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inexpensive, but good, olive oil? [Moved from Home Cooking]

m
melle76 Sep 1, 2006 03:01 PM

can anyone recommend a decent-tasting and decent-priced olive oil? ie. what's a good 'find'? i'm planning to get one of those nice olive oil bottles, and then just fill it from a can.

thanks!

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  1. d
    Diane in Bexley Sep 1, 2006 03:17 PM

    I caution against buying large quantities of olive oil unless you run a restaurant or have an unusually large family. I made that mistake once and ended up with 1/2 gallon of rancid oil ($$) which I had to throw out. Good olive oil seems to be a matter of taste. I suggest you visit an Italian deli or grocery store in your area when they have a tasting and sample their wares. I use EVOO for salad dressing and regular for sauteeing during the week. Buy in small enough quanities you can make flavored oils with garlic or herbs. Buy a pretty bottle and refill from a 16-32 oz. bottle.

    1. TexasToast Sep 1, 2006 03:38 PM

      I agree. Go to store like Oil & Vinegar or another speciality store where they let you sample. Then pick from there. Also, it will depend what you want to use it for. You'll need a different type of oil for cooking, frying (hey, some people use OO), drizzling, and maybe one for salad dressings.

      TT

      1. pikawicca Sep 1, 2006 04:01 PM

        CI recently tested supermarket extra virgin olive oils and DaVinci came out on top.

        2 Replies
        1. re: pikawicca
          iL Divo May 29, 2008 01:23 PM

          I am glad I reread this thread. I hadn't read that the result was DaVinci, thanks for that info. I will buy it next time in the market

          1. re: iL Divo
            happybellynh Jun 7, 2011 05:50 AM

            I thought that Colavita did? Or perhaps Colavita was the next best in my price range... at any rate, I know they were up there. I buy Colavita in the 32 ounce bottles for around $17.

        2. m
          melle76 Sep 1, 2006 04:03 PM

          thanks- this is good advice. i'm actually not much of a drizzler usually, so i've pretty much stuck with one type (must be regular, i guess!). so, you would recommend regular if i'm mostly using it for satueeing and pan-frying? and i'll just stick with a 32-oz. bottle, i guess.

          1 Reply
          1. re: melle76
            TexasToast Sep 1, 2006 04:14 PM

            Well, I use an Extra Virgin except for when deep frying. But, a regular virgin is probably fine. I just don't like heat treated oils so I avoid the really cheap and light colored ones.

            Also, only go for a really expensive single-estate if you're gonna have it plain. With cooking, once you add lemon and garlic, the subtlties of the really fruity oils are lost.

            TT

          2. w
            Walters Sep 1, 2006 04:08 PM

            Melle, Believe it or not, the Costco brand olive oil is very good and exceptionally well priced. (This is the Kirkland brand in the green glass bottle; not the big plastic Bertolli stuff they also sell.)

            4 Replies
            1. re: Walters
              MMRuth Sep 1, 2006 04:15 PM

              I agree. I also like the WF 365 brand and sometimes I buy Colavita.

              1. re: MMRuth
                l
                lvecch Sep 1, 2006 06:09 PM

                Yes, Colavita makes a good extra virgin.

              2. re: Walters
                i
                iLoveFood Sep 2, 2006 03:45 PM

                I really like the Costco olive oil too. I grew up in Greecce where olive oil rivals the Italian stuff and I am very pleased with the Kirkland stuff.

                1. re: iLoveFood
                  mcel215 Feb 28, 2011 01:30 AM

                  Good to know. I buy the Kirkland brand in the green bottle as well. And if I am not near a Costco, Trader Joe's sells a great one. It's their Spanish one, it's not their most popular seller, but it taste great as well.

              3. s
                sudiepav Sep 1, 2006 04:11 PM

                Just don't get the garlic flavored by mistake, like I did. It was overpoweringly garlic (a flavor we like, incidentally), but it was so garlicky, that I only added a little (like 2 tsp.) to homemade vinaigrette. Took forever to get rid of it, although I was fortunate to use it up before it went rancid. I like Trader Joe's EVOO.

                8 Replies
                1. re: sudiepav
                  Pei Sep 1, 2006 05:40 PM

                  Me too. It's cheap, it's always available, and it has a nice if not unique flavor. I sometimes buy tiny bottles of something more exciting to use on bread and salads, but for cooking the TJ's EVOO is perfectly fine (especially since there's no way I'd get through a Costco bottle before it went bad).

