Why you should buy olive oil in a tin or dark bottle


Olive oil deteriorates when light gets at it so buying olive oil in a tin, a foil-wrapped bottle or a dark bottle makes sense.

Tips to keep olive oil as fresh as possible

– Buy olive oil in a dark glass bottle or in a stainless steel container. The 5-litre tins of extra virgin olive oil are great value and you can decant it into small containers as you need it. If you are buying olive oil in quantity buy a young olive oil straight from an artisan producer and it will age well (we often buy ours from Lino Olivieri at Olivieri.com from their family farm in Puglia in South Italy*, they deliver throughout Ireland). You sometimes find olive oil in tins in Aldi or Lidl when they run a special promotion (see our image, that’s a tin of Portuguese olive oil that we picked up for well under‎ 4 for 500ml so we stocked up). When you find tins of olive oil at a good price you can buy it and it will keep. You can also buy more expensive olive oils in foil-wrapped bottles so that light can’t permeate it.

– Buy young olive oil, it should taste green and grassy and peppery. It will last longer. Olive oil has about a 2-year shelf life from harvesting, so the earlier in the process that you buy it the more pungent the flavour will be.

–Store olive oil in a dark cupboard and decant a small amount into an olive oil pourer, topping up when needed. We use a stainless steel oil can rather than a glass bottle. There’s no point in buying olive oil in a dark container and decanting the oil you use into a bottle where it will deteriorate!

– Keep olive oil out of the heat, don’t leave it in a window or near a cooker where it will become warm.

How Packaging Influences Olive Oil Quality

Read food scientist Harold McGee explaining why heating flattens the flavour of every oil from a prize-winning extra virgin olive oil to an average olive oil 

Read about our editorial ethics at gréatfood here

Photograph copyright foodpixies.com

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