From the Olive Oil Police. Cheap and Rancid.

Here is the truth: Not all expensive Extra Virgin Olive oils are good. But ALL inexpensive Extra Virgin Olive oils are bad.

6a00e55029641d8834013484e17b41970c-800wi A friend of ours commented that an olive oil he received from us was very good (terrific, he says), but the price value of the XYZ brand was much better. We bought a bottle of XYZ in a VERY (perhaps the most) reputable retail store. We paid $12 for a half a liter bottle of XYZ, but if you go online you can buy a case of 12 for $9 per bottle. On ZYX’s website, one can read wonderful comments from customers and great (really great) chefs, who endorse the product. The bottle had the proper label of EV Olive Oil and best before date of March 2011. $9 or $12$ is hard to believe! How can they do it?

I took the bottle with me to Italy (this meant i had to check my bag – we do this and more for the higher cause)  and asked a professional olive oil tasting panel to taste it in a blind professional session. Their response, word by word: l’olio da noi assaggiato è difettato (riscaldo e rancido) e pertanto non ha più le caratteristiche per essere commercializzato come Extra Vergine. It means: “the oil is defective (rancid and riscaldato/heated) and no longer has the characteristics of and cannot be sold as Extra Virgin”. The “experts” tell me that “best before date” only means that the liquid was bottled 18 months prior, however, the oils they bottle might not be from the newest harvest, but perhaps one, two, or even three… years before. there is no law and practically speaking, producers can clean out any old inventory.

Why did I go to this trouble? Because I am tired, no, Very Tired, of hearing that our EVM (M stands for Magnificent) olive oils are too expensive. If you want cheap, you can have plenty of rancid choices, even at high end stores.

Join the Conversation

  1. Nancy Harmon Jenkins says:

    Beatrice, it might well be that the oil was produced and bottled with great attention but fell into hard times once it left the producers care. I think this happens more often than we like to think. Surely you’ve seen the bottles of ev, from reputable producers, displayed in the sunny windows of fancy groceries–not everyone applies, or knows how to apply, the care that you at Gustiamo bring to your products.
    Another anecdote: While visiting Crete recently, I was given some very good (but not great) oil from a cooperative that produces it honestly. But they revealed to me that the exact same oil, which is fairly priced (and sadly I can’t remember the price but it wasn’t a lot), is sold at Harrod’s under a different label for something like 60 E a liter. It’s said to be Madonna’s favorite oil. So where’s the scam there? It’s at Harrods, I think, and not with the original producers.
    What a world!
    olive maven

  2. i doubt the store did not import properly and did not store well the oil. it is the most important store in the country!
    un abbraccio oleoso!!!

  3. – get it in your hands a week or two after it has been pressed.

  4. ahhhh, then there is the marketing story of novello oil. shall we talk about it?
    it is not important how fresh the oil is. it is important how honest and good it is. ev olive oil is only mechanically squeezed olives. no chemilals added.

  5. Pingback: Top 5 EVOO Myths

Comments are closed.