                  1. re: Pei
                    m
                    melle76 Sep 1, 2006 06:04 PM

                    i'm currently using a Wild Oats extra virgin, and that's been pretty good. i'll check out TJ's, as well.

                    thanks, all!

                    1. re: Pei
                      b
                      Bobfrmia Sep 4, 2006 02:55 PM

                      I bought a large bottle of the Kirkland Signature. Never gave any thought to how fast I need to use it.
                      What is the average shelf life for olive oil?

                      1. re: Bobfrmia
                        l
                        lvecch Sep 4, 2006 04:24 PM

                        I'd say 6-8 months. (I've kept mine longer, but it starts to taste a little off; I wouldn't serve it to company.)

                    2. re: sudiepav
                      silverbear Sep 4, 2006 02:10 PM

                      TJ's sometimes carries several types of EVOO. I find the TJ's "President's Reserve" the best all-purpose oil.

                      1. re: silverbear
                        Amuse Bouches Sep 8, 2006 06:36 PM

                        I agree. It's only $1 more per bottle than their regular, and it's worth it - good for salad dressing, drizzling, etc.

                      2. re: sudiepav
                        canna Sep 26, 2006 06:04 PM

                        Excuse my ignorance but where and what is Trader Joe's??? I am wanting to cook with a good evoo, just learning. Reading the posts suggest to me that TJ is the way to go.

                        1. re: canna
                          operagirl Aug 7, 2007 09:03 PM

                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trader_joes

                      3. Pincho Sep 2, 2006 02:50 AM

                        I think Trader Joe's extra-virgin is fine, we use it as an everyday oil for vinaigrettes and some frying (e.g. squash blossoms this summer, described in an earlier post!)

                        For other uses - frying, saute, making alioli etc. - I used to also buy TJ's regular olive oil but they have not carried it for the last few months so I picked up a big can of Bertolli regular olive oil (my wife is from Madrid so it's a primary staple and using a can before it goes rancid is is not an issue in my household)

                        One thing I've found is that it seems you can get a better quality-to-price ratio at the "upscale" places even Whole Foods, Williams-Sonoma, Oil & Vinegar etc. than at a regular grocery store like Safeway. As with other supposedly "gourmet" products the mainstream grocers price a mid-range product like Colavita into the stratosphere as a "specialty item". For often the same (high) price you can get a really nice quality oil at an "upscale" place instead.

                        1. s
                          sreinberg Sep 2, 2006 03:00 AM

                          Buyer beware: A lot of olive oil from Italy has a mix of oils from Spain and Greece. I often find good buys at TJ of really nice Spanish, Greek and California oils that are every bit as good and often better than the "Italian" ones. One Spanish oil at Balducci's was excellent and cheap too. The best thing is to sample to find the flavors you like.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: sreinberg
                            TexasToast Sep 2, 2006 03:04 AM

                            This is why you can get get a single estate (you know, one company bottling oils from only their orchard) but then it's rather like a single malt scotch. It can be good, but if you want a certain flavor, then the blended stuff will be tweaked to get it just right.

                            TT

                            1. re: sreinberg
                              p
                              pitterpatter Aug 9, 2007 06:05 PM

                              Buyer beware: A lot of olive oil from Italy has a mix of oils from Spain and Greece.

                              Or just as likely, Turkey and Israel. If it says "packed in Italy," it may not have any Italian oil at all!

                              1. re: pitterpatter
                                scubadoo97 May 30, 2008 03:01 PM

                                At least Spain has some darn good olive oil. Usually best bang for the buck.

                            2. x
                              xman887 Sep 2, 2006 03:51 AM

                              my staple is a 3 liter container of fellipo berio extra virgin olive oil and use it for most everything. costs $20-$25.

                              1. p
                                Phoo D Sep 2, 2006 04:23 PM

                                I always buy the large cans of EVOO from Middle Eastern Markets. Usually I will ask the proprieter what his best is or what he uses in his home. I am fond of Sultan from Turkey. Currently I have Spitiko from Greece. Cost $25 for 3 liters. I store it away from heat and have never had a problem with rancidity.

