Are you buying the right olive oil?

“It’s all about the quality and production when choosing good olive oil,” says Dominique Lombardo, executive pastry chef for Rezdôra. But what exactly should you look for when shopping? First things first, examine the bottle. If it’s made of dark glass or it’s completely matte, you’re probably onto a good thing, as natural light is olive oil’s worst enemy. Next, read the label. “Look at the label for hand-picked, cold pressed olives,” says Odette Williams, author of Simple Pasta. “If the bottle has a date stamped on it, you’re onto a good thing.” Other words you might want to look for include “first-pressed,” cold-pressed” and “harvest date,” as well as a specific country of origin“Pianogrillo Farm Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Sicily is a nice all-purpose olive oil with gentle spice,” says Chef Melissa Kelly, a James Beard Award winner and chef of Primo Restaurant. “Its well-rounded taste is the reason behind this oil being our workhorse.”“The one that I prefer to cook with is Arbequina, such as California Olive Ranch Reserve Collection, because it has a delicate flavor, is slightly bitter, and has notes of apples and almonds, which match perfectly with my style of cooking,” she says. Chef Stephen Stryjewski, chef and owner of Link Restaurant Group, shares Gonzelez’s love of Arbequina olives: “Arbequina oil is my go-to—I find it to be the most consistent finishing oil with a nice amount of bitterness and bite that I like.”Another bottle that features arbequina olives is Brightland’s Awake. This 100% extra-virgin olive oil is described as “bold and robust,” ideal for “roasting, sauteing, soups, stews and bread.” Stryjewski also swears by The Molino Arbequina, which comes in a gorgeous bottle blue and white bottle you’ll want to keep on display.