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Best brand of everyday use olive oil?

I just wanted to know where I could get some of your favorite olive oils for everyday everything use. I like a stronger "olivey" taste to my olive oil so should I avoid virgins? What does that imply? I'm a newb at this so I just wanted to be pointed at the right direction. I just want a bottle of great olive oil from somewhere I can get to--Trader Joes, Whole Foods, other large chain markets, etc. Thanks for the suggestions!

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  1. Trader Joe's! Cheap and good. Extra vergin olive oil is a little "grassier." I don't know if that's what you mean by olivey. You'll want to avoid light olive oil, which is more like a neutral oil (canola, corn, vegetable).

    Plus, if you buy something at TJ's or Whole Foods and hate it you can return it, no questions asked.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Pei

      Refined (non-virgin) olive oil, which has little olive flavor if any, has a higher smoke point than evol, so it's more suitable for high-temperature cooking such as sautéing.

      Trader Joe's for me too. For people with no TJ nearby, Cooks Illustrated recommends Da Vinci or if that's too expensive, Filippo Berio. Haven't used them. Colavita is also recommended, second to Da Vinci, but it costs more per ounce.

      1. re: John Francis

        In my area (Southern California), Da Vinci olive oil (not extra virgin) is outrageously hard to find. In fact, virtually any kind of non-extra virgin is hard to find at standard supermarkets. Even TJ's has a very limited selection when compared with the extra virgin varieties, but at least it's consistently available.

        Mr Taster

        1. re: Mr Taster

          I always see regular (non extra virgin) olive oil being sold at the Culver City and Torrance Costcos.. If you are looking.

          1. re: mstinawu

            Assuming you're referring to Da Vinci olive oil brand (non-extra virgin)? If you've seen this at Costco, that's definitely a find.

            Mr Taster

            1. re: Mr Taster

              Nope. I think it was Kirkland brand.

      1. I adore the greek olive oil sold at Trader Joe's. Greek olive oil is a bit stronger and more distinctive in flavor than your standard Italian stuff... but it adds such nuance to your dishes. Especially since many of your guests may not be familiar with Greek olive oil and will be so curious trying to put their finger on what it is that makes your salads, etc. just a little bit different...

        1. I'd say that an Extra virgin olive oil is more likely to have a stronger flavour and taste more like olives.

          Now, to answer your question:

          For cooking, I quite like Colavita as Shaebones suggested. Carapelli isn't bad either.

          For cold uses or finishing a light sauce, I like a greek olive sold as "Silver Leaf". It is carried at a local organic and natural foods store (Big Carrot in Toronto) and they have an experessly organic pressing as well as their standard pressing which is uncertified.

          1. For cooking, I usually use Colavita or WF's 365 brand extra virgin olive oil.

            1 Reply
            1. re: MMRuth

              I agree with MMRuth, these are my everyday brands. I've used these two for at least 10 years.