We hope you enjoy the products you buy at Za’atar Road to the fullest, which is why we want to share with you the best ways to take care of them. The way ingredients are stored is just as important as the ingredients themselves. Olive oil is an excellent example of a staple ingredient that can downgrade the quality of your meals if not well-cared for. Improper storage can lead to spoilage as well as lower nutritional value. To ensure you’re conserving all the taste and benefits of your oil, here are the three cardinal rules for keeping your olive oil in tip-top shape.
- Where? Store your olive oil in a cool, dry location, out of direct sunlight. Also, keep it away from any heat sources such as your stove. Exposure to heat results in a loss of flavor. You can even store regular olive oil in the refrigerator (though do not do this with EVOO), but know that the oil may solidify and/or become cloudy. These changes do not harm the olive oil or decrease its integrity.
- In what? Olive oil should be kept in a well-sealed container that is either dark-colored glass, stainless steel, or ceramic as exposure to air and sunlight aid in the depreciation of the oil.
- How long? The quality of olive oil deteriorates with time, so using your oil within the first three to four months will ensure the best taste. If you have an unopened bottle on your hands, try to use it within one year of purchasing.
Olive oil is, in fact, one of the healthiest oils to cook with. Olive oil contains antioxidants, known as phenols or phenolic acids, that help rid the body of free radicals. Olive oil that has been cold-pressed contains the highest level of phenols. All olive oils carried by Za’atar Road are cold-pressed, premium varieties. j.Grove’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil is from Lebanon’s Jezzine region and has a sweet, nutty, soft peppery taste with hints of green almond. Mimas’ Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a stronger, spicier pepper bite along with a fruity aroma and notes of green almond and ripe tomatoes. The select Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Zejd is cultivated in the groves of the Akkar region in Northern Lebanon and is fruity and aromatic with a mild sweet taste. Zejd also offers an organic variety as well as flavor-infused oils.
Take these easy tips back to your kitchen and get cooking! Your olive oil (and taste buds) will thank you!