Everything You Need to Know About Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar

by | Oct 2019

Fusti tanks contain extra virgin olive oil, nut and seed oil and balsamic vinegar at Love That Olive

Photo: Rachel Nadeau

When does olive oil go bad? Should I refrigerate balsamic vinegar?

This article originally appeared as part of the story Opposites Attract in the October 2019 issue.

  • Three of the biggest enemies of olive oil are light, heat and air.
  • Use EVOO within 12–14 months.
  • Cold pressed oils are not processed in any other way or have preservatives and additives.
  • Olives start out as small green fruits; as they mature, they plump out and begin to change color to a yellow-green, pinkish to purple and, finally, black.
  • The color of olive oil is dependent on the pigment in the fruit.
  • Olive trees can live for hundreds of years.
  • In 1500 B.C., olive trees were cultivated in Greece; they spread to Italy and into France.
  • Do not refrigerate balsamic vinegar; it has a shelf life of three to four years.
  • Balsamic vinegar is made from Trebbiano grapes and has a high natural sugar content.
  • It is made in Italy in two regions, Modena and Reggio.
  • Balsamic vinegar is considered a condiment in Italy.
  • Until 25 years ago, balsamic vinegar was relatively unknown outside of Italy. Families would produce it over the years, passing it on as an heirloom, giving away small amounts to cherished friends or using it as a dowry when a daughter got married.
  • According to Ministerial Decrees of Italy, it is illegal to print the age of the vinegar on the labels. Many labels make such claims, and this information can be misleading. A vinegar labeled 18 years can mean that any amount, even an eye dropper full of the older vinegar, was added to the end product.

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