I finally broke down and paid $12 for a small bottle of Bragg's cold pressed olive oil at the health food store. The smell is not pleasant at all. Is it possible it's just rancid or does all cold pressed olive oil smell "off" when compared to regular olive oil that I was previously using? I was going to try and find a better brand online, but if they all smell this way I hate to waste the money and I'll just use what I have.
Short version: I'd bring it back to the store, just show them the product and politely ask for a refund.
First, have you usually used ordinary "light olive oil"? Extra-virgin olive oil has a much more "olive oily" taste, and a more pronounced signature aroma, than regular olive oil.
(Many people have gotten so used to using extra-virgin olive oil that they don't know there's another kind. I don't always like the taste of extra-virgin olive oil in dressings, etc. because it's so noticeable.)
Second, it could definitely be rancid. I've read that most stores keep their olive oil on the shelf much longer than it should be there.
(Plus, rancidity is hard for some people to detect and others can smell it/taste it right away once it's begun. So others who have bought that oil may or may not have smelled that quite as well.)
Bottom line is that you shouldn't use something in your recipes that doesn't smell right or taste right -- I s'pose that's a given. :)
If you have the interest in doing so, find another bottle of cold-pressed EVOO and see how it smells. (Or, much better yet, find a store in your area that gives olive oil tastings or samples!)
Yep, I was a EVOO girl. I love that aroma. I'm still so new to raw that just the thought of warm bread and EVOO makes me rethink all the fresh fruit on my counter. That's why I try not to!!
I made a batch of onion bread a couple of weeks ago wtih EVOO and absolutely loved it. Tried it again with the cold pressed and I could still smell the oil even after a day of dehydrating. Yuck. None of my family could tell a difference though.
Sounds like maybe I just need to try a new brand from somewhere that rotates their stock a little more frequently.
chris: So if it's marked unrefined or unfiltered then it is a "raw" oil? The one I bought was the only one clearly marked cold pressed and it never occurred to me that there might be some other terminology to look for. There's so much stuff to know! Thanks for your help (and your carrot onion bread recipe-yum).
thorne: How do you liked the Napa Valley EVOO? Tasty?
I like it a lot. It's the only oil I buy. No strange smell. It tends to have a lot of sediment on the bottom, so it would look a bit strange if you're not used to that. The bottle is fairly dark, even though it doesn't look that way in the photo, it's not a clear bottle.
yes that's the sign of a truly raw oil. I would even trust 'unfiltered' before I would 'unrefined'. Once you've gotten good at it you can tell by the taste. Any non raw oil to me has a funny bite to it. It's too bad there's not better labeling. It always benefits the little guys, that's why.
Thanks guys! I have a much better idea of what to look for now and now I'm positive that what I got before was just bad to start with. That's why I love this site. If left to my own devices I would have just assumed all "raw" olive oil had that taste and smell and probably would never have tried it again. This is such a help to those of us who have no idea what they're doing yet.
I think the only truly raw ones are bariani and maybe living tree. i used to buy the napa valley, thinking "wow, it even says that its pressed at below 98. whatever degrees", but then someone on another raw board indicated that there seems to be some discrepancy in regards to whether or not theyre really raw: http://www.rawfoodtalk.com/showthread.php?t=44922&highlight=napa...
if anyone knows for sure, let us know. would love to know about their other oils too (sesame, etc)
I just wanted to point out an error you made in #2 above:
2. Unfiltered/Unrefined (Oil is heated during filtration to get the sediment off the bottom and up into the filter.
The fact is that unfilitered oil contained pieces of olive skin and therefore does develop sediment in the bottom. This sediment has a tendency to go rancid rather quickly so these types of oils must be used within 3-6 months.