The next time you go shopping for a bottle of olive oil, check the label meets three specific criteria before you put it in your trolley.
Photo by BryanGeek
Olive oil expert (sounds like an amazing job) Nicholas Coleman laid out what he looks for in a bottle of olive oil in an interview with Serious Eats:
Three things: the harvest date, where it comes from (this means the specific region, not just the country), and the cultivars, or what olives the oil is composed of. If these essential elements are missing, it doesn't speak well of the quality of the oil or the producer.
As we've noted before, regulations on olive oil labelling can be somewhat inspecific. Looking for the actual type of olive is a great step when you make your decision. It doesn't necessarily matter what the bottle lists as the cultivar; you just want to make sure it identifies one. Many low-grade olive oils are mixtures of various cheap oils, so they don't tend to include the cultivar.
If you're into olive oil, the entire interview is worth a read, so check it out through the source link.