Recently, we have heard of a few new stores that have been popping up that have taken the idea of olive oil and vinegar sampling using bulk containers and selling a much lower grade of product. We wanted to let our customers know our thoughts on these type of stores. These "copycat" stores are unfortunately taking the lower grade products and using the bulk containers and sampling bar idea to sell inferior oils and vinegars.
So, I am sure you are thinking, how do we know the difference?
Here are a few things to look for as a consumer to distinguish the difference between these stores and to help you in the buying process:
- The most important factor when it comes to taste quality of Extra Virgin Olive Oil is FRESHNESS! A quality store will display the "Harvest" or "Crush" date of the oil and it should be less than one year old. Copycats will hide this date and try to confuse you by using the 'best buy' or 'expiration date' which are completely worthless. Extra Virgin Olive Oil ages over time, so if you don't know when it was picked and crushed how can you determine how fresh it is?
- The specific varietal of olive and region should always be displayed on the EVOO.
- There should be chemical test results displayed on the containers, to ensure both high quality and authenticity of your EVOO.
- The highest quality Balsamic Vinegars are produced using the "Traditional" process from Modena, Italy. This is an All Natural product so there should be no added preservatives, chemicals, sugars, or thickeners.
- Taste the products yourself before you buy them! You should be the final judge of what tastes best so don't just dip a finger in, take a big sip to really tell the difference.
We hope this information helps you while shopping for your extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar."