The best containers for storing extra virgin olive oils are those made of tinted glass, porcelain, or stainless steel. Oil should never be stored in plastic or in reactive metals.
The ideal temperature for storing olive oil is 57°F, although a normal room temperature of 70ºF works very well if the olive oil is stored in a dark area where the temperature remains fairly constant. A kitchen cabinet located away from the stove and away from direct sunlight will work quite well. If you have a wine cellar, store your olive oils there and keep a small amount in your kitchen. Always put olive oil in a container that has a tight cap.
Olives are fruit; olive oil is a fruit juice. Air, heat, and light will cause olive oil to turn rancid. Rancid is the flavor that is imparted to an oil after it has undergone the process of oxidation. Since prolonged contact with oxygen is the root cause of oxidation, rancidity is a common defect, so it should be stored in a cool place in an airtight container. If your oil has a buttery taste, then it’s probably rancid.
Refrigeration does not harm most grades of olive oil, but it is not recommended for expensive extra virgin varieties because condensation may develop in the bottle, affecting the flavor. When chilled, or in cold weather, the oil may turn cloudy and even solidify. If it does solidify, the oil will clear again as it warms.
With the weather warming up, we’ll be breaking out our grills before long. I want to share two marinades for your weekend grilling.
M! April/May 2012