                                ed

                                1. moto Sep 3, 2006 01:14 AM

                                  Hello, the best lower-cost oil I've tried lately (cooking for two, I don't get the big cans) is Paul Newman (non profit charity foundation) organic e.v.o.o., from Tunisia at present. $7-8 for 750 ml, slightly higher than the big can prices being quoted above, and better tasting than anything I've tried at Trader Joe's. enjoy

                                  1. n
                                    Nellydog Sep 4, 2006 01:30 PM

                                    A lot of people mention buying "extra virgin," but a chef friend counseled that with many simple dishes you want the gentler flavor of simply "virgin." For example, with an arugala salad using just olive oil and lemon as dressing the extra virgin olive oil predominated and the salad was clearly better with regular virgin olive oil. Who knew?

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Nellydog
                                      l
                                      lvecch Sep 4, 2006 03:59 PM

                                      Definitely, a well-stocked kitchen needs both. Extra-virgin is too assertive for many dishes, for example, a basic red sauce.

                                    2. d
                                      dylafleur Sep 4, 2006 03:07 PM

                                      for cooking I agree with colavita & would add in belaria as a solid choice.

                                      for drizzling I have found a new oil I am OBSESSED with. if you live in/visit di paulo's in new york you must buy the gianni calogiuri evoo. I think it is the only one in a box on the shelf. 750 ml for $18 or $19 & lasts for a long time.

                                      1. rosielucchesini Sep 4, 2006 03:14 PM

                                        for cooking, i prefer to use grapeseed oil ..it has a higher smoke point than extra virgin olive oil and it tastes very pure. for drizzling and finishing, nothing beats extra virgin. my usual brand is Santini Extra Virgin that i pick up at Trader Joe's but I have seen it elsewhere. although i have been spoiled these last few months. my sister and her family visited italy this summer and brought me back some fantastic extra virgin that i've been using the last couple of months. i just finished off the last of it this past weekend. :-(

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: rosielucchesini
                                          d
                                          dylafleur Sep 4, 2006 03:22 PM

                                          time for a trip to italy. bring an extra suitcase.

                                          1. re: rosielucchesini
                                            n
                                            Nellydog Sep 6, 2006 02:00 AM

                                            I've just discovered grapeseed oil and I agree -- it provides a very clean taste.

                                            1. re: rosielucchesini
                                              l
                                              Louis Sep 6, 2006 10:15 PM

                                              There can be no doubt that the Santini Brand Sciclian olive oil at TJ's is one of the best buys for the money,to be found anywhere. The fruitines of these thousand year old olive trees. are a taste treat that one will long remember. My classic test for finding great olive oils, is the one I grew up with. Simply fry a farm fresh egg in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. When you find yourself using the toast to mop out the pan, you have found a keeper.

                                              1. re: rosielucchesini
                                                iL Divo May 29, 2008 01:25 PM

                                                I bought a 32 ouncer of grapeseed oil just simply due to it being on a crazy cheap sale, I couldn't resist. I kept it in the pantry for way too long and upon opening it, first thing I noticed was the very rancid smell. Darn

                                              2. Robert Lauriston Sep 4, 2006 08:30 PM

                                                I've found Kalamata (Greek region) oil the best of the less expensive EVOOs. Recently I've been buying it at Trader Joe's.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                  TexasToast Sep 5, 2006 09:03 AM

                                                  I've had some experience with kalamata olive oil and it's got a different flavor. Very "olive-y." I like it.

                                                  TT

                                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                    iL Divo May 29, 2008 01:26 PM

                                                    I did buy this but at Vons here in LA area, not TJ's. I thought the flavor was amazing.

                                                  2. m
                                                    melly Sep 4, 2006 10:20 PM

                                                    For cooking, I use pure olive oil, any brand is okay...even Star. For salads, dipping bread, etc. I use Ravida, EVOO, first cold pressed, unfiltered from Italy. Soooooo good. California makes some good olive oil as well...Bandari...is that right? I bought some once and liked it. McElvoy's has some damned good olive oil too.

                                                    1. revsharkie Sep 5, 2006 02:09 AM

                                                      The midwestern supermarket chain Hy-Vee has some very good store brand olive oil. I think the last time I bought it I paid $4 something for a 500ml bottle. It says "product of Italy" on the label, and when it's warm it has a beautiful fruity-floral aroma.

