Calabrian olive oil: how to choose the best one
Nowadays the shelves of supermarkets are full of extra virgin olive oils. Without the possibility of tasting them, however, it may seem impossible to judge their quality. But learning to read labels correctly can give some useful information.
A good Calabrian extra virgin olive oil should be grown, pressed and bottled in Calabria. Attention: the wording "Italian product" does not necessarily indicate that the olives are grown or pressed in Italy, but only that they have been packaged there.
What does cold pressed mean? This indicates that no heat has been used to extract the oil from the olives. The addition of heat allows producers to extract more oil, but at the same time destroys flavours and aromas.
Unlike wine, oil does not age well. If stored correctly, away from light and heat, a good bottle of Calabrian oil will not become rancid during its time in the kitchen.
What colour must a quality Calabrian oil have? Despite our natural inclination to associate a rich and deep colour with a better taste, the colour of olive oil is not an accurate judge of its quality. Extra virgin olive oil can vary from herbaceous green to bright golden yellow; this variation is exclusively due to the level of chlorophyll present in the olives at the moment of pressing.
The taste of Calabrian oil
A high quality extra virgin olive oil can have different nuances: spicy, floral, hazelnut, fruity, buttery, herbal. A good oil will always have a "clean" and "fresh" taste on the palate.