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Attn people who love to cook: this is a must read

  1. Sep 27, 2006 #1
    If you love to cook like me and use olive oil all the time, you may find this a bit shocking. I just found out that the US is not a member of the IOOC (international olive oil council) and is the only major olive oil producing and consuming nation not in it. The IOOC grades olive oil as

    -Extra-virgin olive oil comes from the first pressing of the olives, contains no more than 0.8% acidity, and is judged to have a superior taste. There can be no refined oil in extra-virgin olive oil.

    -Virgin olive oil with an acidity less than 2%, and judged to have a good taste. There can be no refined oil in virgin olive oil.

    -Olive oil, which is a blend of virgin oil and refined virgin oil, containing at most 1% acidity. It commonly lacks a strong flavor.

    -Olive-pomace oil is a blend of refined pomace olive oil and possibly some virgin oil. It is fit for consumption, but it may not be called olive oil. Olive-pomace oil is rarely found in a grocery store; it is often used for certain kinds of cooking in restaurants.

    -Lampante oil is olive oil not used for consumption; lampante comes from olive oil's ancient use as fuel in oil-burning lamps. Lampante oil is mostly used in the industrial market.

    Since the US isn't a part of the IOOC, this system doesn't apply. The only grades the USDA has for olive oil are Fancy, Choice, Standard, Substandard. Oil is graded based on acidity, absence of defects, odor and flavor. This means the US is a dumping ground for old and mislabeled oil from all over the world. As a result, that "extra-virgin olive oil" really means nothing in the US, it can be applied to any grade of oil. So be weary of paying extra for that extra virgin/virgin olive oil, cause it may not be so great after all.

    (wiki used for all facts)
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 27, 2006 #2

    Chi Meson

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    Look for the key words "first cold pressed." Not "cold pressed" but "first cold pressed." THis scam has been going on for decades.
  4. Sep 27, 2006 #3


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    While I do use domestic olive oil for cooking, I only use italian or greek olive oil for dipping and dressing.

    To the credit of many olive oil producers in the US, especially the well-known ones in California, they do stick to the international standards even if it isn't required. Still, the ultimate guide is still taste.

  5. Sep 27, 2006 #4


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    Yeah, I pretty much rely on my tastebuds. I don't really care what grade it technically is (provided it's one of the edible grades) as long as it tastes nice and flavorful to me.
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