Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.
How does it smell? If it doesn't have a rancid odor, you can probably use it for a bit longer. You should keep the can in a cool dark place.
pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.
The olive oil you buy in tins is not of terribly good quality to begin with. It should keep for more than a year but the quality does degrade. Better, more expensive oils should be used rather quickly. Infused oils (with flavors) will degrade the fastest.
I have a friend on the Tuscany olive oil tasting board and he says anything in a gallon is, well, not what is of any quality regardless of how fancy the label is. He says the two enemies of good oil is oxygen and light. Time is the other one.He suggests to buy smaller sizes - enough to last you 3 months or so. You don't need to spend a lot but buy smart - good oils will have a processing date on the label, but most exporters to USA don't do that because it will show an obvious shelf life. Some better exporters will put on an expiry date though. Over 18 months from processing and the oil deteriorates.Heat is also a factor. You should not sautée unless you add some butter or grape seed to it.About $15-$30 is a decent oil ( that's a max 16oz colored glass container).
I ALMOST COMPLETELY AGREE with Bigpan's reply. But here is the exception that proves the rule; Alziari olive oil from Nice comes in a tin. Its arrival is eagerly awaited and it sells for $55 per liter. It does have a fancy label.
The other criteria for Extra Virgin is acidity. The International Olive Council (IOC) judges not just on taste but on acidity. It has to be lab tested for no more than 8% acidity. California's standards (COC) are even stricter; 5% acidity. California actually produces better oils than the vast majority of oils that are shipped to us from Italy.
Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking
The last time I did a France v. California tasting, the olive oils from France blew California out of the water. For a smaller price. But that's a few years ago...should I have a re-match?
Greenstuff, yes take the test again. But I'd recommend sampling the smaller production oils (which like wine, can be a bit inconsistent in flavor from year to year). Arbequina olives from Spanish tree stock have become very popular in recent years. They are very bold and assertive. Fandango in Paso Robles produces a certified organic arbequina oil that is very good. My friend Art Kishiyama is president of the Central Coast Olive Council (CCOC). His Olio Nuevo arbequina is a real punch in the mouth. But he only produces 7,000 bottles per year.
I don't have any strong opinions on French oils. I know far more about Spanish and Italian ones. On imports read the label carefully. The USDA requires that the countries of origin for the olives must be listed. "Product of Italy" just means that it was bottled there.
Thanks, pierino, I think you've just found the perfect Thanksgiving project for my family! We tend to go for the French, as we know that country best, and I don't generally go for Italian unless I've seen the trees. I do really like Arbequino, so maybe if I can get some of your friend's Olio Nuevo, we'll have a Spain-California taste off--my family will love that.
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