                                                      1. m
                                                        Moka Sep 7, 2006 01:17 AM

                                                        Agree, McElvoy Ranch is what I like to use when the flavor has got to be great, i.e., on bread, grilled veggies, drizzled plain over baby greens, but it's pricey.

                                                        Also agree with Walters, as I recently picked up a medium-sized bottle of the Costco Kirkland Signature EVOO which is made from Tuscany olives and produced in Italy. Compared to my everyday TJ's EVOO, which is the "California Estate" EVOO in the tall square dark green bottle, the Italian brand blew the TJ's stuff away! Finally, I found a "food" at Costco I like and I used it up much faster than I ever expected.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Moka
                                                          rworange Aug 7, 2007 09:16 PM

                                                          I've never undertood why McElvoy is so highly rated. It tastes bitter and awful ot me

                                                        2. p
                                                          pixlpi Sep 8, 2006 04:59 PM

                                                          I like Goya Extra Virgin Olive oil. Cooks illustrated gave it high taste ratings at one time and I have always stuck with it.Currently they rec DaVinci, Colavita and Filippo Berio for supermarket extra virgin olive oils. Good luck!

                                                          1. r
                                                            RCPLAUT Sep 8, 2006 05:57 PM

                                                            Whole Foods private label 365 Olive Oil is very clean and fresh, and a real bargain.

                                                            1. iL Divo Aug 7, 2007 06:07 PM

                                                              I have gotten into the habit of about once a month, while I'm doing my marketing, I look at my local market in the olive oil section for what's on sale that day. I buy the one that has the most money off of it after starting out being the most pricey. ie. = if it started out being $16.99 a bottle but is on sale for $8.99, that's $8 off. I don't tend to buy it if it started out $6.99 and it's on sale for $5.49 for instance, that way, I get a good brand and one that's pricey to start off with but doesn't end up costing the farm and the chickens too.
                                                              If it ends up not being a favorite, I don't buy it again. I use enough olive oil in most of my cooking to use it up relatively quickly too.

                                                              1. meatn3 Aug 7, 2007 10:06 PM

                                                                One of my students threw an olive oil party. She supplied a few oils, lots of good bread, finger food and wine, and asked each person to bring their favorite olive oil. Everyone loved being able to sample such a wide variety and it served as a great ice breaker. We did find a few changed flavor after being poured. One was nasty at first but 1/2 hour later tasted quite good. No, I hadn't been at the wine!

                                                                1. ChefJune Aug 7, 2007 10:12 PM

                                                                  My new favorite everyday evoo is Whole Foods 365. I buy the 3-liter tin. Probably takes me 3-4 months to use it up. They dont mislabel... this stuff comes from "Italy, Greece, Morocco, Spain" it's nice and green and peppery.

                                                                  For salad dressings and drizzlings, I have my unrefined, Spanish, Alziari (Provence), Badia à Coltibuono, etc. but for cooking this stuff is great! $20 for 3 liters!

                                                                  1. Will Owen Aug 8, 2007 02:41 PM

                                                                    I like Trader Joe's plain olive oil for most cooking, but I really like the De Ceccho EVOO for salads and whatever else is not going to be cooked - it has a nice peppery taste I very much enjoy. For making my own seasoned oil (chile or whatever), I always use the plain. Now that our neighborhood produce stand has begun carrying mostly Middle-Eastern grocery and deli items, I think I will experiment a little further afield.

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Will Owen
                                                                      m
                                                                      markabauman Aug 8, 2007 02:54 PM

                                                                      If you are the NYC area, specifically up on Arthur Ave. in the Bronx, Teitel Bros. has an excellent "house" extra virgin from Sicily. I went in there to buy a gallon of Colavita, which I think is just fine for general use and they suggested theirs. I wasn't disappointed and it was quite reasonable.

                                                                      1. re: markabauman
                                                                        billyparsons Oct 8, 2007 06:40 PM

                                                                        I'm doing a story for local media on olive oil and am pretty shocked at the lack of information regarding supermarket brands. Not so much as in this thread, but the information that's available on the bottles to the end consumer. How long is the oil good for? When was it bottled? Will they even tell you? How does one interpret the date codes? How about “use by” dates?

                                                                        I have about 30 companies that responded to my requests over the last 60 days to decipher these questions. Some were helpful; some told me they'll be hell to pay if I published their answers.

