The Grades: Extra-Virgin from What You Should Know Before Buying Olive Oil Slideshow

What You Should Know Before Buying Olive Oil Slideshow

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The Grades: Extra-Virgin

This slide and the next three slides detail designations of quality you'll come across most often when shopping for olive oil.

"Extra-virgin" is the highest possible standard that an olive oil can meet according to criteria set by the International Olive Council (IOC), an international organization that creates voluntary standards for olive oil production. In order to qualify for this grade, an oil has to pass certain chemical tests and also a taste test to show that the oil has some fruitiness (more on that later) and is free from major faults, including rancidity, fustiness, and mustiness. Extra-virgin olive oils are best suited to low-temperature cooking and garnishing dishes in order to preserve their distinct flavor.