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Olive Oil Questions, Options, Favorites


Shiva
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The IOOC (International Olive Oil Council) amended the official classifications of oil since I wrote that article (and thanks for the link, Craig). They've also moved from expressing 'acidity' as a percentage to a mass ratio, more accurate since the 'acidity' level was really just the measurement of a single fatty acid.

It all gets pretty technical, but basically any virgin oil has been extracted mechanically (by crushing and 'pressing' which typically doesn't involve an actual process but a continous centrifugal extraction) from fresh olives. The other grades have been rectified or refined, blended with virgin oil to add some flavor, and stripped of the complex compounds that make extra virgin taste so good (and be good for you).

Extra virgin is the highest quality grade of the virgin oils, but the flavor profile, level of polyphenols, and other characteristics can vary widely between extra virgins. I only use extra virgin oil, but I've got a garage full of the stuff.

My personal choice is avoid the refined oils, and most traditional olive oil producers I've met don't think they're really fit for eating. Pomace oil is particularly vile stuff, but many restaurants use it for salads.

Price is a good rule of thumb. It's pretty hard to produce a true extra virgin oil that sells for less than $10/liter. Labels in the US mean little, since the FDA doesn't follow the IOOC guidelines. Much of what is sold as extra virgin, especially at the low end of the market, probably isn't.

Jim

olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

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  • 1 year later...

Hey eGullet,

The average grocery store is chock-full of olive oil. Brands I have seen include Bertolli, Berio, Carapelli, Colavita, Da Vinci, Goya, and Pompeian. Out of all these, I like Pompeian the best by far, and somebody recently recommended Goya, which is quite reasonable price-wise. Are any of these worth any amount of money, or should I only buy better brands online? Can you recommend one such brand that won't break the bank, and a source?

Thanks lots!

Edited by afn33282 (log)
Frau Farbissma: "It's a television commercial! With this cartoon leprechaun! And all of these children are trying to chase him...Hey leprechaun! Leprechaun! We want to get your lucky charms! Haha! Oh, and there's all these little tiny bits of marshmallow just stuck right in the cereal so that when the kids eat them, they think, 'Oh this is candy! I'm having fun!'"
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Well Publix basically rocks, so I am not surprised....

Thanks!

Frau Farbissma: "It's a television commercial! With this cartoon leprechaun! And all of these children are trying to chase him...Hey leprechaun! Leprechaun! We want to get your lucky charms! Haha! Oh, and there's all these little tiny bits of marshmallow just stuck right in the cereal so that when the kids eat them, they think, 'Oh this is candy! I'm having fun!'"
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Well Publix basically rocks, so I am not surprised....

Thanks!

actually, Publix hit Atlanta with a bang some years back and I have chosen them for their generic brands under that label over all of the locals ...

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Oh yeah. This is, of course, going way off-topic, but I have found their bakery makes the only grocery-store-bakery bread I can eat. Especially their raisin-pumpernickel. :wub: And they stock Plugra & Irish butters, Chimay ale, Stonyfield Farm organic yogurt, etc. Just don't eat their sushit. I mean sushi. Tried it twice. The fish is fine, it's the abominable rice.

Edited by afn33282 (log)
Frau Farbissma: "It's a television commercial! With this cartoon leprechaun! And all of these children are trying to chase him...Hey leprechaun! Leprechaun! We want to get your lucky charms! Haha! Oh, and there's all these little tiny bits of marshmallow just stuck right in the cereal so that when the kids eat them, they think, 'Oh this is candy! I'm having fun!'"
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  • 1 year later...

I went to Trader Joe's to buy some olive oil and after spending ten minutes pondering what i should get, decided that I'd better ask :wacko:

So, what's your favorite olive oil?

I'm talking about the kind you can get at a good supermarket - Trader Joe's and Whole Foods count too - and that would be good to drizzle over food but is reasonably priced. Extra virgin, regular, etc, whatever you think is a great bargain for the money and the taste. Thanks!

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So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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Trader Joes has some excellent California Estate Olive Oil for around 6 bucks a bottle. I use it quite often as a finishing oil and it can hold its' own against California oils running 20-25 bucks a bottle. I also like Pope Creek Ranch California Olive Oil. For everyday cooking I usually have a large bottle of Colavita Extra Virgin. I get these large plastic bottles at Sam's Club for about 17 bucks. I also like DaVinci and Pilippo Berrio.

Edited by repoman (log)

Explore the food, beverages, and people of Wisconsin EatWisconsin.com

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Not exactly and answer to your question, but here is my olive oil buying pattern:

Rather than buy okay supermarket oil for all occasions (which is what I used to do), I now buy two type of olive oil.

One type I buy from a local fine-foods market. That type varies depending upon my mood, but is always of very high quality, and for a relatively small bottle, usually costs around $30-$40. I use this type when flavor is very noticable and important. This type of olive oil would be good out of a glass on its own. I currently have Castelas from France, which is one of my favorites:

http://www.worldsfoods.com/view.asp?prod_ID=2662

The other type I buy is from Sam's Club. I don't know the brand, but it is evoo in a huge plastic jug, and is quite a bit less expensive than the other stuff. I use this type where flavor is not as noticable like in stews with many other ingredients, etc.

This way I save myself some money, but manage to enjoy really good olive oil too.

Edited to say: I wouldn't buy anything but extra virgin olive oil personally.

Edited by A Patric (log)
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The Washington Post Food Section did a blind testing a year or two ago with several chefs from the area. The winner was Goya.

At trader joes there is a Kalamata olive oil that I really like, it has a nice flavor for dipping, salads, etc. But isn't too strong.

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See if you can find this Calamata Olive Oil in your local Greek Grocery...

Aegean...

AegeanOliveOil1sz.jpg

AegeanOliveOil2sz.jpg

It's much better than the one they think is their best...

It's peppery, green tasting, and seems more like a sauce when drizzled over good fresh mozzarella...

$28.00 for this big container...

Man it's good... The final blessing for a bowl of pasta, risotto, or beans...

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  • 2 weeks later...

I like Goya for regular cooking, regardless of whether I should be using EVOO or just plain oil. It's a good value and a great flavor.

For OMG taste, I love Lucini. We discovered it at Whole Foods about 3 years ago, and it's been one of our treats ever since. And our local supermarket chain carries it now, at the same price. It has a beautiful color, and it has a cool peppery afternote. We do 'nibble nights' when the kids are out with just some cheeses, crackers, an nice artisan bread and the Lucini for dipping. It's way better than bread & butter!

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