How do I know if olive oil is fresh?

First, make sure you can find the “bottled on” date or the “best before” date. The fresher, the better. If you can’t find dates (or if they are approaching, or past) choose another olive oil. A good olive oil can be used within two years of its “bottled on” date, but within one year is better. Similarly, try to find an olive oil that has a “best before” date which is at least one year in the future. Sometimes you’ll see “harvest” dates such as “2010/2011.” Try to use olive oil within the year it was harvested. So if it says 2010/2011, it should be used within 2011 — not into 2012.

Have more questions about olive oil? Ask Ollie.