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Oct 24, 2006 08:50 PM

How can I tell if my walnut oil is rancid?

I have been keeping my walnut oil in the cabinet. Just found out it should have been in the fridge. I smelled it and can't tell if it's off because I don't remember what it smelled like fresh. Anyone know how to tell if it's past its prime?

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  1. If it smells and tastes bitter and old make it go away.

    1. Rancid oil has a decidedly bitter aftertaste to it. Taste a drop and you will be able to tell.
      Learned this when my pasta was bitter one evening long ago, it was the olive oil sittin in the jar on the counter in partial sunlight all day, everyday.

      1. Make a little salad dressing with a tablespoon of oil, a teaspoon of vinegar, and a pinch of salt. If any raw vegetable or bread you dip into that isn't delicious, the oil's not good.

        1. Does walnut oil gone off have the same rancid flavor profile of other veg oils?
          My litmus test is the smell of old lipstick . . . like something from 30 years ago in your mom's purse that she hasn't used in a long time.
          As evocative as Proust's madeleine...

          4 Replies
          1. re: pitu

            Rancidity always smells the same, but bad walnut oil's particularly nasty.

            1. re: pitu

              I too go by the smell to see if oil is rancid - oils smell SO BAD when they've gone over. Walnut oil should smell nutty and fresh, never bad in any sense. Also, walnut oil seems to have a shorter shelf life than many others (my experience anyway). Keep it in the fridge to preserve it longer.

              1. re: pitu

                That is so true. It does taste exactly like old lipstick. Thanks to everyone for the help. Now any ideas on how to dispose of 1/2 a bottle of walnut oil so that the bottle can be recycled?

                1. re: Procrastibaker

                  Go through your cubboards and find some weevil-infested flour or whatever, and use that to soak up the oil.