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best olive oil for dipping?

  • w

I am always somewhat overwhelmed by the choices of olive oil in speciality shops and thought I'd post this to the board to see what brands/regions/countries produce the best olive oil for dipping. Any particular process that's better? My personal fave right now is Fini.

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  1. Unio from Spain. I'm obsessed with it.

    1. While of course it depends on your taste -- after all, oils vary from fruity to peppery and a thousand flavors in between -- you might like an oil called Luccini, which is from Italy. It has a very low acidity, less than .03 I think, and this in general assures you that your oil won't have any noticeable astringency.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Fidelixi
        wow i'm a dog

        Thanks for the advice. On that note, does anyone have any reference articles about olive oil and acidity to which you can post a link? I'm interested in educating myself as to the intracacies of the processes and the like. Or, feel free to email me actual articles (you just can't post them on Chowhound - only the link to them).


        1. re: wow i'm a dog

          Here's a great link that contains lots and lots of info re olives and olive oil:

          Link: http://www.oliveoilsource.com/

          1. re: wow i'm a dog

            You might find this book of some interest. It's available from Amazon. Very readable. I believe there are others, also, but this is the one I read and enjoyed.

            Olives : The Life and Lore of a Noble Fruit -- by Mort Rosenblum; Paperback
            Our Price: $11.20 -- Or buy used from $6.59

        2. w
          Wendy Leonard

          I have been in love with Nicolas Alziari, an olive oil from Nice that I discovered when Kitchen Arts and Letters in NYC started carrying it. I've seen it at Fairway though not recently. It comes in a blue tin studded with gold stars. This olive oil is the best olive oil ever to eat with prosciutto.

          I think there are lots of oils that are wonderful for dipping. Hilaire Fabre Pere and Fils from Marseille is a longtime favorite and pretty available. We usually have a lot of oils around at any given time and do a lot of impromptu tastings. Cheap thick oils from Lebanon can be good too and you sure can't beat the price. For everyday cooking use I like the Lebanese oils and also an oil called Zoe.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Wendy Leonard

            Alziari's product is still good after many years and a big growth in export volume. It is made from the "Cailletier" olives that grow around Nice. Its flavour is very subtle, though, without the fruitiness or spicy second flavours that you find in some of the local oils. Alziari's product is an interesting contrast, for example, with Alain Baussy's oil (mill in Spéracedes, outlet in Rocheville) or that of the Moulin de la Brague, in Opio. At the latter it is important to choose the "fruitée" version if you want an oil with bigger flavour.

            In the last year more and more of the industrial French producers (e.g. Puget, who produce a decent quality but high volume product) are adding "fruitée" lines and distinguishing these from the more refined "douce" oils. It's nice to have the choice. We have come a long way from the days when olive oil was only available at chemists or in expensive, tiny bottles of dodgy quality in shops.

            1. re: Wendy Leonard

              I love this olive oil. I've seen it at Fairway too and recently at Gourmet Garage for several $$$ more than Fairway.

            2. It's like wine - a good olive oil is one you like. My current fave is my most local called Tehama Gold and the one I'm eating too much of was just pressed in December (picholines, I think)and has a nice peppery bite. I am really loving it with chevre or lebni (make a little well to pour in the oil) and with some harissa on the side in the same little bowl. The harissa is from Morocco via Haddouch Gourmet Imports in Seattle and is the best ever. They also have truly great olive oil. I'm pretty sure I could live on this with just some nice fresh greens from the grower's market to go graze on. In fact, I probably will for awhile! mmm, maybe some olives too...

              1. I like two really fine Tuscan style California olive oils, Da Vero -- they also sell a wonderful Italian olive oil and an oil for which the olives are crushed with meyer lemons, and McEvoy Ranch. Here are links to their websites:



                1. Agree that Spanish and Tuscan oils are wonderful from dipping. However, staying more local, try Bariani (California) wonderfully fruity and rich.

                  1. Has anyone ever used/enjoyed unfiltered extra virgin olive oil, it has a very cloudy appearence and a full bodied flavor. I assume some level of filtering is use but not to make the oil transparent. I first tasted this in Calabria but have never located any from that region back here stateside.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Letsplay1

                      Interestingly, Bariani makes a great unfiltered oil (and no I'm not related to them!)

                      1. re: Hunter

                        I've just spent a few moments researching Bariani and it convinced me to mail order a liter, I'll let you know how it compares probably by the end of next week. Thanks for your input.

                        1. re: Letsplay1

                          Wow, I didn't even know you could mail order it. I always have friends pick it up for me. Where did you find the info?

                            1. re: Hunter

                              It's amazing and refreshing how the do business, you'll see when you place an order.

                        2. re: Letsplay1

                          Sciabica with a link elsewhere in this thread, makes four types of unfiltered olive oil..Ascolano, Manzanillo, Mission and Sevillano.

                          They are from California, not the region you mentioned however.

                          If you live in the SF BAY area, they sell at the Saturday Farmers Market and love to chat about their oils...how to pair them with specific foods and how to use them.

                        3. I've got some information about olive oil (like what extra virgin means) on my site:


                          Someone mentioned unfiltered oil...

                          Most olive oil is filtered through cotton to remove the fine olive particles. Some feel that these can promote rancidity, but I've kept unfiltered oil for as long as two years without any rancidity. Some oils are decanted, left to sit for awhile so the sediments can settle, then the top poured off. This process can take several months.

                          As for the best tasting oils? Well, I'm biased, but you can read what the Big Dog has to say about my own favorite...click below.


                          Link: http://www.chowhound.com/writing/dona...

                          1. I'm in awe of you all. Imagine being able to dip! I feel guilty about how much of it I drizzle.

                            My all purpose EVO is Nunez which I use for just about everything that doesn't demand butter. It comes in a 5L version that makes it reasonable to use in cooking as well as drizzling and dipping. Once opened, I decant it all into dark bottles up to the neck to reduce oxidation and share it with others.

                            However, with all these chowhound recommendations to tempt me, I'll probably try some of them, too.

                            1. A good wine friend just turned me onto a great source, the rare wine company in Sonoma. Their newsletter just came out and they have already soldout of some of their tuscan oils. But take a look at www.rarewineco.com. yum

                              1. Try Sciabica and Sons at the following website where the different oils are described. They have been making olive oil longer than anyone else in California and they provide Kuleto's in San Francisco with their house oil.

                                Link: http://www.sciabica.com/

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Tom Hall

                                  Mmmmmm....I second the vote. They make a garlic oil where garlic is crushed with the olives. Great for dipping. Very nice for garlic toast.

                                2. I think Colavita is an excellent dipping oil and can be found in any supermarket. I place some in a ramekin dish , add fresh ground pepper and a good dose of salt and whatever I have for fresh herbs..like rosemary or thyme. Then dip some hot french or sour dough bread.Hmmmmm, what could be better?

                                  1. I like Almazara, which isn't pressed at all except by the weight of the olives, and as a result has a very unique, delicate flavor, which isn't, however, weak at all. It's pretty easy to find. Another good one, with a more standard flavor, is Lerida, another Spanish oil. However, since Sorrento in Los Angeles stopped carrying Lerida, I haven't seen it anywhere.

                                    1. I like spanish arbequina olive oils for salads and dipping. there are lots of different brands.