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Recs for Great Olive Oils

From a recent post:

I've been using two 'Great' olive oils lately.

One is the 'house' olive oil from Alex Farm, which they import from Greece by the barrel. Following is the description on their website: "This extra virgin olive oil is stone pressed, giving it a thick full olive flavour complimented by a slight bitterness in the finish; a sign of pure oil". Alex Farm sells two kinds: one that starts with a K and the other with an M. I can't remember the names. I use the one with a K; it is the stronger, more flavourful of the two.

The other one, which also comes in bulk, is in the basement of St. Lawrence Market (the place at the northwest of the basement). They bring in barrels and sell one litre plastic jugs for about 10 bucks. Also great stuff.

Anyone have other suggestions for great olive oils?

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  1. I purchase olive oil exclusively from Pusateri's. They have an incredible selection. They also have a woman who will help make the love match for you depending on the style you want. PLUS you can taste test many of the oils available. You'll pay dearly, but it's the one thing that makes going to Pusateri's truly worth it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Googs

      that and the abundant parking (not!)

    2. Check out www.myolivetrees.com. These folks are in Kitchener and import barrels of certified organic, single estate olive oils from Greece and label/sell them under the "Ralo" brand. Amazing stuff! I got a large bottle from my Mother-In-Law as a gift and now it's all I buy.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bogie

        I just checked out the website. Looks like great stuff. I'll try to pick some up at St. Lawrence Market in the morning. Their website says that it is sold at 'A Bisket A Basket", the jam place in the basement.

      2. We also get the "K" oil from Alex Farms, and love it. It's fruity and peppery, and a steal at that price.

        1. How about two great suggestions. There are olive oils that I have never seen anywhere else. You will find much more than olive oil. Bring a lot of money, you'll be glad you did.

          The Olive Pit
          805 Queen West

          Boncheff Greenhouses
          382 Olivewood Road

          2 Replies
          1. re: Scary Bill

            The people at the Olive Pit are as knowledgeable as anyone else in Toronto. I'd go there over Pusateri's - but prices are similar!!
            And I think they are the only retail outlet in North America for Manni olive oil (if you don't know it, you can't afford it - it's specifically mentioned as being in dishes at the Fat Duck and other top restaurants).

            1. re: estufarian

              The Ralo olive oil I referred to earlier IS available at the Olive Pit BTW.

          2. Boncheff carries good brands at lower prices than the DT TO emporia.

            1. I've always like Alex's olive oil but found a new one recently.

              I was in NZ in February and really enjoyed olive oil from The Village Press - they have 4 different kinds of oil based on the type of olive - i.e. Manzanillo, Frantoio, Leccino and Picual.

              I tend to use one all purpose good quality EVOO - have bought many specialty ones over the years but never found a demonstrable difference from basic good quality oil, but I can actually discern a difference between these ones - maybe it's the fact they're not blended varieties.....they're available at Longos (at least the one on Hwy 7 in Markham) for $10.99 for 500ml (which is cheaper than from the farm gate in NZ!) - well worth a try.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ElizabethS

                Was at Michaelangelos today in Mississauga on Erin Mills Parkway and they're now stocking the Village Press Olive Oil

              2. My absolute favourite that I've been very very happy with for several years now is Silver Leaf. Its available at Big Carrot, Sun Valley and other places. It is from the area around Sparta in Greece and it has a round, smooth, very buttery flavour with a nice subtle fresh grassyness. It is made from organic olives, cold pressed and has very low acidity. It is priced around $20 for .75 of a litre.

                I have tried Alex's and it is quite nice and similar to the Silver leaf. But, in my opinion, noticeably not as good. It is less round and smooth yet doesn't offer any great increase in vegetal or fresh flavour.

                I keep some Tuscan olive oil on hand as well as it is a very nice compliment to the Silver leaf (most Tuscan oils are sharp, peppery, very grassy and green tasting -- an entirely different experience). However, I currently don't have a confirmed preference any particular brand.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Atahualpa

                  I love the silver leaf olive oil too. I tasted it at the holistic show when the big carrot was there and it was soooo good!
                  Picked up a new bottle today, if anyone is looking for it they got it at the St. Lawrence market at Lively Life Fine Food downstairs, and Scheffler's Deli (also has herb infused oils from the same brand.

                2. I'm inspired by this thread to upgrade my olive oil! One of my favourite salads during the summer is a plate of fresh local tomato slices topped by feta cheese, chopped garlic chives, some salt & pepper and a drizzling of olive oil. What kind of olive oil would best suit this combo?
                  Thanks in advance for suggestions.

                  1. I was at Diana Grocery on St. Clair West near Dufferin, and they have a really wide selection of higher-end brands. They're also very knowledgable - particularly the owner. Also sell black and white truffles. I was just recommended a brand by the Olive Oil Source in California by the name of McEvoy. Not sure if they sell in Canada, but will advise. They are a great resource. http://www.oliveoilsource.com/

                    1. I enjoy Taris Olive Oil, which is Turkish, and available at www.ta-ze.com. I recommend Erkence (lighter, grassy) for salads and cold preperation, Tepekoy (green, spicy finish) for cooking, and Esksigibi (buttery!) for dipping and with eggs.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: croissantanyone

                        La Salumeria at Yonge and Davisville has a great selection of olive oils and balsamics at reasonable price points. Fabulous cheeses and deli meats also.....worth a visit if you've never been. Like a mini cheese boutique.

                        1. re: millygirl

                          I've recently fallen in love with a brand: "Mastro". At 3 litres for 25.00, it's a bargain, and it has a better smell and taste than many more expensive brands I've tried. It's the first "craveable" olive oil I've used, and I'm a fan of olive oil.

                      2. Their is a great selection at Cheese Boutique--can always find nice ones occasionally at good 'sale' prices.

                        1. i've just refilled my bottle from the 'olive guy' at the dufferin grove market. his olive oil has a beautiful green colour and is delicious. if you bring back the empty bottle for a refill, you get a discount. the biggest bottle is 750 ml, and it costs $17 (or $15 with the bottle). He also has really nice feta and ricotta and olives - everything is just a bit more delicate in flavour than elsewhere.

                          1. Hi acd123 , like you , i too have a prefference for K evoo from alexfarms. after the last bottle had been emptied, the trip to SLM yielded zero. i was told at AF that they dont have anymore of neither K nor M oils. K for Kriti or Crete... M for Messina.. now what? these oil imho, were the best bang for the buck PLS HELP sugggs fellow CHs....

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: eliisadick

                              I was told the same thing, that AF had discontinued their own brand of olive oil. The guy at the Danforth location recommended we try another one, in one of those huge tins. Sorry the name escapes me, but it's from Greece and comes in a large dark green tin. If anyone is interested let me know, and I'll deliver. In any event, it's great stuff and excellent value. The tin has lasted close to 6 months now. Very nice for everyday use.