                                                                        One good example was Felippo Berio. They initially told me their oil was bottled 18 months prior to the "best if used by" date. Then when they learned I was going to print in local media, they retracted the statement and admitted that once the bottle is on the store shelves, they had no way of interpreting the bottling date. They were ever so insistent on telling me they would replace any "turned" oil.

                                                                        Colavita? They have an easy to interpret code that tells you exactly when the oil was bottled. I'll be sure and reveal that on my upcoming post I’ve seen Colavita oil in restaurants that was over 3 years old.

                                                                        Who uses bleaches and acids to remove the water from the oils? Who uses a slow healthy separation process? Why is tin better than glass? Why do Italian olive oils contain olives that aren't from Italy? I've got all the answers coming up.

                                                                        I promise you this though; you'll never look at supermarket olive oil the same.

                                                                        1. re: billyparsons
                                                                          vvvindaloo Oct 8, 2007 08:38 PM

                                                                          Here is an excerpt from a post I had written earlier this year on olive oil. "...a few general tips on selecting olive oil: look for a rich green color that is somewhat cloudy. The bottle should note the type of olive used (one type is better than a mix), and state that the olives all came from a specific place. Note the dates- there should be two of them, one informing you of when the oil was produced, and the other is an expiration date. You want to buy and use the oil well before the expiration date, for optimal freshness. I refuse to buy a bottle of oil that expires within 6-8 months. This may seem overly picky, but once you start paying attention to these details, you realize how many fresh options there are out there, and that it makes a big difference. As far as production technique, look for the phrase, "first cold pressed", or something along those lines. Oil that is in a darker glass bottle will keep fresh longer, as it blocks the heat and light of the sun (much like wine bottles). However, I am always hesitant to recommend that a person require this, because there are so many excellent olive oils produced around the world that, for some reason, use clear glass bottles instead."

                                                                          I would add that an alternative catchphrase to "first cold pressed" is "produced solely by mechanical means", which means that there were no chemicals used in the oil extraction and separation process. Chemicals used for this purpose have a doubly bad effect on olive oils- they reduce healthy natural elements, such as antioxidants, and they oxidize the oil, which depletes its fresh taste, and actually hastens the aging process. Air and light are major enemies of olive oil, which is why tin cans, sealed ceramic jars, and dark glass bottles are the ideal storage containers for oil, which should never be kept in direct light.

                                                                          Here is a link to the aforementioned thread:
                                                                          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/431989

                                                                          Billy: I would love to hear your info regarding shady practices by olive oil producers/bottlers. I have often suggested that money spent on good-quality oil is money well-spent because I know that all oils are not created equal...

                                                                          1. re: vvvindaloo
                                                                            l
                                                                            Lisa Foodie Oct 9, 2007 06:49 AM

                                                                            Great post.

                                                                    2. LNG212 Oct 9, 2007 07:28 AM

                                                                      If you are in the New York City area, then I highly recommend Fairway olive oil. Their regular evoo is fantastic for most everyday cooking uses. And it runs only about $9 for 1L. They also have a line of specialty olive oils (regional) and I particularly like the Sicilian Barbera which has a fantastic peppery quality to it. It's super for drizzling on mozzarella or on salads. These regional ones run between $16-$20 for a litre. Also a great value for the quality. (And they have them all out for tasting, at least at the 74th St. location.)

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: LNG212
                                                                        SweetPea914 Oct 17, 2007 08:12 PM

                                                                        They do have the tastings out at Harlem as well and I 2nd the recommendation.

                                                                      2. k
                                                                        Kelli2006 Oct 18, 2007 08:48 AM

                                                                        Smuckers recently introduced a brand of olive oils under the Crisco name. It doesn't have the fruitiness of high end oils but for 99% of kitchen use it is quite good.

                                                                        1. iL Divo May 29, 2008 01:30 PM

                                                                          MB uses on his show Molto Mario, Lucini I've noticed so of course, I had to buy it. I can't tell that it's 'that' much better but it's okay if you don't mind okay and pricey.

                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                          1. re: iL Divo
                                                                            pikawicca May 29, 2008 01:53 PM

                                                                            Cook's magazine (issue that arrived today) has revisited EVOO, and this year DaVinci is near the bottom. At the top of the list (for supermarket oils) are Lucini ($17.95 for 17 ounces, or $39.98 per liter) and Colavita ($17.99 for 750 ml, or $23.98 per liter). Their favorite premium EVOO is one I've never heard of, a blended Spanish oil called Columela ($17.95 for 17 oz, or $35.90 per liter).

