Storing olive oil

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Olive oil is best fresh pressed and is not a product that benefits from aging. So if you happen to live next to olive grove your golden. For everybody else there are four basic precautions that will help extend the life of this luscious liquid. These steps come down to air, heat, light and time.

  1. Air – once opened olive oil will begin to oxidize. This means that it will slowly lose those subtle fresh flavors. Left long enough olive oil will eventually turn rancid. Purchase bottles in a size that you will use in a four to six week period and skip the super saver jumbo sized bottle.
  2. Heat – nothing will kill the flavor of olive oil faster than heat. Resist the convenience temptation to store your oil right next to your stove. During hot periods you may want to consider storing olive oil in the refrigerator to prolong freshness. This does not impact taste but the oil may congeal which makes it difficult to pour. It returns to a liquid state relatively quickly.
  3. Light – most olive oils come in a clear bottle so that you can see how wonderfully rich they look. But light only speeds the aging process. Store you bottles in a cool dark place to ensure longevity.
  4. Time – despite the best storage and care of olive oil, it only has a limited shelf life. An unopened bottle stored in cool dark cupboard can last up to two years. Once opened, however, your old should be used within a four to six week period.

Unopened olive oil can be stored for up to six months before turning rancid.

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