There’s a long unsavory history of diluting olive oil (and its healthfulness) with sunflower, corn and not oils. My Brooklyn grandfather used to tell me brewing not bath tub gin, but bathtub oil!
So here is a quick primer on what to look for to make sure you get the real thing: I also posted this on the NPR site, and it has more “likes” than anything else, except the post complaining that brands were omitted!
a. extra virgin olive oil in dark green glass or in packaging that shields it from light: not clear plastic. ever.
b. the words “cold pressed”
c. a harvesting date on the bottle
d. for CA oils (my preference, as the CA standards are stricter than international), look for the California Olive Oil Council Seal (COOC): it means
• Less than .5% free oleic acid
• No chemicals or excessive heat during a mechanical extraction
• Blind tasting showing flavor characteristics and no taste defects
3 of my favorites (All have the COOC seal, I have visited all, have planted 15 trees with first harvest next year, and am lucky enough to attend the Paso Robles Olive Festival every year! check it out next August!)