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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
        w
        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).

        Thanks!

        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:

                http://www.davero.com

                http://www.mcevoyranch.com