How to recognize extra virgin olive: three fundamental characteristics

Not all table oils are the same, but how do you recognize a genuine extra virgin olive oil from one obtained from blends of different olives? Here are some clues to find your way around the rich gold landscape of the Mediterranean.

There are precise parameters for the attribution of the label of an olive oil and the indication of the label, however obvious it may seem, remains the first indication of the quality of the product.

The main element for the classification between an olive oil and an extra virgin olive oil must be sought in the acidity parameter: this must not exceed 0.8g per 100 grams for extra virgin, while it rises to 1.0gr per 100 gr for olive oil.

The difference in parameter must not be misleading because although the legal limit is set at 0.8gr / 100gr, generally a good quality extra virgin olive oil does not exceed 0.4-0.5gr, while a genuine extra virgin olive oil can also reach lower values, between 0.1 and 0.2 / 100gr.

The point of greatest difference remains the composition of the mixture of the olives used. In extra virgin olive oil this must be pure, while it can present a considerable variety for non-extra virgin olive oil, which can therefore be composed of a milling where different varieties of olives are mixed.

This last aspect, or the purity and integrity of the olives used in the milling, represents the salient feature to distinguish a genuine extra virgin olive oil from one of lesser quality.

Perfume, fluidity and flavor are the three characteristics on which the quality of an olive oil can be established. The essence of extra virgin olive oil in particular must be able to immediately refer to the essence of the picked olives, and this will be all the stronger the purer the selection of olives destined for milling.

Olives of different quality and types in fact tend to dilute the flavor of each other, until obtaining an olive oil without its own characteristics, outlined and very precise.

The same must be said for the fluidity, which must not be too high, and for the flavor, which in genuine extra virgin olive oil must have a bitter aftertaste and leave the characteristic tingling on the tongue.