Top 5 EVOO Myths

At Gustiamo we love talking about extra virgin olive oil. These are the top 5 most common misconceptions that we hear and want you to watch out for.

1. The greener the better. In a professional EVOO tasting, tasters use opaque glasses. The fact is that some excellent olive varieties can naturally produce a more transparent oil. Also, there are undetectable additives that can be added to EVOO that can make it seem greener. Greenness is a very unreliable measure.

2.  An oil that leaves a hint of spice in the back of your throat, or makes you cough is bad. It’s the opposite in fact, a piccante EVOO is usually a good one.

3. Visible sediment in the bottle is a sign of a good, unfiltered oil. Actually, over time the sediment goes bad and contaminates the oil. All EVOO needs to be filtered to some degree.

4. Cooking with EVOO is dangerous. We know there are lots of studies out there but EVOO has one of the highest smoking points of all the cooking oils. We use it for cooking and frying.

5. Attractive label means great oil. Seriously, we see people make buying decisions based on packaging attractiveness. We are speechless…

What to do, if you are not an olive oil expert? 1. Beware of cheap oils. 2. Buy EV Olive Oil from a merchant you trust.


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  1. Absolutely correct! Bravo!
    Nicola from Vicopisano

    1. Danielle @Gustiamo Author says:

      Grazie Mille, Nicola!

  2. Good to know! Forever I thought that a green color was indicative of a good olive oil..

    1. Danielle @Gustiamo Author says:

      Thanks Morgana!

  3. Great! Except that the smoking point of EVOO is about 350 degrees farenheit. When sauteeing or pan frying, it is usually a good idea to add a neutral oil like grape seed to raise the smoking point – you still get the great flavor of the EVOO and preserve its integrity; grape seed oil has a smoking point of 600 degrees farenheit. Then finish the dish with a bit of the EVOO, too.

    Would you also tell us the US Law on what percentage of the oil must be e.v. to be classified as e.v.? Another great reason to rely on the best merchants like Gustiamo!

    1. Danielle @Gustiamo Author says:

      Thanks Josh! According to the EU, to be classified as EV an oil has to have less than 0,8% acidity (most good EVOO has even less), has to be physically extracted (aka cold press) and has to undergo a sensory exam showing the oil has properties like fruitiness, bitterness and spiciness (indicating polyphenols). The question about what is legal in the US is tricky because because the gov’t often doesn’t enforce standards, but you can read the USDA definition of EV here:

  4. It’s a funny thing about olive oil and fraud. It’s been an issue through recorded history. Even the ancient Romans themselves knew it went on, and did their best to prevent it through their system of tituli picti, ancient markings on the amphorae that held the oil; these markings attested to everything from the maker of the particular amphora, its weight both empty and when filled, the grower/presser of the fruit/oil, and the various clerks and importers who handled the oil as it made its way from its point of origin to Rome. Today the consumer has no such system and can rely only on his own wits and senses, often woefully inadequate, or information they can pick in various places, often equally as inadequate.

    Just this past February TV’s ubiquitous Dr. Oz while touting health benefits of extra virgin olive oil, instructed his viewers how to determine if the oil they had was indeed extra virgin. He had some good info, especially provided from Dan Flynn of the UC Olive Center, but then he told his viewers they could determine purity with what he called “the refrigerator test.” He instructed his viewers to place their bottles of olive oil in the refrigerator. If the oil solidified, then it was most likely the real deal, extra virgin olive oil. Of course it is nonsense. While saying it was not 100% sure, he said it was a pretty good test, adding that his family uses it. Over the following weeks various olive oil interest groups and UC Davis Olive Center attempted to debunk Dr. Oz’ test, even performing the test themselves and publishing the results (which of course proved the refrigerator test unreliable,) but by that time the damage was done, and women across the U.S. and Canada were returning oil to sellers demanding the return of monies paid for the oil.

    I’ll echo you at Gustiamo. People need to purchase oil from a reputable seller. The corollary to that is, quite frankly, they have to be willing to pay for it. Like your mother always told you “You don’t get something for nothing.”

    Keep up the good work Gustiamo. you do such a fabulous job of educating the public.

    1. Danielle @Gustiamo Author says:

      Adri! Grazie mille for all that great history. And especially, thank you for reminding us that the infamous “refrigerator test” is unreliable.

  5. Recently I was explaining to someone about just this very thing – how to select wonderful EVOO. At the end, the only question I got was “Well, do you have to spend a lot to get good olive oil?” I think if that’s the question, the person has never experienced quality olive oil or they have no taste buds.

    1. Danielle @Gustiamo Author says:

      Dear Carol, thanks for sharing, we are glad you are helping to spread the word about the importance of good extra virgin olive oil!


    TRASIMENO S.p.A (Olive Oil) ITALY

    The oil has a charm that comes from the product of the direct relationship with the earth, clinging to it with the olive tree, fruitful for centuries and with milgliaia of fruit garnish her hair, offered to the sun with exuberance, almost with joy.

    From the outset the company, from small crusher at present modern industrial structure, we have pursued as main purpose the quality of the product, in particular the high level of its intrinsic characteristics and the consistency of the quality of its taste and not only for reasons commercial, ours is a passion.

    “Lavoriamo con la stessa passione e competenza di oggi fin dal 1945 seguendo tutte le fasi di produzione per garantire la bontà del nostro prodotto”. (Famiglia Arioli)

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