How Do We Measure Quality: Extra Virgin Olive Oils

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Extra virgin olive oil for the purpose of my theme, the ways in defining quality is just as similar as differentiating between choices.

First, the dates. Harvest year (usually falling between Fall and Winter) and expiration dates should be enough to portray the product life, usually up to 2 years (though best if used within a year for consistency in taste and quality). With those two items already in mind when you buy your oil, you could predict how old the oil is (or how long it’s been on the shelf) and how much longer is left.

Another point would be to check which region or country it’s from. This is a whole new topic which may get a bit ugly, but in short the variable geo-climate, technique, and olives could alter the definitive quality right away. Mediterranean climates are favorable due to its abundant sun, cool climate, and the natural hilly geographical location not easily manipulated elsewhere in the world (attempts in the US and claims of similar to near perfection is debatable). Even the discussion of Italia’s best is difficult to analyze. Actually I dare you to ask any Italian where they think has the best olive oil and I guarantee every single one of them will assume their origin as the best. That’s why I wouldn’t want to start an argument siding on one over another.

Why So #@%!’n Expensive?!

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With what happened back in late 2008 this doesn’t seem to be something new. But even to this day after almost 3 years, billions of tax-payers dollars pumped into the economy, buying out companies, merging power houses, and government take overs, we still haven’t been able to live off the good ol’ days prior to ’08. I’m not an economist or a financial forecaster of any kind so I may be a bit rash to assume 3 years is enough. Five, maybe ten years at best.

But you start to wonder, has the economy really effected why we end up paying more and why there’s been multiple price changes each year? I can not and will not answer that. However I have noticed that somethings haven’t changed. Slightly in the circle of business, I wouldn’t dare criticize my competitors or buyers or anyone else that are (potentially) related to my entrepreneurship.

With that said, I’m starting to sense that many outlets have started to use that event as a means to increase prices, under observation of course. Speaking for myself, having to have worked under a salary since right before the economy stepped in a pile of poop, there was nothing noticeably different in the way I spent my money or the products I usually bought. Gradually the prices started to sneak up from behind us…then BAM $four for a tiny “gourmet” burger, smaller in size than In & Out burger and not quite sure what was gourmet about it besides its size, $three drinks (non-alcoholic) and that was excluding the truffle fries for just as much as the burger. This was no hotel restaurant or a 5-star luncheon, it was just another establishment claiming its originality via price (and yelp).