In the U.S., the standards for extra virgin olive oil are so lax that many inferior products — lacking in the healthful properties of olive oil — and even old and rancid products — can be found lurking under the label of “extra virgin olive oil.”
But you don’t have to buy inferior olive oils! You can buy the finest olive oils (without paying a fortune). Here’s how:
- First, take ten minutes to read the Buyer’s Guide to Olive Oil in North America from the website, Truth in Olive Oil, by Tom Mueller, the author of the book, Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive oil.
- Then go to a specialty store where you can taste many different olive oils and get detailed information about each oil, as shown here (scroll down for chemical composition related to freshness and nutrition). After tasting many distinct olive oils, you will discover your favorites.
If you live in the DC area, you are fortunate, because you can easily stop in for a visit at Under the Olive Tree, a “delicious” store located in the Tyson’s Corner Mall. Here you can sample carefully selected, top-quality, single variety, extra virgin olive oils, including those that have been certified by the new Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil certification program (UP). The oils certified by this program are the best of the best and only available currently in 15 stores nationwide.
And while you are at Under the Olive Tree, you will probably meet and talk with at least one of the owners of this family business, a charming couple and their daughters who are friendly, knowledgeable, and passionate about olive oil — and on a mission to offer products you can trust and an experience you will enjoy.
Enjoy and be healthy!