                                                                            1. re: pikawicca
                                                                              iL Divo May 29, 2008 06:06 PM

                                                                              Thanks for clearing it up, I have not heard of that either, the Columela, but will look for it or ask for my market if they can order it. Again, to me Lucini is ok to me but not brilliant. Am I missing something with the stuff?

                                                                              1. re: iL Divo
                                                                                maria lorraine May 29, 2008 11:06 PM

                                                                                Columela is one of the very finest, and in a way, I use it as my benchmark for all but freshly pressed, local olive oil -- which is actually my first choice.

                                                                                Columela is made by Anfora, and imported by Source Atlantique, Englewood, NJ (201) 947-1000.

                                                                                1. re: maria lorraine
                                                                                  s
                                                                                  Sean May 30, 2008 06:14 AM

                                                                                  Ravida is by far the best tatsing olive oil I have ever had, pricey but well worth the money:

                                                                                  http://www.ravida.it/ravida-extra-vir...

                                                                                  1. re: maria lorraine
                                                                                    iL Divo May 30, 2008 08:28 AM

                                                                                    well I thank you both for that info regarding both the Columela and the Ravida of which now because of the two of you Maria and Sean, I will be buying. I'll remember to report back after I receive both of these treasures. Thanks again, love these kinds of boards!
                                                                                    http://www.google.com/products?hl=en&...

                                                                            2. afoodyear Feb 24, 2009 01:20 PM

                                                                              For every day use, I like the 100% Spanish EVOO from President's Choice. 500ml for $4.99 and it's surprisingly good.

                                                                              1. smaki Feb 28, 2011 12:15 AM

                                                                                Thank you for the information here. Now buying better tasting oil for less than expected after reading this thread. I also read:

                                                                                http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/product-testing/reviews-tests/food-beverages/olive-oil-virgin-mar07
                                                                                http://www.consumersearch.com/olive-oil
                                                                                http://www.living-foods.com/articles/oliveoil.html
                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/327976
                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/624700

                                                                                And some other stuff online. Then went to Safeway, Thriftway, the local dollar stores, Albertsons, Winco, Trader Joes, and Whole Foods. The best deals for EVOO were at the last two. Personally confirmed in my local market the regular stores like Albertsons / Safeway are very proud of mid range oil and better oil can be had for half the price or less at TJs or WF. Another example is balsamic vinegar at Winco is twice as expensive over what is had at TJs.

                                                                                What I found on the WF shelves when looking for 365 EVOO surprised me as there were four choices not one house blend EVOO as expected. As a possible explanation there was a scandal this last summer where olive oil wasn't all olive oil some diluted with walnut oil and Whole Foods was involved somehow so possibly they changed their labeling and maybe now have more oils than they did expanding selection to create a 365 line of EVOOs a WF. Is the WF top-rated 365 EVOO with a proven intensely robust olive taste is still available or not? My guess, not. When went to my local Whole Foods it was not clear what 365 EVOO to try. There was a rounded 1L bottle which is a blend and $5.49, a square bottle labeled 100% Italian for $5.99, one labeled 100% Spain for $5.99, and one labeled 100% Greek for $7.99. I asked myself which is best and does WF still have the kind people once liked so much?

                                                                                Only read of a few blind taste tests of the new WF labled EVOOs online at:
                                                                                http://community.cookinglight.com/arc...

                                                                                One guy picked the 100% Greek and three picked 100% Spain in the thread including the closing comment. I bought the 100% Spain 365 EVOO at WF to try. Noticed Spain is very close to the Greek color and a deep dark brown where the 100% Italian seemed more green in color.

                                                                                Then went to TJs and could not find the Santini Sicilian EVOO. Was told by an employee they substitute another for 50 cents less in the same green bottle with same pour spout. I bought it for $7.99 and was surprised to notice the receipt does say Santini which is what I was looking for from Sicaliy but the bottle is labeled Trader Joe's Premium EVOO from Italy, Spain, Argentina, and Greece. Wanted to ask if you guys think this stuff in the same green bottle is as good as the 'normal' Santini for those who know it. Or is the Santini worth finding / buying when TJs has it in. Here again the substitute is confusing to this consumer.

