Keeping Oil and Vinegar
Keep oil and vinegar in glass cruets. Extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar are probably two of the most nutritious, yet delicious condiments that can add a distinct zing to most culinary delights. Both these products are such that they can be stored for a long period of time. In fact, olive oil can be stored longer than any other type of edible oil. It can sometimes go rancid, but the chances of olive oil becoming rancid, is very low as compared to other oils, especially if it has been stored with correct care. Both olive oil and vinegar require similar storing standards. And, the kitchen windowsill is definitely not the right place to store your treasured olive oil and vinegar. You have to exercise extreme care in storing them. If you do not store them properly, they may get damaged quite easily in addition to losing a large proportion of their nutritional benefits. Select oil and vinegar cruets with care.
Olive oil and vinegar have four deadly enemies. They are:
One of the above or a combination of any of these four can damage olive oil and vinegar beyond measure. This is why the best storage containers are made of ceramic, glass, or porcelain.Here are some useful tips to ensure that your supply of olive oil and vinegar are fresh and full of flavor for a longer period of time: Olive oil should never be stored in containers made of copper, iron or any other reactive metals. A chemical reaction between the oil and the metal will harm the oil and may even produce toxins in the process. These toxins can be very harmful if consumed by humans.
– Remember never to store olive oil in any plastic container. This is because olive oil can absorb PVC’s from the plastic. – Both olive oil and vinegar should ideally be stored in airtight containers and tightly sealed. Even a little air will cause oxidation in the fluids.
– Olive oil and vinegar both should be stored in a cool, dark place. The perfect location would be a wine cellar, as it is kept dark and the temperature is cool and constant. But most of us do not have the luxury of owning wine cellars, so the ideal place would be a kitchen cabinet or counter that is well away from the stove and also from direct sunlight.
– If olive oil is properly stored in a glass cruet, it should be useable for at least 15 months. The flavor is best if used within a period of one year and is at its peak when consumed within 2 or 3 months after it has been pressed. Extra virgin olive oil lasts longer than the lower grades of olive oil because of the lower level of acidity at the time of bottling.