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Is your extra virgin olive oil " Extra Virgin "

I am begining to here news of this. Was watching Cal Channel today and there was a two hour Senate hearing on the challenges facing Californias olive oil industry. Quality and defects in the industry are being examined .It is being said that alot of the top shelf oil imported is being mixed with vegtable and other oils and coloring being added and sold as EVOO.

It is a major issue at the moment. Are you aware of this ?

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  1. I listened to a thing about this today.
    NZ doesn't have clear laws governing EVO. I think, like most things, if i costs more than I'd prefer to pay, it's probably decent quality.
    Olove oil really suffers from light, heat and age, so I only buy date-marked, NZ oil in dark glass.

    1. It's (unfortunately) a long running issue. You can read a UC Davis look at some brands here:

      Thankfully, the one I use heavily (Costco/Kirkland) passed. When in doubt, I just trust the folks behind the scenes at the company. And, in these matters, outside of the extremely high-end products, Costco and Trader Joe's usually come through.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ediblover

        I use the same stuff... A relief since I can afford it!

        1. re: IndyGirl

          Ah good. I use the Costco stuff, as I like the taste and I I trust it more than the stuff at the grocery store.

      2. Tom Mueller wrote a widely-cited New Yorker article and a book ("Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil") about this.

        For New Yorker article, see http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/20...

        For book, see http://www.amazon.com/Extra-Virginity...

        2 Replies
        1. re: drongo

          Tom Mueller spoke at the hearing. I want to read his book.

          1. re: emglow101

            I downloaded the book onto my Kindle and have read some of it. It's not a hard read and it's not dry but by the same token it's not a page turner either.

            If you're interested in unadulterated olive oil try the oil from Baja California. Definitely not cut with anything.


            I've picked up 2 bottles of Baja olive oil in the last 4 weeks - including a bottle from Ensenada Olive Oil C. - and both of them are outstanding. You taste it and you understand why olive oil is so revered (a point To, Mueller goes to great lengths in his book to make). The bottle from Ensenada Olive Oil is actually some of the best olive oil I think I've tasted in years and I can pretty much guarantee it is 100% olive oil and not cut with anything. It's also located in San Diego, not Ensenada, but the owner travels frequently between the two cities and has imported an entire barrel of oil. It's soft, fruity, peppery and utterly seductive.

        2. Yep, this has been discussed for a few years on these boards.

          1. There is a brief conversation on a New Yorker blog with Tom Mueller. He has begun a web site to promote good, honest olive oil.
            Mueller's site is:

            1. When all this started to come out, and after reading the New Yorker article, we switched to California oil. I have not read anything that suggests California EVOOs are adulterated. Anyone know differently?

              1. The word 'virgin' invites mendacity like no other.

                1. Yes, this lawsuit is happening right now and more people need to be aware of it as the olive oils involved in the lawsuit are brands consumers are very familiar with and probably have in their kitchens right now.

                  The brands involved in the suit are: Bertolli, Filippo Berio, Carapelli, Star, Colavita, Mezzetta, Pompeian, Rachael Ray, Mazolla and Safeway Select.

                  As stated in the Olive Oil Times: "The lawsuit alleges that many olive oils are mislabeled so the costs can be marked up for consumers. 'The results of the tests were shocking,' the lawsuit states. “Sensory tests showed that these failed samples had defective flavors such as rancid, fusty and musty.”

                  See full article here: http://tinyurl.com/6uqzcox

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: love4lathi

                    I know what musty and rancid taste like, but how in the world does "fusty" taste? And acutally I'm not being sarcastic or silly. I would really like to know how "fusty" is interpreted as a taste.

                    1. re: DiningDiva

                      Fusty is one of the most common defects detected in olive oil along with rancidity. So much so, that in the US, many consumers have become so familiar with the taste that it is perceived as 'normal'.

                      Fusty is a flavor characteristic of oil that is obtained from olives when they are stored in piles which have undergone advanced fermentation. This is why it is so essential to crush the olives as soon as possible after they are picked.

                      I liken the fusty flavor to that of an old, mushy Kalamata olive, a bad olive pâté, or sweaty socks.

                      1. re: love4lathi

                        Thank you, your descriptions helps :-)