The number one thing I look for when choosing olive oil is that it is in a dark, glass bottle or a tin. Why? Both of these help keep the light out which keeps the olive oil fresher for longer. A clear glass bottle is okay, but it will not stay fresh as long. Either way, I recommend storing it in a dark cabinet or pantry away from heat and light.
Other things I look for are phrases like the ones listed below, which often indicate a quality olive oil. I love seeing a date of production as well!
First-pressed/cold-pressed: indicates that the oil was extracted without steam or chemical treatment. This helps it keep its nutritional value.
Extra-virgin olive oil: indicates that it is less processed and has a higher antioxidant level and nutritional value.
Bonus phrases to look for:
Estate-made: often indicates more care went into the making of the olive oil.
Unfiltered: this makes for more complex olive oil, but be prepared for a bit of sediment.
Certified organic: free of pesticides
Acidity <1%: for a smoother, less acidic olive oil.
DOP: this is for olive oils coming from Italy and means “denomination of origin”. The oil meets the standards of the local, originating government.
Here are my two favorite olive oils: