More than half of the extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) sold in Spanish supermarkets and superstores does not pass standardized taste tests. Wow! This, according to an article recently published in El Pais (a leading newspaper of Spain). See article here.
Of course this is controversial. Olive oil merchants are intent on making a profit, and one of the easiest ways is provide cheap, poor quality product and charge a premium price. This coupled with budget conscious buyers at large box stores striving to save a penny means that poor quality extra virgin olive oil populate their shelves.
There are many elements that are used to qualify olive oils as “extra virgin” including physical and chemical parameters as well as sensory standards that are measured through a taste test. And more than half of the supermarket extra virgin olive oil in Spain does not pass the taste tests? Hmmmm. This is here in Spain! – where every pueblo has a molino producing extra virgin olive oil (I am exaggerating!). But for sure, top quality EVOO is easily available in Spain, the largest producer of extra virgin olive oil in the world. The only reason that sub-standard product is on supermarket shelves is due to cutting corners, stretching limits and striving for low cost product.
Until a few years ago, up to 69% of the EVOO sold in the States, did not meet the requirements (source here). From my own experience, I believe there is a movement to better control the quality of extra virgin olive oil imported into the United States. Last year one GringoCool shipment was inspected upon entry into the US, and just recently a shipment was inspected leaving Spain. So it appears that Inspectors are intent on better controlling EVOO.
Taste tests may be the last hurdle to ensuring quality EVOO. And frankly, there should be a quality difference between “extra virgin” and “virgin” olive oil. Both are first cold pressed and must meet physical and chemical parameters, but the real difference is in the flavor. Extra virgin should be better than virgin and one of the primary differences is the taste. Some claim that taste tests are arbitrary (you can imagine who is making these claims). But an independent panel of experts conducting blind taste tests is necessary to weed out the poor quality products posing as extra virgin olive oil. This is a good thing both for consumers and purveyors of high quality EVOO.
Our brand of Spanish extra virgin olive oil is GringoCool and we will stack it up against any EVOO in the market. We are proud of the quality of our Spanish extra virgin olive oils and we strive to do right by our customers. GringoCool is working to be your trusted source of premium Spanish extra virgin olive oils.
Check out our Spanish extra virgin olive oil here. And we are happy to present our new GringoCool Tasting Set of Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oils for the 2018 holiday season. The set includes three 250ml (8.45 fl oz) of different varieties of Spanish EVOO. Each set includes a bottle of each organic picual, hojiblanca and our new coupage of arbequino and manzanilla which we call “De Sevilla”. The set is a perfect kit for foodies or cooks interested in sampling and preparing food with premium Spanish extra virgin olive oils.
All pre-launch purchases before November 18th are 25% off, and these purchases will be shipped on or before December 3rd. You can purchase your set here.
Thanks for reading. Comments and questions are always welcome. – Steve