How long can you store olive oil?
As a very flexible rule, extra virgin olive oil can be stored for about a year. It likely will not go rancid after a year, but the flavors will mellow as the oil matures. There’s often a best by date on the bottle that is usually 1-2 years after it has been bottled.
What’s the best way to store olive oil?
Keep it in a relatively cool, dark place. Heat and light are enemies, so keep it away from window sills and stove sides. There’s no need to refrigerate, in fact, we recommend you avoid it.
When can I expect the next season’s olive oils to arrive?
Most of our olive oils come from the Northern Hemisphere, so the olives are harvested in the fall. The pressing and bottling happens in the fall or early winter. For any oils that aren’t produced in the United States, we’ll then wait for them to slowly make their voyage across the ocean to us. Keep an eye out for new harvest oils to be on our shelves by late spring or early summer.
How do you know your olive oil is the real deal?
Every couple years it seems a big news story breaks about the dangers of adulterated extra virgin olive oil.
The oils in these stories invariably from producers who are blending olives from many sources. They’re mixing less expensive oils in, ones that are possibly not from the region they say they are, possibly not extra virgin. They cut costs, they cut the quality of the oil, they mislabel. This is totally illegal. But it’s not uncommon in the Big Olive Oil Industry.
How do we know that Zingerman’s olive oils aren’t subject to this kind of adulteration?
With very few exceptions, we’re buying our oils directly from farmers.
They make olive oil using only the olives grown on their own estates. Most bottle only a couple thousand liters annually, as compared to the millions of bottles that come from the big companies. They laugh at the idea that they’re importing containers of cheap oil to make a buck. We’ve visited most of them and, frankly, when you see the small scale of their production and the handiwork that goes into it, it’s no surprise that they’re baffled.
We taste every olive oil we carry.
Usually many times a year. We make sure that the quality is still up to snuff. It’s not hard to spot the fakers. You really can taste the difference.
Sandwich Tunisienne recipe
Makes 2-3 hefty, messy sandwiches
4-6 hearty slices good bread
1-2 tablespoons good extra virgin olive oil
1-2 spoonfuls of harissa
1 tin good tuna
1 preserved lemon, sliced thin
1. Take the bread and brush the sides that will be insides of your sandwiches with enough olive oil that it soaks into the bread a bit
2. On top of the olive oil, spread a generous spoonful of harissa on the bread—taste it first, and then use more or less depending on how hot you want the sandwich to be
3. On the bottom slices of bread, add the tuna (I like about a third of a tin per sandwich) and enough slices of preserved lemon to get some in every bite
4. If you want to add in any additional ingredients, like capers, artichokes, or roasted red peppers, pile ‘em on
5. Put the top slice of bread on, and squish the sandwich together
The sandwiches are good right away, and even better after sitting for a bit when the oil soaks into the bread and the flavors really meld together.