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Olive Oil Questions, Options, Favorites


Shiva
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  • 3 weeks later...

Lucini is great and fairly readily available. I used to use it exclusively but have since moved back to Colavita since it's both quite a bit cheaper ($6.99 vs $11.99 per 500ml) and still pretty good. My favorite oil, which I used to get on the West Coast but can't find here in Minnesota, is a Sicilian oil called Frantoia. It's fantastic and, at $15.99 per litre, a really good deal...

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$11.99 for 500ml of Lucini is a good price. Here in Maine I paid $14.50 last summer and just went back and bought a 750ml that cost me $21.50. Probably the high prices are because the only place that I've found Lucini is at a speciallty bakery that carries OO and some good mustards. On the other hand, I'm getting Colavita at $5.99 for 500ml in the local supermarkets.

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Pietro Coricelli Umbrian is my favorite this year. I also love to use the Greek Morea for finishing. Nunez de Prado Flower of the Oil is wonderful, but out of my price range .

I cook with any cold pressed EV that's on sale. Olive oil prices are high right now.

Edited by foodie52 (log)
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Interesting responses. I too am using Colavita right now for my EV (mostly for salads, dipping, occasional finishing), largely because I am partial to green oils & stumbled onto a nice batch of green Colavita last year & stocked up.

Colavita seems one of the few producers to use clear bottles so that you can see the color of the oil you're getting. Probably not the best thing for the oil's shelf life but I like it.

I'm also very fond of Monini's Fruttato EV. Nice & earthy. Been through several excellent bottles of that Goccia Umbra in the past few years also, it's another good one.

Interesting you should mention Coricelli, foodie52, since they're next on my list to try when the Colavita runs low. Link here to several of their offerings - igourmet - which one do you have?

For cooking, I usually use Carapelli - light for sauteeing, mild for my olio e aglio sauce - mainly because my supermarket always seems to run a great sale on the stuff every couple of months & I stock up. I don't often cook with EV because I don't want to overwhelm what I'm cooking. There's also the cost factor.

I also keep peanut oil around for the more delicate types of fish.

Edited by ghostrider (log)

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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Unfortunately. olive oils that are not extra virgin are also not cold pressed and therefore have been exposed to either heat or chemicals or both. I'd rather not eat those, so I use EV all the time. If I don't want the olive flavor, I go with something else. I'd love to see a cold pressed grapeseed oil but haven't come across one so far.

Color isn't an indication of an oil's quality. The bottlers can mess with the color easily. If they want the oil greener, they can press it with the leaves.

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Unfortunately. olive oils that are not extra virgin are also not cold pressed and therefore have been exposed to either heat or chemicals or both. I'd rather not eat those, so I use EV all the time. If I don't want the olive flavor, I go with something else. I'd love to see a cold pressed grapeseed oil  but haven't come across one so far.

Color isn't an indication of an oil's quality. The bottlers can mess with the color easily. If they want the oil greener, they can press it with the leaves.

True enough. I don't think Colavita does that, tho, since the color of their EV oils varies considerably. I'm assuming it's crop-dependent.

The best oils I've ever had have been green (served in restaurants in Spoleto), so I keep hoping. That's why Coricelli is on my list (hop back to previous page for comment I added after your post above).

P.S. If you check the igourmet link on the previous page, you'll find that cold pressed grapeseed oil. It ain't cheap tho!

Edited by ghostrider (log)

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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I'm using the Umbrian. And I am assuming it's the 2002 harvest. I like the Umbrian because it uses just one type of olive and has the best flavor, in terms of fruitiness and length of finish. It's a great oil.

Having said that, I don't know if the oil that they are selling at igourmet is the 2002, or if it's a later harvest. If it's 2003, I'd love to know what it tastes like.

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I will post whatever I learn about it after I order some. It'll be a couple of months yet I think.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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Good discussion about olive oils!

Asian cooking tastes gross using Olive oil.
I don't know if I would go so far as to say gross :smile: , but I agree that peanut or soy bean oil is better for Asian foods.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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  • 2 months later...

I believe that a good brand olive oil can be used to cook almost anything, i strongly believe that the greek oils are by far the best in quality and taste, ofcourse it goes without saying that you should always stay away from pomace olive oils...this is the worst type of pressing of the olive...pomace is actually even unhealthy for you. The three greeks oils that i find are of superier quality but alittle more difficult to find in the states are Irini, Solon and Altis extra virgin. In terms of quality they are recognized as the best of greece :smile:

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  • 2 weeks later...

The 2004 brochure came in the mail today. The selection is good and the prices haven't changed much from 2003. They claim the freeze affected the commodity oil much more than their oils, but reading between the lines I see a small caveat or two. The brochure should be up on their website.

Remember, if you snooze, you lose. I'm placing my order tomorrow morning. Since I'll be throwing fiscal responsibility to the wind I might order an entry-level bottle of Balsamico also.

