Usage tips

Learn more about what types there are, what varieties are grown and where.

Olive Oil TypeFlavours & colourCooking usages
Extra virgin olive oil is perfect for using straight out of the bottle in cold use. A finishing drizzle of olive oil on almost any kind of dish can change the texture, taste and aroma in a delicious way. EVOO can also be used for light cooking purposes like grilling and marinades.
• Peppery notes
• Almond
• Grassy notes
• Fruity
• Green-gold in colour
• Salad dressings
• Drizzle over vegetables and soups
• Marinades, sauces & pestos
• Bread dipping
• Mashed potatoes
• Drizzle over bruschetta and pizza
• Serve with bread and dukkah
Olive oil is a fantastic every day cooking oil and easily adapts to a number of cooking methods. The subtle flavour of olive oil enhances food without overpowering a dish and provides a good base oil for spice-infused and hearty sauces.
• Smooth and mellow
• Buttery flavour
• Slightly toasted aromas
• Golden yellow in colour
• Pan-frying
• Sauteing
• The base of stews and soups
• Roasting vegetables & meat
• BBQing
• Pasta and risottos
• Sauces & Mayonnaise
• Baking
Light-tasting olive oil is almost flavourless, making it an ideal choice for all the same cooking methods as olive oil and especial' in preparations where you don't want to influence the flavour of the dish.
• Pale lime hue
• Neutral aroma
• Subtle, delicate flavour
• Light, clean finish
• Stir-frying
• Baking
• Shallow frying
• Deep frying
• Greasing cake tins & roasting trays
  • Turn day-old bread into Bruschetta by simply spraying or brushing with Olive Oil and grill, bbq or toast until golden.
  • To keep roast capsicum for a few days, dress with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and salt and store covered in the fridge.
  • Stir a little Olive Oil into leftover plain cooked pasta before storing in the fridge so it doesn’t stick together.
  • When mixing a salad dressing, use 3 parts Extra Virgin Olive Oil to 1 part vinegar or lemon juice, season and shake together in a screw-top jar.
  • To serve fetta cheese Greek-style, drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and sprinkle with dried Greek oregano.
  • After gently washing your wok with warm water, dry and wipe all over with absorbent paper dipped in Olive Oil to prevent it rusting.
  • When deep frying, to test if the oil is hot enough, dip the handle of a wooden spoon in the oil. The oil will bubble around the handle if it is hot enough
  • Deep fry any leftover roast potatoes in Extra Light Olive Oil and serve sprinkled with smoked paprika and garlic salt.
  • Create a simple salad with sliced tomatoes, sliced red onion, peppers and herbs and drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Olive oil can be substituted for butter in dishes such as mashed potatoes, cakes and even pastries

Buying tips

Now that you know what you want, make sure you buy what you want!

✔ DO know your intended use to choose the right type and variety of olive oil.
✔ DO consider olive oil as an ingredient – having a pantry with various olive oils for use in different dishes is the goal
✔ DO choose a bottle or tin size you can use comfortably within around 2-3 months.
✔ DO prefer a tin or a dark glass bottle, if buying extra virgin olive oil
✔ DO Read the label. Olive oil from quality sources will contain important information on the label, including:

  • Producer/distributor/importer name
  • Full statement of ingredients
  • Clear description of origin of the oil (even if packed elsewhere)
  • Best Before Date & Production Lot Code
  • A quality/authenticity seal based on IOC standard

✘ DON’T purchase a large format, when you need a small one. Once open to the air, your oil starts to oxidise and lose flavour faster.
✘ DON’T buy packages that show signs of improper handling or storage, or indicate old oil. This could include:

  • Dust on the bottle
  • Damaged seals/caps
  • Evidence of drips or leaks
  • Orange tint to the oil – this indicates damaged oil due to over-exposure to fluorescent lighting and or heat

Beware: common consumer traps

WATCH OUT for Freshness & Quality Claims by Origin:

  • Claims that a country of origin is fresher, healthier or better quality than others are false and potentially illegal under Australian Consumer Law for misleading/deceptive conduct.
  • Don’t make assumptions based on country of origin! Every country can produce good and poor oils, and since olives are only harvested once per year no single country has an advantage on freshness either.
  • Check Best Before Date or Harvest Year to get a feel for how fresh the oil is. Aside short-life varieties, most oils use “Best Before” recommendations that are 18-24 months from production.
  • REMEMBER: Judge quality and flavour for yourself – you are the consumer!

WATCH OUT for “Too Good to be True” deals on unknown brands:

  • An unknown brand suddenly offers olive oil at vegetable oil prices? – If it seems too good to be true, it might not be true!
  • Avoid the risk: Try a small bottle before you buy big quantities of a new brand or stick to well-known, trusted brands.

WATCH OUT for misleading Awards and Medals:

  • Oil is an agricultural product that varies by each small batch, unlike many food products produced according to a recipe.
  • Awards for extra virgin should only apply to a specific batch in a specific harvest year, since this is what is tested.
  • Beware of products with general claims about being awarded except where award stickers are individually numbered by the award giver and applied to limited volume or specific batches.
  • Check the award comes from an authoritative competition or body, such as an IOC-accredited competition. Do research on the award to find out more about its value. If in doubt about the merit of an award claimed, write to the AOOA to ask us.
  • Watch for graphics that are simply made up to look like a medal!

Storage tips

Success! You brought your selection of olive oils home! Keep them well!

✔ DO store olive oil in a cool, dark place (eg. cupboard/pantry)
✔ DO keep the lid on your bottle/tin when not in use to limit oxidation as much as possible
✔ DO use small bottles/decanters/containers for use at the table rather than the large tin/bottle. That way the tin and bottle does not stay out and exposed to oxygen during your meals
✔ DO consider storing your oil in the refrigerator if you live in a hot region, but remember you will have to bring it out a few hours before use
✔ DO consider if you are using the right type of olive oil for your cooking. Olive Oils tend to have higher smoke points than Extra Virgin Olive Oils, so are better suited to very high temperature frying or deep-frying

✘ DON’T store olive oil next to (or above) the stove, where it will be damaged by heat
✘ DON’T store olive oil on top of the fridge or other appliances – often this is a warm place!
✘ DON’T store bottles of olive oil in places exposed to light (eg. near a window), even if the bottle is dark glass
✘ DON’T leave a pouring spout on the bottle unless the opening is sealed tightly – the oil will otherwise oxidise
✘ DON’T top-up a decanter/bottle still containing old oil with new oil. Use up the oil completely before refilling
✘ DON’T waste your expensive extra virgin olive oil on very high temperature cooking. The taste will be lost anyway and burnt Extra Virgin Olive Oils can impart undesirable tastes in your dish

REMEMBER: Oxygen, Light and Heat are the enemies of olive oil! Protect it!

Note: Storing olive oil in the fridge can be great because it will keep the oil fresher for long periods of time, however olive oil will solidify in the fridge. Solidification is not damaging, but before use you will need to allow time at room temperature for the oil to slowly liquefy again (don’t try to speed up the process by heating it!), so take it out of the fridge at least a few hours before.

Tip: You don’t need to be a heavy olive oil user to buy bulk formats such as 3 or 4 litre tins. You can decant a larger tin into several smaller bottles, which you can store in the fridge (all except for one that you keep on your bench at room temperature). That way you have always one bottle ready to go, and the rest is well-conserved in the fridge for later.