Hot on the heels of the great prosecco crisis, experts now warn that a poor harvest and squeezed prices could lead to a rationing of olive oil

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Image: Olive oil could be rationed this summer, say experts

Photo: Ewan Munro /  CC-BY-SA 2.0 / adapted / Flickr: Ewan-M

What will happen to our favourite starters?

Don't panic, but we may have another 'first world problem' on our hands.


After worrying news reached Homemade HQ last week that there could be a global prosecco drought on the way, it seems there could be a problem with our olive oil supplies, too.


Last year's poor harvests in Spain and Italy mean experts are warning that there's a shortfall in supplies reaching the market.


Walter Zanré, managing director of Filippo Berio UK told The Grocer: “In 15 years in this business, this is the worst year I have seen. There is not enough oil to meet demand.


“Sourcing good quality extra virgin olive oil in the second half of the year will be very difficult.”


According to the International Olive Council (IOC), there will be a shortfall of 783,000 tonnes this year (compared to the average world production over the past five years). One of the main reasons is that the wet summer encouraged olive fly and fungal attacks.


But let’s just calm ourselves for a moment because there are lots of other delicious oils to cook with …

What: pumpkin seed oil
What to do: it has a relatively low smoke point so it’s best used raw. Add it to dressings, use for dipping bread in or drizzle over risotto or vegetables


What: avocado oil
What to do: this has a higher smoke point than olive oil, so it’s a good option for high-temperature cooking. It’s delicious in dressings, too

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Coconut oil

Photo: Meal Makeover Moms / CC-BY-SA 2.0 / adapted / Flickr: mealmakeovermoms

Coconut oil: perfect for deep-frying

What: flax seed oil
What to do: this has to be stored in the fridge and has a low smoke point so it needs to be used raw. Pop in smoothies and dressings or drizzle over vegetables and soups


What: hemp oil
What to do: this also needs to be kept in the fridge and used raw: think dressings, smoothies and dips


What: coconut oil
What to do: popular with vegans (as it can be used as a substitute for butter), this is a good one for deep-frying