Like wine, there are many varieties of olive oil. Unique in taste and smell, each olive oil enhances a culinary experience in different ways. While variety is the proverbial spice of life, it can also make choosing an oil potentially daunting. Many people believe that a high price tag equates to high quality. Similarly, people may think that the Mediterranean area produces the highest-quality oils. However, for high-quality oil, choose Texas olive oil! With sprawling orchards and friendly tasting rooms, Texas is a hotspot for pure, high-quality olive oil. Texas Hill Country Olive Co. leads the pack for local high-quality olive oil. Below, experts weigh in on how to select high-quality Texas olive oil.
When physically inspecting a potential olive oil purchase, consider its packaging. While fun labels are eye-catching, the makeup of the actual bottle is the most important facet. High-quality olive oil will be sold in glass bottles. They should feature a dark tint and relatively low transparency. This is done to protect the olive oil from sun exposure and heat. If exposed to too much light, air, and heat, the olive oil could go rancid.
This preference for dark stained glass doesn’t mean that all olive oil packaged in clear glass bottles is subpar. If packaged in transparent glass bottles, the olive oil should then be kept inside a box to protect it from the elements. After purchase, make sure to keep this type of olive oil inside the cardboard packaging when not in use to maintain protection.
In addition to inspecting the bottle’s transparency, the experts at Texas Hill Country Olive Co. recommend inspecting other elements. They recommend checking the bottle for leaks, or any drips forming at the cap. This could be indicative of manufacturing issues, or a tampered seal. Additionally, look for dust on the bottle, and a visible orange tint to the oil. This can be indicative of a compromised manufacturing process, or other issues.
A trendy abbreviation amongst foodies, EVOO stands for Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Amongst chefs and home cooks alike, it is the golden standard for high-quality oil. EVOO is typically less processed than others, and higher in quality. When olive oil is highly processed, precious flavor and aroma molecules are destroyed in the process. Due to robust natural conditions, Texas olive oil can be extracted manually. This eliminates the need for any added chemicals or solvents, allowing for pure EVOO production.
Texas Hill Country Olive Co.’s lineup of high-quality Texas olive oil includes a line of infused oils. Though these oils cannot be labeled as “extra virgin” due to the infusion process, they start at high-quality extra virgin olive oil. Infused olive oils can be very high quality, though they cannot be labeled as EVOO. Consider this when selecting infused oils. Otherwise, stick with EVOO.
Don’t Focus On Color
Some people believe that olive oil that is green is of the best quality. This perception only reigns true when the oil is freshly pressed. As soon as the oil is bottled, it turns golden in color. Thus, the presence of a visibly green olive oil can indicate that dyes were added. Additionally, there can be a wide variety in the coloring of high-quality Texas olive oils, based on inclusions, origins of olives, and even harvest timing. Experts agree that EVOOs can vary in color from pale yellow to green. The experts at Texas Hill Country Olive Co. remind buyers that the only color to look for is orange, which can be indicative of rancid or tampered oil.
Wine is often considered more desirable with age. Conversely, high-quality olive oil should be fresh. In order to ensure freshness, look for packaging that indicates information related to the respective oil’s production. Texas Hill Country Olive Co. experts report that most high-quality olive oils feature a “best by” date. When kept in proper condition, this date estimates the range of time during which the respective oil will be at its peak. By adding this date, manufacturers put their stamp of freshness on the product. Without any indication of such a date, buyers could potentially be picking up oils that have surpassed their freshest date range.
Similarly, many high-quality olive oils feature a “harvest date” or “pressed date”, indicating the exact date that the olive oil was manufactured. This transparency adds a degree of confidence for buyers, presenting them with the information needed to make an informed choice. Many trusted local manufacturers also include information about the variety of olive used, the estate where olives are harvested, and other valuable information. If origins are easy to trace back to the olive, the olive oil is likely to be high-quality. Many Texas olive oil manufacturers adhere to this full transparency, believing in the value of building trust with local and national consumers.
The Bottom Line on Texas Olive Oil
Though there are many varying flavor profiles and inclusions available in the realm of olive oil, choosing a high-quality olive oil focuses on freshness, manufacturing, and transparency. Much like choosing other food products, consumer education is at the heart of selecting high-quality olive oil. Sure, the Mediterranean is known for its excellent olive oil. However, Texas olive oil can provide connoisseurs with the same high-quality olive oils, without the trans-Atlantic trip. A long import process can render Mediterranean olive oil not-so-fresh upon arrival, making locally sourced olive oil a no-brainer.
Texas Hill Country Olive Co., the Lonestar State’s premier olive oil manufacturer, reminds buyers to inspect the packaging. These experts also remind buyers to value transparency, noting that trusted local manufacturers are eager to share the origin stories of their products! In fact, many local purveyors encourage tastings, giving buyers a firsthand taste experience prior to purchase. With complete transparency, the ability to ask questions, and the ability to witness the process in action, local purveyors instill confidence in novice EVOO buyers. For those on the prowl for high-quality olive oil, choose Texas olive oil!