How to Judge
It’s not a trend, it’s a tradition The excellent soil and climatic conditions that prevail on the island influence to a great extent the quality of Greek olive oil. Although Greece shares second place with Italy in world production of olive oil, after Spain, it continues to hold first place for quality. It is order to improve the quality of various kinds of other olive oils available on the market. It is worth noting that about 75% of the olive oil produced is of the very best extra virgin quality out of Greece’s approximate 350.000 tons per annum production. Also note that Italian buyers to flavour their own oils immediately snap up about 80 – 100.000 tons!
Shopping for an Olive Oil
The colour may range from green to goloden-yellow but this is never an indication of quality, as most believe. Consumers should instead read the label on olive oil containers and look for: date of bottling and expiry date (olive oil can last for up to two years), level of acidity, area of production (Greece, without question), the amount in the container (price per liter), and the name of oil producer or company.
The taste and aroma of olive oil can vary enormously from one olive growing country to another and, even from region to region in the same country. Generally, the preferred choice is a matter of personal taste.
The degree of acidity in olive oil indicates the oleic acid content. According to the International Olive Oil Council, it is edible when the acidity does not exceed 3.3 degrees (content of oleic acid 3.3%). In reality, olive oil that has an acidity level of no more than one is much better. You should always read the label on an olive oil bottle to see the degree of the acidity. In general, Greek extra-virgin oil has an acidity of less than 0.6 degrees!