Thursday, 19 January 2012

can cheap olive oil really be Extra Virgin?

I have mentioned several times in this blog that Extra Virgin olive oil can be cheap. Cheaper than butter in fact. There are two low cost supermarkets, Lidl and Aldi, that have brands of Extra Virgin olive oil that came joint first in a taste test done by Which magazine. The brands are Primadonna from Lidl and EVOO from Aldi.

However, a couple of recent articles in this month's Guardian and a book review cast doubt on whether a cheap olive oil could ever be genuinely Extra Virgin.

Olive oil food fraud: pressing truths Not everything labelled 'extra virgin' is immaculately conceived; it seems there are some very slippery customers in the olive oil trade, and the problem is spreading
How to tell if your olive oil is the real thing Adulterated and even fake olive oil is widespread, according to studies. Just how big is the problem, and how can you avoid being caught out?

The book review is Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil by Tom Mueller.

I also found an interesting web page about olive oils. It mentions Lidl and Aldi, but not the Primadonna and EVOO brands specifically. I still think that the Lidl and Aldi olive oils are good, even if strictly speaking they are not Extra Virgin. They might have had some kind of heat treatment, but this doesn't alter their health benefits.

1 comment:

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