The term “Extra Virgin Olive Oil” (EVOO) is supposed to identify only the very highest quality, freshest tasting olive oils.
Yet, recent University of California testing revealed that 7 in 10 imported olive oils in the U.S. labeled “Extra Virgin” failed international EVOO quality standards.
“Cheating” by European producers and importers is widespread because U.S. labeling law has yet to legally define or enforce what the term “extra virgin” means.
In other words, labeling inferior oil as “extra virgin” is not technically illegal in the U.S. (It is, however, dishonest.)
That is why experienced restaurateurs always TASTE a new olive oil brand before buying it.
They also KEEP TASTING incoming containers of that brand over time to ensure that they CONTINUE getting the exact same quality they first tasted.
Experienced restaurateurs also know to avoid “bargain” priced oils.
Because superior oil costs more to make and legitimate producers cannot afford to sell “below cost,” bargain prices are a dead giveaway to inferior oil.