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Olive oil (Armando Manni and/or other premium oils)

t
thegreek Sep 16, 2004 10:42 PM

Just ran out of my current stock of Mcevoy Ranch Nuovo Olio/Eraly Harvest olive oil. I am now passionate about robust, unfiltered, grassy/peppery olive oils. I have read good things about Manni oils from Tuscany and was wondering if anybody could recommend it or any other premium/boutique oils.

Thanks,

Jack

  1. n
    Napkin Sep 17, 2004 12:19 AM

    I'm not up on imported oils, but I too was all about McEvoy Ranch until I tried BR Cohn's Estate EVOO while visiting the winery. Really sharp and green.

    Link: http://www.brcohn.com/

    1. b
      bob oppedisano Sep 17, 2004 09:51 AM

      You'll find (somewhere) posts about Manni (Thomas Keller's favorite), but at 50 Euros per 2 100-ml bottles available thru their web site, I've had to pass. That works out to $300/liter.

      Try Capezzana, Laudemio, Badia a Coltibuono among the relatively well-distributed Tuscans. Olio Verde and Ravida from Sicily will give you a Southern take on green and peppery; there are many similar oils, always estate bottled and often bio-organic, from Puglia as well.

      3 Replies
      1. re: bob oppedisano
        s
        Sam D. Sep 17, 2004 03:24 PM

        Manni also requires a minimum purchase of five dual packs of 100 ml bottles. They ship only by air express courier on Mon-Wed from Italy. So I would assume that shipping would add at least another $250 to the cost.

        1. re: Sam D.
          l
          Leigh Sep 17, 2004 05:04 PM

          I believe the case cost is all inclusive, shipping in special containers, fed-ex, 3 day delivery.

          1. re: Sam D.
            j
            Just Larry Sep 17, 2004 11:07 PM

            Manni seems to be a product that is made for the American market. All of the print on the bottle is in English. I am not saying that is a good or bad thing. The Italian oils, truffles and basalmico that I usually buy have all or mostly Italian writing on them. I did manage to get a taste of Manni at Le Sanctuaire and it was a good, fruity, assertive oil but it would be hard to call it best in the world, most expensive in the world for sure.

        2. r
          rien Sep 17, 2004 10:36 AM

          Many upscale grocers have olive oils open for sampling. Try to taste as many as possible. I've found that - surprise, surprise - the oils from a given region tend to couple well with the cuisine from that area. This isn't pseudo-science/mumbo-jumbo; things that grow in proximity share the same soil, water, microclimate, pollen, etc. In other words, the growing conditions are similarly and mutually beneficial. That said, you may want to sample around ... if you cook a lot of fish, milder/fruitier oils from coastal regions usually work well. Oils from Provence are on the expensive side, but very good. Oil from Catalan - made from arbequina olives or blends including picual and others - is a favorite of mine. Goes well with the kind of robust/earthy flavors you find in Catalan: roasted peppers, eggplant, ground almond and hazelnut pastes, onion cooked for hours until deep brown, chickpeas, etcetera.

          I've found that it's best to buy premium oils from a quality grocer with high turnover - if the oils have sat there on the shelf for a long time, flavor will have sapped away. Though not fragile by any means, olive oil only gets worse with age and mistreatment.

          rien

          1 Reply
          1. re: rien
            s
            samgee Sep 17, 2004 01:00 PM

            I use "L'Estornell", an organic arbequina olive oil from Catalonia available at Williams Sonoma for $20. Very low acidity, .3%.

          2. l
            Leigh Sep 17, 2004 03:18 PM

            There is a reason that Thomas Keller, Charlie Trotter, Jean-George, et al all use Manni Olive - it is simply the best in the world. The flavors are explosive and subtle at the same time. I order it directly online and split the shipment with friends that way the cost is not too painful.

