heat it gently over low heat.
  • Avoid frying with extra virgin olive oil, as the high heat can damage the oil's flavor and health benefits.
  • Store extra virgin olive oil in a cool, dark place.


Extra virgin olive oil is a delicious and healthy addition to any diet. By following these tips, you can choose a high-quality oil that you can enjoy for years to come.

Magnifico’s selection of Italian extra virgin olive oils represent the pinnacle of culinary artistry, offering a symphony of flavors that transport your taste buds to the sun-kissed landscapes of Italy. Each oil is a testament to the passion and dedication of Italian olive oil producers, who have mastered the art of capturing the essence of their land in every drop.

More articles

Comments (0)

There are no comments for this article. Be the first one to leave a message!

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published