To preserve freshness, store extra virgin olive oil tightly capped in a cupboard or pantry away from light and heat. Even the most passionate and informed cooks are sometimes guilty of placing oil on a sunny counter top conveniently near the hot stove.
I am guilty as charged! Play detective and test your EVOO. Open the bottle, bring it to the nose, and inhale. Is the aroma:
- “Mmm…nice!” — Pleasant, refreshing notes of green, herbal and olive aroma indicate that the EVOO is fresh and perfect for all uses.
- “Eh!…so-so” — A faint olive or green aroma can still be detected. The integrity of this EVOO is still intact, which means it’s suitable for sautéing, dressings and marinades. Choose a fresher oil for drizzling, dipping or finishing.
- “Yuck!…no way!” — Down right unpleasant. No longer any hint of fresh green notes or olive detected – more like a potato chip aroma. This EVOO has aged, oxidized and is most likely rancid. It should be replaced.
Ready to stock up again? Look for EVOO sold in dark glass bottles or metal tins. This ensures that the oil has been protected from light since the time it was bottled.