            I think that the most interesting way that I tasted the Manni Oil was at the French Laundry where the Manni Oil - Per Mio Figlio was warmed slightly and from a minature sauce boat, the oil was drizzled on to a thin wafer of chocolate, which then melted a small hole into the chocolate and then displayed a bowl of housemade ice creams. Amazing display and wonderful flavors.

            Depending on where you live, you may be able to approach one of the restaurants to see if they will sell you a bottle of the oil just to try it.

            Here in Los Angeles,

            I know that it is used by Vincenti Ristorante ph# 310-207-1207 and Melisse Restaurant ph# 310 395-0081.

            It is also sold in a cook shop called Le Sanctuaire ph# 310-581-8999 located in Santa Monica- they sell it in boxes of two.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Leigh
              b
              bob oppedisano Sep 17, 2004 06:12 PM

              Never having tasted it, I can't comment on Manni's oil; if it's your favorite, fine. I'd hesitate, though, about claiming any single food product as the bets of its kind in the world: is there even, say, a best single Bordeaux or Barolo, much less a best single wine?
              That said, if you're using oil such as this as a condiment, on its owm, like a very aged Balsamico, then price really is not much of an object.
              If it's for a broader use, then, well, it's a different story entirely, for me, anyway.

              1. re: Leigh
                n
                nickbass Nov 10, 2010 10:57 AM

                Are there anywhere else I can get my hands on some Armando Manni "Per Me"? I know this post is from 6+ years ago so the information probably doesn't add up today (Melisse and Vincenti stopped carrying them, Le Sanctuaire simply closed down and it doesn't list the oil on their online shop. Does anyone know if any resteaurants in the LA/OC/SD area are using it or if any shops are selling it?

              2. b
                Boskos (The Greek) Sep 17, 2004 08:26 PM

                Jack thegreek?
                Forget the restaurateur/chef choices - they ultimately are "bottom line" folks who sauté in rather pedestrian oils and use "quality" when a nose might happen by. Pasolivo (www.pasolivo.com), a blend of Frantoio, Leccino, Lucca, Moraiolo, and Pendolino olives, from Paso Robles is number one - hands down!!! Not an Italian, Greek, Spanish, South African, Argentine, North African, Chinese oil that can compare. A perfect 5-5-5 oil! And no, I don't have a financial interest - merely willing to pay the freight for true quality.

                7 Replies
                1. re: Boskos (The Greek)
                  t
                  thegreek Sep 18, 2004 10:02 PM

                  First things first, I was named after my paternal grandfather (big surprise, huh?), "Iackovos"; who was born on the island of Tinos in the cyclades.

                  Secondly, thanks for the reco. I really have a hankering for some great oil. We just moved and I can honestly that there are no less than three artisinal breadmakers within a mile...........and I am out of oil worthy of their excellence.

                  Jack

                  1. re: thegreek
                    n
                    nickbass Nov 10, 2010 11:00 AM

                    Any restaurants or shops in the LA/OC/SD area still selling Armando Manni "Per Me""?

                    1. re: nickbass
                      n
                      nickbass Nov 11, 2010 12:59 AM

                      still looking~

                      1. re: nickbass
                        n
                        nickbass Nov 13, 2010 11:51 AM

                        Or would anyone like to group order some and we'll split the cost?

                        1. re: nickbass
                          n
                          nickbass Nov 20, 2010 12:51 PM

                          bump

                          1. re: nickbass
                            c
                            chocolate Dec 20, 2010 07:02 AM

                            Just ordered some thru Williams Sonoma. Beside the 2 olive oils they also
                            have the "Manni White Truffle Extra Virgin Olive Oil". I'm sure its just a holiday
                            item for now. I got the free shipping for a year that they offer for $30.00 so this was
                            covered under that which made it not so bad especially if you order anyways thru them during the year.

                            I use "L'Estornell Olive Oil" myself most often. Also bought a bottle of "Antico
                            Frantolo Muraglla" Olive Oil from Dean and Deluca recently to give to one of my best friends. Haven't tried it myself but got good reviews. The bottle is really pretty and reuseable too. All I need is a ribbon. I think she'll love it!

