Produced by the COPA cooperative in the Monti Iblei highlands near Modica, Sicily. Antheo’s DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) status comes from the use of Verdese, an olive cultivar that grows only in a small geographic area of eastern Sicily. Antheo is 20% Verdese and 80% Moresca, and has a pronounced grassy flavor, good fruitiness, and a sharp pungency. Use it for cooking, salads, and drizzling at the table.
The tins are marked with a best-used-by date, typically 18 months from pressing. It’s meant to help consumers, but too many people believe the oil somehow changes after this arbitrary deadline and should not be used. That’s not the case.
Extra virgin olive oil is an agricultural product that does change over time. The sharp flavor of freshly pressed oil mellows, and the bitter tang fades. But well-made oils, stored properly, can last several years before oxidation renders them unpalatable.
In the places where olive oil is made and consumed, the previous year’s is kept for cooking and other uses where the flavor isn’t so critical. If fresher oil is available, it’s used for salads and as a condiment at the table. But the older oil is still delicious, even if the flavor is softer than it was when younger.