buying non-adulterated olive oil in the UK
January 28, 2014 9:11 AM   Subscribe

More expat-in-UK filter: Widespread adulteration of Italian olive oils is in the news again. US consumers are usually advised to buy domestic (Californian) olive oil instead to increase the chance of getting a pure, properly-labelled product. Unfortunately, olives don't seem to grow so great here in the UK. What kind of olive oil should I be buying? More Details: I am in Cambridge. I use mostly virgin olive oil for everyday cooking but might buy EVOO once in a while. I am mostly concerned with avoiding contamination with higher-PUFA oils, rather than getting a lower grade of olive oil.
posted by homuncula to Food & Drink (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Heh. I have literally just posted about this in the open post, a little electrical shop called Embassy Electrical Supplies in Farringdon that stocks owner made olive oil (imported from his groves Turkey and Cyprus).

If you want British made, cold pressed rapeseed (canola) oil is making a big comeback. Good for frying. Perhaps a bit oversold as a standalone ingredient.
posted by MuffinMan at 9:20 AM on January 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

When looking for sources of the sort of olive oil you will be wanting to avoid, beware of news articles which try to blur the line between "substandard" and "doctored". Not all the reported adulteration has been by Italians - some Spaniards were recently convicted for example. This Guardian article tells you how to make sure you are getting the real thing - basically "be wary of the cheap stuff - and try to find a product which lists a harvest date for this year", "don't buy anything in a clear bottle because it deteriorates faster - or in a giant container which will hand around on your shelf for ages" and "avoid buying from places which will not let you taste if first".
posted by rongorongo at 10:24 AM on January 28, 2014

Buy French, Spanish, Greek or Turkish olive oil.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 1:04 PM on January 28, 2014

Also rongoongo has a good point - you will know good olive oil because
- price (small 500mL or 750mL bottle for what you used to get 1-2L)
- "best by" date
- dark bottle
- smell... if it smells rancid it is old
>>BUT this is a good sign for the brand itself (i.e. their olive oil is real and fresh, so it DOES go bad; crappy olive oil will never go bad much like how twinkies are unreal because they never spoil). Therefore find a fresher bottle from the same brand.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 1:08 PM on January 28, 2014

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