                            www.williams-sonoma.com
                            www.deandeluca.com

                            1. re: chocolate
                              c
                              chocolate Dec 28, 2010 05:30 AM

                              Williams-Sonoma now has "Manni Oils"n some of their stores too. I was surprised when I
                              was talking to the manager at the Time Warner Center in NYC about something else and we got on the oil topic and she told me they had "Manni Oils"in their store and not just thru their catalog.

                              I thought if any of the stores were to carry it, this would make the most sense since Thomas Keller's restaurant is right there and he is a huge fan of this oil but she told me she thought other large " big city" WS would also have it in their stores. Also happened to mention how Manni himself came in their store and told them all about his oils....how neat that must have been!

                              Couldn't believe it when I saw it in the WS near me this past week-end in Ann Arbor. Its a nice WS but the mall is not one that you would call upscale in any way. I think I knew alot more about the oil then any of the employees working there. It will be interesting to see how long they carry it atleast in this WS.

                              Thanks Chowhounds for this wonderful find! I've been researching this since I saw it first mentioned here on the boards several years ago....I even had called my AMEX back in the summer to see if they knew of any place I could order it in the states soo was
                              really excited when I saw it on the WS website. I think they are also offering free shipping on it now too. Bought several as xmas gifts now just have to buy another one for myself.
                              (This was listed in a book I saw " 100 Things To Buy Before You Die". Hopefully, I still have some time.)

                  2. m
                    Michael K Nov 14, 2012 09:41 AM

                    I currently have Mani per me and per mio figlio in my kitchen right now and think they are both up there with the best olive oils I have had and I like the per me the best of the two. I find that all olive oil changes each year just like wines do so the most you could ever say is that at this time this olive oil is the best in the world and because olive oils lose potency with time you could not hoard them like wine. Ed Bher who writes "The Art of Eating" my favorite food magazine, talked about how much better the California olive oil has gotten and about 5 years ago I started ordering from The Olive Press http://www.theolivepress.com. They press their own oil and sell other oils from producers in the area. At that time Ed Bher liked Lunigiana the best but I talked to someone who worked there and they thought the Arbequina was the best. I ordered both and that year the Arbequina was probably the best olive oil I have ever had,the Lunigiana was good but not blow away. I ordered Arbequina most years after that and it has never been as good, but still very good. One year the Master Blend was very good. Years ago I was having a conversation with the food buyer for Dean and Deluca and asked him if they carried an olive oil better than Badia and he went on listing many and at the end of the conversation I asked what he used at home and he replied Badia. Ihsan, the owner of Fromaggio Kitchen( my favorite cheese purveyor http://www.formaggiokitchen.com) turned me on to Cappazanna and it has become one of my favorites but again it varies year to year. Adam the person in charge of mail order at Formaggio who is extremely knowledgeable on food and wine thinks that the French Jean Marie Cornille is the best and I like it quite a bit as well. Tenuto Del Numero Uno from Tuscany has been rated the best by many people and I find it similar to Badia. Eric Ripert from Le Bernardin uses Sita from Greece but I find it too subtle and that is probably why he likes it because it will balance and not stand out too much in his food. Laudimio makes several very good olis and Olio Verde is always considered one of the best.Years ago David Rosengarten recommended a Sicilian oil that he considered the best he had ever had that AG Ferrari used to sell( I can not remember the name
                    ) and it was really good. A lot of people rave about Bariani a California oil but I was not thrilled with it the year I tried it. I met a Top Chef who said that California Olive Ranch Arbequina was his favorite oil but I like the Olive Press Arbequina better. I have had many more excellent olive oils and there are still many more that I want to try.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Michael K
                      m
                      Michael K Nov 14, 2012 10:10 AM

                      It was not Sicily it was Sardinia and the oil is Giorgio Zampa! I can no longer find it anywhere on line.

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