Fresh extra virgin olive oils produced from the most recent harvest are in and we can’t wait for you taste them! Learn why freshness is so important and how to keep olive oil fresh.
If you experienced Olio Nuovo right after the harvest in the fall, you’ll understand why we are so excited. Olio Nuovo, which is the freshest olive oil you’ll ever experience, is picked, milled and bottled within a day or so of harvest. Olive oil producers typically only make a small amount of Olio Nuovo because it doesn’t have as long a shelf life as regular extra virgin olive oil.
Olive oil producers will mill all of the harvested olives, just like Olio Nuovo, but they allow the milled oil to rack for a few months so the tiny olive pieces can settle. This process gives EVOO a shelf life of about 18 – 24 months vs. the 3 – 6 months you’ll get from Olio Nuovo. That means we start to get the fresh olive oil that has been racking right around this time each year. And it is delicious!
Here is a lesser-known fact: Extra virgin olive oil is fresh-squeezed juice. Consequently, extra virgin olive oil is perishable. And, unlike wine, extra virgin olive oil doesn’t improve with age.
How to keep olive oil fresh and extend the shelf life.
Many people save good quality extra virgin olive oil for special occasions, but it’s a fresh product that should be consumed! Once bottlled, olive oil has an 18-24 month shelf life so extra virgin olive oil should be purchased within 12 to 18 months of its harvest date and should be used up within six months of opening. We recommend using up the oil within 30 to 60 days upon opening. Remember, high-quality extra virgin olive oil provides the best health benefits and flavor when it’s fresh.
Protect it from light
Extended exposure to light can deteriorate the quantity and quality of the antioxidants found in olive oil. Olive oil should be packaged in dark glass or tin to cut down on light exposure. It should also be stored away from direct light as exposure to light dramatically shortens the shelf life of extra virgin olive oil.
Store it properly
Store extra virgin olive oil away from light, air and heat. These elements accelerate the process of oxidation which leads to rancidity. As oxidation occurs naturally over time, it is best to use the oil up once it is open within the first 6 months.
Olive oil should not be stored next to the stove as this exposes the oil to consistent heat. It is also not recommended to store oil in the refrigerator because condensation within the bottle may lead to off flavors. Store your oil in a cool, dark cabinet or pantry.
The optimal storage temperature for olive oil is 60 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Exposure to warmer temperatures causes unpleasant flavors to develop in the olive oil.