How can you be sure that an extra virgin olive oil is unquestionably good?
This question refers to a sensitive area in which we must proceed with caution. Most of the time the average consumer, who purchases in supermarkets, is found to buy extra virgin olive oil that we would call “standard”, characterized by medium-low qualitative and organoleptic level. These products though, technically, belong to the category of extra virgin olive oils. The problem is at the source, because current standards do not yet provide rigid parameters to ensure a higher quality level.
Giving credit to the small and medium sized companies, which aim at obtaining a qualitative excellence and which control the whole chain (from the tree to the bottle), means not only educating the consumer to a good choice, but also means encouraging the producer to focus on the quality of its products. Moreover, the high quality is the main strength of Italy extra virgin olive oil: the cultivation, the harvesting and the processing make use of cutting edge technology and are compatible with raw materials and with the environment. But the real reason of the Italian leadership lies in its rich variety: more than 500 cultivars (out of about 1,300 worldwide) that give rise to oils of the highest quality. To guarantee this complexity Italy boasts a range of 43 names (42 PDO and a PGI), plus many productions from organic or biodynamic agriculture which constitute a further enrichment.
SOURCE: Marco Oreggia, http://www.marco-oreggia.com/Come si fa a essere certi che un extravergine sia qualitativamente ineccepibile?