Why shop by sizes?
In commerce there are basically 500ml bottles and 5 liter plastic carafes. This type of container accounts for 90% of the olive oil sold. The 500ml bottle is relatively recent. The oil packers have understood (too slowly …) that oil is a product as “noble” or more than wine, and that it should be presented as it should be.
How to shop olive oil by sizes?
When you go to shop olive oil, if you see a transparent bottle, just do not buy it. If that bottle has passed even a few hours exposed to light, the oil has already changed and its polyphenols have begun to disappear, and with them the precious health benefits, in addition to the taste and flavor, of course.
The responsible mills that take care of their products and use an opaque glass containers, which prevents or minimizes the passage of light. Anyway, always buy olive oil in prestigious stores, online or not. It is the best way to guarantee that the bottle will come from a cool and dark place to your table, retaining all its attributes. Once at home, follow the same premises, darkness and freshness.
The carafe only if it is consumed quickly
It was used and traditionally used in oil mills, as was the case with wine, where the farmer came to “load” bulk oil. Of course, the carafe is for these purposes, much more practical, cheaper and lighter than the bottle.
But the carafe usually almost always is transparent, and the oil suffers it, as we explained before. But even more importantly, the carafe lasts 10 times as long as the bottle lasts, so it may open and close between 500 and 1000 times until its contents are finished. This is literally a crime, since every time it opens, oxygen is renewed inside, which is another of the great enemies of olive oil.
The oxygen irremediably initiates oxidation processes, the polyphenols disappear and the oil begins to age prematurely. Its flavor and aromas also age. Probably already rancid halfway … a pity.
The new Tetrabrick
A very interesting but minority container is TetraBrik. Actually TetraBrik is the best possible container. It is paper, easily recyclable, it does not weigh, it is cheaper to transport and store, it does not break, and it perfectly insulates its content from light and heat, much better than glass, even if it is opaque, and we do not even talk about plastic anymore.
The bad thing is that the buyer associates it with the typical containers of cheap wine or milk, and distrusts … a pity, because the packaging has nothing to do with its content.