Olive oil has always had a very prominent position in almost every arena. Whether it’s health benefits or skincare, olive oil has pretty much reigned over every aspect of bodily well-being.
By using extra virgin olive oil, every single person stands to benefit, regardless of their age or medical condition. Coronated as the healthiest fat on the planet, the benefits of olive oil are beyond comparison.
The benefits are so abundant that experts recommend taking a tablespoon of olive oil the first thing in the morning. It contains high levels of oleocanthal that work as an anti-inflammatory agent, almost like a natural ibuprofen.
The abundance of polyphenols is the main factor in determining the best extra virgin olive oil. The higher the polyphenol levels, the better the chance of the oil protecting your body from heart disease and even cancer.
When just minimal consumption of this elixir for a consistent period of time can cure almost anything – right from your aches to cancer, the growth in the demand for extra virgin olive oil is justified.
So it’s no wonder that choosing the best extra virgin olive oil is crucial.
Why Time Is An Important Factor In Harvesting Olives
A lot of information out there would have you believe that the extraction process is extremely simple. All you need to do is press the fruits to extract this all-curing liquid we call olive oil.
As simple as is sounds, the actual process is anything but simple – there is so much more to this process than meets the eye!
What we need to realize is that the second the olives leave the branch, they are on this downward spiral to losing their magic.
Any delays in the extraction process increase the risk of these olives oxidizing and decomposing, thus taking on a more acidic flavor.
Extra virgin olive oil is always cold-pressed and involves no chemicals that prolong its shelf life. So, as the olives sit there waiting to be extracted, most of the goodness has already vanished!
Simply put, there is nothing more damaging to the olives than this wait before the extraction.
The Best Time To Purchase Olive Oil
If you have been using the same bottle of olive oil for a long time, it’s pretty safe to say that the bottle has lost most of its goodness.
Experts suggest that early winter is the perfect time to replace these old bottles with new ones.
Also, if you are investing in an expensive bottle of extra virgin olive oil, it is recommended to buy the same in early winter. The peak olive oil season is between October and December.
When you buy olive oil at the earliest, not only do you get a better tasting oil but also you get the best benefits that a bottle of oil could ever hold.
Once you open that bottle of oil, there are chances of the nutrients in the oil deteriorating. So it’s best to use it within 30 to 60 days after opening.
So, as the harvest season is just around the corner, make sure you get your bottle of the best extra virgin olive oil at the earliest.
Check The Bottle For More Informed Decisions
Before you go ahead and purchase your first bottle of extra virgin olive oil, consider the following things. If you don’t, chances are you might just bring home a bottle of yellow liquid with minimal or no health benefits.
The Harvest Date
Another thing you need to keep in mind while buying a bottle of extra-virgin olive oil is that you need to look for the “crop date” or the “harvest date”.
The exact date of the harvest gives you an approximation of when the oil extraction took place. It’s also an indication of how many days the bottle has been sitting on the supermarket shelf.
The ‘Best By’ Date
Although most of these bottles have a “best if used before “date, it is suggested that you use the oil within a few months of opening the bottle to make the most of the nutrients packed inside.
The best extra virgin olive oil would taste amazing if consumed within 18 to 24 months of harvesting the olives.
Location Isn’t Important
Italy is the largest importer and exporter of olive oil, whereas Spain is the largest producer of olive oil.
But just because you spot a bottle of oil that has been imported from the Mediterranean doesn’t mean it’s the best extra virgin olive oil out there!
The natively pressed and extracted olive oil is no less because, as much as the environment affects the taste and growth of these olives, the diligence paid by the farmer is a more important aspect.
Watch Out For Fake Oil
Legally, extra virgin olive oil cannot be tampered with by adding other oils to it. But that does not stop the fraudulent activities in the olive oil market.
So it is always a good idea to read the labels to make sure you get the best bottle of extra virgin olive oiland, resultantly, the maximum health benefits the oil promises.
Be Careful About Storing
Refrigerating the oil is not encouraged, and neither is storing it in a place that gets too much sunlight or heat. These elements can affect the color, taste, smell, and overall nutritive properties of extra virgin olive oil.
As such, it is recommended by connoisseurs to store the oil in a dark place, preferably inside a cupboard. Place it in a properly sealed dark glass or tin container to keep it away from light.
Extra virgin olive oil not only benefits people with heart disease, but it serves to make a normal healthy person healthier.
Now that you know the best time to buy olive oil, you must keep in mind that, unlike fine wine, olive oil doesn’t get better with time.
You need to be very diligent and smart while choosing your bottle because extra virgin olive oil benefits are tremendous. Paying attention to the minor details can undoubtedly lead to major benefits!