After my traumatic experience involving the storage of my herbs & spices, I decided maybe it was time for me to pay closer attention to how I stored OTHER cooking “must haves” in my growing arsenal.  I looked around the kitchen, and low and behold, I spotted another questionable decision within close proximity to my first mishap (the spices):  oils!  We had recently purchased several matching, glass oil dispensers to proudly display our vegetable, olive, sesame and canola oils – it also made perfect sense to have them easily accessible next to our stove.

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The outcome of my research:  big, fat FAIL!!!

Hey, I figure if I’m going to mess up with food storage, why not go ALL OUT, right!??

Once I noticed this potential culinary disaster, I pulled out my phone and started feverishly searching the interweb to figure out if I had messed up again.  As suspected, I had.  No surprise there.

Within no time at all, I came across this article from Eating Well Magazine.  It’s chock full of useful tidbits explaining how to pick – and store – the best olive oil.

Some of the best tidbits directly from the article about olive oil:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil’s healthful properties come from rich levels of monounsaturated fat, which promote “good” cholesterol, as well as abundant polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that may help prevent cardiovascular disease and lower blood pressure
  • Oils can be filtered—or not. Unfiltered oils have tiny particles of olive flesh in them, which reduces shelf life, and may appear cloudy if those particles haven’t settled at the bottom of the bottle
  • “Light,” “lite” and “extra-light” are purely marketing terms used on highly refined oils that refer to mild flavor and/or color, not reduced calorie content
  • “Product of Italy” means the oil was processed in Italy, not necessarily that the olives were grown there

Shopping tips

  • Light exposure causes the oil to become rancid and lose its healthful properties—buy extra-virgin olive oil in dark glass bottles and metal cans and store it in a cool, dark place
  • Bottling and/or expiration dates provide guidance on how long the oil will keep
  • If you don’t use extra-virgin olive oil regularly, buy small bottles—polyphenols and flavor can diminish as the oil is exposed to air

As in the previous article, the section in red above is where I failed!  Little did I know, I needed to store olive oil in a cool, dark place.  Furthermore, by having it in an open, NON air-tight bottle, I was causing it to not last as long.

As for the other oils (sesame, canola and vegetable)? Here’s the results:

  • Sesame oil – store in your pantry or on a kitchen shelf (no need to keep in a cool, dark place) – source: eHow
  • Canola oil – store the same as olive oil (away from heat/light and in a cool, dark place) – source: eHow
  • Vegetable oil – store in a cool, dark place like a basement or cellar where temperature remains around 55-60 degrees (high maintenance!) – source:  eHow

Hopefully, you’re storing your oil properly.  I wasn’t.