There’s nothing like a good olive oil for cooking, baking or just making a great salad. But let’s not kid ourselves, not all olive oils are created equal and, since we’re not all sommeliers, several brands try to scam us with mixtures and colored oils. Some are downright trash. So, what makes a good olive oil worth shelling out a few extra bucks for? Let me break it down for you, and let’s talk about one olive oil you can only find at Costco.
First and foremost, you want to look for extra virgin olive oil. This is the good stuff, folks. It’s made purely from olives and is cold-pressed without the use of chemicals or excessive heat. If the bottle doesn’t say “extra virgin,” run for the hills. Next, you want to look for a harvest date. Yes, you read that correctly. A good olive oil should have a harvest date on the label. This lets you know when the olives were picked, and the fresher, the better. So, if the label is blank or has a vague “best by” date, it’s time to move on. All this you can find in Costco’s Kirkland Signature extra virgin olive oil, so let’s take a closer look.
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When it comes to taste, you want an olive oil with a fruity, grassy flavor. If it tastes bland or has a rancid aftertaste, it’s a no-go. And if it’s so strong it feels like it’s burning a hole through your tongue, it’s probably not worth the pain. And one of the best olive oils in the market in from one brand you already know: Costco’s house brand, Kirkland Signature.
The Olive Oil Times reports that many olive oils are diluted with less expensive palm oil, compromising their quality and value. Large retailers, who often buy in bulk, are more susceptible to these scams, making it difficult to identify and eliminate poor quality oils from their inventories. However, there is a brand that stands out from the rest when it comes to integrity in sourcing and quality control: Costco.
The Costco Exclusive Olive Oil Has Been Taken Care of During the Whole Process
Shauna Lopez, a corporate food buyer at Costco, revealed in an article in the Costco Connection that the company has taken steps to ensure that its olive oil sourcing has integrity. “We have always been involved in this program by meeting the farmers and touring the mills and the processing plants in order to hold everyone in the olive oil production process accountable for the olives they bring in,” Lopez said. “This ranges from the farmer who is registered with the mill, to the mill that grades and batches the olives as they come in daily.”
Kirkland Signature extra virgin olive oil also complies with USDA organic standards, which guarantees that the entire production process is free of agrochemicals. When you serve it, you see a liquid between golden and green, just like a good pure olive oil should look. The quality is perfectly what an Italian chef in Cinque Terre, or the most exquisite French chef in Paris could use for their dishes. And all at a fraction of the price you’d pay for one of those fancy-brand oils that cost three to four times as much compared to Kirkland Signature’s.
Finally, Costco and his Kirkland Signature olive oil have also considered the last step: the packaging. A good olive oil should be stored in a dark glass bottle. This protects it from light and prevents oxidation. If it’s in a clear plastic bottle, it’s not worth your time. Well, Kirkland Signature’s comes in a dark-green bottle.
Watch Out for Bad-Quality Olive Oils Out There
Now, let’s talk signs of a bad olive oil. If it’s labeled as “light” or “pure,” it’s not worth your money. These oils are heavily processed and lack flavor. If it’s in a cheap bottle or has a vague “imported” label, it’s probably old and stale. And if it smells musty or like old socks, trust me, you don’t want to put it in your body.