A guide to buying, storing and using shiny olive oil



In partnership with our friends from Domenica Fiore

We often think of olive oil as a building block in cooking – a fundamental element, not a show star. Before baking or grilling, pour olive oil. This is the basis of most toppings and vinaigrettes. And almost every stew recipe lists two tablespoons to begin with.

All is well, of course, but using olive oil only as a building block – and using any olive oil – could be a missed opportunity. Quality olive oils can have a wide range of flavors, depending on the variety and region of olive cultivation. They can be oily, peppery, fruity, bitter or grassy. And they can help balance and add color to your dishes when used in a variety of ways.

There are several reasons why you may not already be using premium olive oils. One is that it can be hard to figure out what it’s like when you stare at a bottle wall in a supermarket. Another fact is that olive oil can be expensive because olive is a labor-intensive crop for growing, harvesting and processing. So some olive oils are more of an investment. To get the most out of each bottle, check the labels, store with a little thought, and use recipes that make olive oil shine.


The first thing we are looking for: extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). This means that it is of better quality and cold pressed.

If possible, find a bottle with the date of harvest and certain names of the olive varieties used to produce the oil. When producers share that level of information with consumers, it’s usually a good sign (similar to when top coffee companies add a roast date to a bag date).

Look for oil that is packaged in very dark glass, aluminum, or ideally stainless steel. These materials help block light from the oil that stores it.


Organic olive oils from Domenica Fiore are something special. Not only are they delicious, but every part of the process – from harvesting to packaging – is deliberately designed to preserve the flavor and health benefits of extra virgin olive oils.

Reserva is a mixture of olives grown on the estate of Domenica Fiore in Umbria. It’s smooth with a long peppery finish, and we use it for dressing salads or watering grilled fish.

Novello di Notte is one of the most innovative products we have come across. It is an early harvest olive oil (“novello(In Italian it means “new”) – historically a favorite of olive pickers who have traditionally enjoyed bread under the trees. What is different from this oil is that it is harvested at night – hence the name Novello di Notte (“night”Which means“ night ”). Since the early harvest season can be quite warm, Domenica Fiore harvests and presses olives at night, protecting the product from light and heat at every step of the process, creating the purest and strongest olive oil of the novella. The taste is bright, grassy and almost herbaceous. It is remarkable over burrat, grilled steak and honey gelatin.

  1. Domenica Fiore Reserva Extra virgin organic olive oil

    Sunday Flower
    Reserve Extra Virgin Organic
    Olive oil

    goop, $ 48


  2. Domenica Fiore Novello by Night extra virgin organic olive oil

    Sunday Flower
    Night extra extra virgin organic olive oil
    goop, $ 74



In terms of storage, olive oil has four enemies: light, heat, air and time. These elements negatively affect the taste of the oil, accelerate rancidity and can reduce the level of some antioxidants present in your oil over time.

If you get olive oil bottled in very dark glass, aluminum, or stainless steel, your oil should be protected from light. Still, even with protective bottles, a bottle of olive oil is best kept away from the sunnier parts of your kitchen, such as window sills. Many of us keep olive oil right next to the stove, which is convenient but harmful to the oil itself. Protect the oil from the heat of the environment provided by the stove and oven by keeping it away from the hob and in a cool and dark place.

Both air and time have a hand in spoiling the oil. Olive oil is not meant to age like wine – it should be used generously in a timely manner, so don’t think you need to save it. Some manufacturers use high-tech filling processes that can extend the life of your olive oil. Domenica Fiore uses nitrogen to close stainless steel bottles. This means that they can be kept unopened and stored in a cool place for years, and when they open, they are good for eight to ten weeks.


The best way to experience the taste of high quality olive oil is in simple applications where it can really shine. Start by dipping a little crispy bread in it or pour it over a few hereditary tomatoes with flaky sea salt. You will probably notice that its taste is more pronounced than the everyday oil you used to cook with. It can be grassy and herbal, peppery, fruity, even a little bitter. Bitterness is usually a sign of polyphenols, which are a type of antioxidant (a similar feeling you might experience tannins in red wine, another source of polyphenols). While this is one of the most prized health attributes of extra virgin olive oil, getting used to it can take a minute. Instead of fighting that bitterness, accept it and use it to balance rich foods like meat, cheese and beans or sweeter foods like fruit.

Our favorite way to use olive oil is to finish with it. “Finish” sounds like a chef-y term, but you already finish your food with a finishing drop, sprinkle, or squeeze something before serving: for example, flaky sea salt, cracked black pepper, or fresh citrus. And almost everything can be finished with olive oil. Try it on anything from the grill – the char and that grassy taste of olive oil go so well together. Olive oil is a wonderful finishing touch for soups, stews, beans and pasta. Even something as simple as soft scrambled eggs can be a discovery.

Also: It’s a common misconception that you shouldn’t cook with olive oil, but you absolutely can, even fancy things. It’s not the most direct way to taste olive oil or take advantage of its health benefits, but olive oil has a smoke point of 500 ° F, so you can do some main cooking.

These dishes are creamy, greasy and rich and are nicely balanced when finished with grassy and peppery extra virgin olive oil.

Extra virgin olive oil in dessert: It is light and fruity, and that mild bitterness cuts through the sweetness.

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