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Widely available olive oil

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The olive oil that I've cooked with for years has been discontinued in its largest size, and I'd like your recs on a great cooking oil that isn't too pricey and is widely available (Costco, Trader Joe's, Cost Plus World Market would be good sources). I prefer a deeply-flavored oil (but without a bitter finish) for cooking, probably either Spanish or Italian. I'm willing to pay for a quality oil whose characteristics complement the cooked food, but I don't care to waste more money randomly picking bottles off of shelves and being unimpressed. I haven't tried the stores brands at any of the above-mentioned retailers. Any suggestions?

No need for recs for finishing oils -- I've got plenty of those.

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  1. If you ever come across one called Zoe, give it a shot. It comes in tins or large bottles with brightly-colored graphics in red and yellow. It's a well-balanced Spanish extra virgin blend that stands up to heat, but is not bitter. It is very reasonably priced--about $10/liter. I don't think it is carried at any of the stores you mentioned, but I've seen it in specialty retailers and even some supermarkets in most major cities.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ilexann

      Be careful with Zoe. There is a variety from Arbequina olives which I imagine is pleasant enough, but they also make one from Cornicara olives which is HIGHLY peppery.

      Safeway brand lends good flavor, is pleasant, and is really good for finishing plus it's about as cheap as you will find for EVOO.

    2. I'm pretty dern picky about olive oil and I was pleasantly surprised by the Martinis brand
      Greek Kalamata olive oil at Trader Joe's. Think it's 7.99.

      1. I've been happy with the Cost Plus olive oil. It's got a bit of pepper in it which I like. Cost Plus has a periodic coupon for 40 percent or so off any one item, so that's when I buy it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mlgb

          Checking the bottle, the olive origin is Tunisia and it's bottled in Italy. The price without discount is $7.99 per liter bottle.

        2. well I read somewhere (prob Men's Health) that Carapelli is high in nutrients compared to other supermarket olive oils. It's always tasted alright to me but I've never had a really good olive oil at home.

          1 Reply
          1. re: luniz

            Carapelli has a somewhat bitter aftertaste. I don't recommend it.

          2. I noticed that the 365 Olive Oil from Whole Foods was a step above the supermarket stuff I had been buying previously.

            1. My favorite olive oil in the whole wide olive oil world is La Macchia, at Fairway.
              It's expensive. Worth every penny. For everyday oil, believe it or not, when my students did a tasting, of all the everyday and affordable brands, they liked Kirkland Italian extra virgin the best. fayefood.com