When it comes to Extra Virgin Olive Oil, there are so many choices! How do I decide?

Facing our wall of olive oils, you haven’t a clue how to decide. You might base your decision solely on price, a crapshoot at best. May we suggest a better way? Here’s why. A 2011 UC Davis’ Olive Center study of all extra virgin olive oils (EVOOs) sold in California, found that nearly 2/3 of the topselling olive oils on store shelves were falsely labeled as extra virgin grade!

This misrepresentation was part of what led the California Olive Oil Council (COOC) to establish its own mandatory testing and certification program for all members in 1998. To ensure the quality of California extra virgin olive oils, the COOC requires all members to have their oil’s chemistry tested by an independent lab and

then to submit their oil to their certified taste panel for sensory analysis. The panel evaluates each member’s oil to ensure that it meets criteria to be considered extra virgin, the highest grade an oil may achieve. Once an oil is shown to have met both the chemical and sensory criteria to be considered extra virgin, it then qualifies for use of the COOC seal. The COOC seal is your guarantee that you are buying 100% certified California extra virgin olive oil.

So, the next time you’re facing that wall of oil, try this approach instead – look for the 2015 COOC Seal of Certification. It’s your guarantee of this year’s freshest, most flavorful California Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

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