                                                                                Was just trying to get my EVOO taste buds set with a couple standards, the WF 365 and TJs Santini. Was not able to know for sure I've put my hands on either proven kind of EVOO sought. This makes it hard for me to calibrate in person to what I've been reading online. Have learned EVOO is like wine and a moving target where some years are better than others and once you find something awesome you may never taste the same thing again. So like wine EVOO is a search where the target is constantly moving and changing. When like something get it while you can because soon it could be gone forever.

                                                                                I hear the TJ Kalamata (Greek region) has more of the intense olive taste which I seek. So it is my plan to try it next after we consume the 2L now in the house. In my search am looking for a stronger tasting oil and hear when the acid gets higher so does the olive taste while find most reasonably priced bottles do not show acidic content.

                                                                                In summary. Which 365 EVOO at WF do you guys like best? Is the substitute TJs premium EVOO in the green bottle as good as the Santini? Does the Kalamata TJs have the strongest olive flavor?

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: smaki
                                                                                  smaki Sep 5, 2011 12:28 PM

                                                                                  UPDATE: It takes a long time for this single guy to consume EVOO.

                                                                                  After trying a bunch including the new cold pressed 365 oils at WF. Note they no longer make the 365 blend so many people liked. They now have a 100% Spanish, 100% Greek, and 100% Italian. After trying all the WF oils, personally like the more fruity EVOO at TJs better.

                                                                                  For a while my favorite EVOOs was: TJs Santarini $7.49. But can not find it anymore, and was told their supply dried up by an employee. Love the Santarini EVOO from the 1000 year old trees. Cold pressed and cloudy. Comes in the green bottle with the poor spout. TJs supply of Santarini went away so they are substituting another oil in the same green bottle. Do not find tastes as good to me but still better than most. They call it Trader Joe's Premium EVOO and it is also $7.49. And it is one of my current two favorites even though not the same as it was.

                                                                                  Frustrated by the change away from Santarini at TJs, searching to see if there is something better around. Right now I'm eating the newly introduced Trader Joe's premium 100% Greek Kalamata EVOO in a clear bottle with a green label for $8.99 and may like it the best so far - need more side to side testing but first impression is like this better than the new Santarini TJs substitute in a green bottle. This $8.99 stuff is worth a bit more to me. Tases better than the TJs First cold pressed premium quality Kalamata EVOO in a brown bottle with a purple label for $8.49 or the Martinis Kalamata EVOO with the Kosher star in the clear bottle in the same price range.

                                                                                  Have done many blind taste tests. With friends in dark blue shot glasses. Also eat with vinegar on a salad. As suggested by another here often fry an egg in a new oil am trying and when want to lick the pan know it is pretty good.

                                                                                  So that is my latest thoughts on EVOO. Finding it is like wine where always seem to be searching for the best. Have found a couple favorites in the last six months that are no longer sold and had to move on. So still trying new ones and like the new to my store in the last month $8.99 TJs 100% Greek Kalamata EVOO in the clear bottle with a green and gold label.

                                                                                  1. re: smaki
                                                                                    smaki Apr 28, 2012 08:01 PM

                                                                                    After much testing still most often use green bottle with spout labeled Trader Joe's Premium EVOO from Italy, Spain, Argentina, and Greece for about $8 says Santarini on receipt. Tried the new one at TJs only there a few months twice the price and was not worth it to me. There are so many kinds of EVOO and will always enjoy trying new ones. EVOO changes year to year in the same bottle. And what was available one year will not be available in future years. I find the search for a good EVOO is like the search for wine. But unlike wine EVOO does not keep so have to eat it to become a memory or will spoil. Best fresh. Smell if question to know. Can make a stopper for top by drilling a couple holes next to each other making one big on in a washed sparkling wine cork. Once open EVOO eat within a few weeks so does not go bad. I like on salads, pasta, and even as a topper drizzle on other sauces for expanded flavor. Hear that the olive oil helps get the lycopene in tomatoes where it needs to be so I always drizzle a little EVOO in then on my red spaghetti sauced food. Find some don't like it, but after getting a taste for it I love it in moderation. The green bottle spout makes it simple to drizzle only a little so more easy to use than are most.

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