PJ

"Epater les bourgeois."

--Lester Bangs via Bruce Sterling

(Dori Bangs)

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To follow up:

Their current inventory is almost totally exhausted. I did manage to snag a couple of bottles for delivery next week. They are, however, still taking orders for July delivery. I was told the oil pre-ordered for delivery in July will most likely sell-out within a week or two.

Seems to me the weather problems in Europe last year are having a noticible effect on supply.

PJ

"Epater les bourgeois."

--Lester Bangs via Bruce Sterling

(Dori Bangs)

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  • 1 month later...

As stupid as this must sound....could someone please tell me the difference between extra virgin olive oil and just olive oil?

Thanyou

~Ben

Some people say the glass is half empty, others say it is half full, I say, are you going to drink that?

Ben Wilcox

benherebfour@gmail.com

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As stupid as this must sound....could someone please tell me the difference between extra virgin olive oil and just olive oil?

Thanyou

~Ben

My understanding is that the EVOO is from the first pressing, so it's the strongest and most fragrant. The regular stuff is from later pressings to get the last of the oil out of the pomace and has more "pits and stems" influence since it isn't the first bit out. Kinda of like the second cup of tea out of the tea bag. Not as good or as strong as the first.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Less Virgins were sacrificed? :biggrin:

Seriously, from what I recall the Extra Virgin Oil is cold pressed, from the first pressing, with extremely low acidity. Virgin has higher acidity but is other the same. "Light" Olive Oil has less of the distinctive taste and a higher smoke-point, and thus is frequently better for actual cooking.

That's about the extent of my knowledge.

Linda LaRose (fifi) tells a humorous story here about some guy who's roux sucked because he used Extra Virgin Olive Oil in it., thinking it was better. Sure it's better. On a salad.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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So....my understanding then would be that Extra Virgin is better for imparting actual flavor into the food......and possibly more expensive? If the flavor thing is true though, who would use normal olive oil and for what purpose?

~Ben

Some people say the glass is half empty, others say it is half full, I say, are you going to drink that?

Ben Wilcox

benherebfour@gmail.com

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So....my understanding then would be that Extra Virgin is better for imparting actual flavor into the food......and possibly more expensive? If the flavor thing is true though, who would use normal olive oil and for what purpose?

~Ben

"Normal" is a loaded term, because these days there are more than two grades of Olive Oil easily available. I couldn't pinpoint the ideal use for each of them, but as I said, the so-called "Light" version supposedly has a higher smoke point, and that makes it much easier to cook with.

In fact, if you look at the bottles lined up in the store, some of the Americanized bottles of the "light " variety (there's "extra light" too--I'm not positive if its the same) say stuff like "best for cooking and baking", the normal "virgin" says something like "ideal for sauteing", and the extra virgin says something like "for marinades and dressing". I'm estimating these, because I'm going from memory, but I went shopping a day or two ago and bought olive oil and that's what I recall.

In Italy (or even in the right stores in the U.S., I'm sure) I think there are even MORE grades of Olive Oil, but I'm looking at it from an American non-gourmet supermarket angle here.

Wait... click here, where Carapelli, a commonly available American supermarket brand tries to explain, although they seem to fudge a bit with their "levels" (They have both a "Premium Extra Virgin" and an "Extra Virgin" level, but no normal "Virgin"? They have a "Mild" instead of "Pure" 2nd Pressing?)

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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So....my understanding then would be that Extra Virgin is better for imparting actual flavor into the food......and possibly more expensive? If the flavor thing is true though, who would use normal olive oil and for what purpose?

~Ben

Extra Virgin is not just one thing. Within this classification quality ranges from extraordinary to less than ordinary. I don't buy plain olive oil just extra virgin. I use good commercial extra virgin for cooking - yes and for deep frying. But then I always have 3 or 4 top quality artisan extra virgin olive oils around from different regions (of Italy) to use as a condiment and on salads as they flavors vary greatly from region to region and from the types of olive used.

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I need some help trying to solve a family dispute. While cooking dinner, my sister posed the question "What olives do they make olive oil from?" So, of course, an argument ensued. We've got green and black as answers. This is what happens when a family of foodies get together for dinner! :blink: What I'd like to know is at what stage are olives used for pressing and are their different types or varietals of olives?

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As far as I know, olive oil can be made from almost any varietal -- what is used depends on where you are. Black olives are just olives that have been sitting on the tree longer than green olives, BTW. As the proportion of oil increases in the fruit, the olive becomes blacker. (We made both green brined olives and black oil cured olives from the same tree. My family in Lebanon still makes oil for our own use, but its a long time since I was there in season.

If I had to, I would guess it would make more sense to harvest them for oil once they get black, since the proportion of oil would be higher. I remember the sludge coming off the millstones was definitely tar-black, in any case.

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