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Jul 9, 2008 09:48 PM

bulk olive oil in berkeley/oakland ?

Hi there, just getting resettled here in the Bay Area from a too long stint on the east coast. Any recommendations for places to buy good bulk oil? Berkeley Bowl?


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  1. The Pasta Shop's the only place I've seen it.

    I don't think the Bowl sells liquids in bulk.

    Pasta Shop
    1786 4th St, Berkeley, CA 94710

    4 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Yes, the Pasta Shop on 4th has 3-4 varieties from which to choose. They usually have one Spanish oil. The PS on College had only one oil in bulk when I lived in that neighborhood 3 years ago.

      They also sell bottles for your olive oil or you can bring your own or you can even get it in a plastic takeout container if you've forgotten your bottle.

      I've been very happy with the oils I've bought at PS on 4th and it takes a lot for me to brave 4th Street these day.

      1. re: chocolatetartguy

        I've been buying bulk oil at the Pasta Shop for years, and they always have three excellent choices. Recently I've been favoring the California Olive Ranch oil they offer. It used to be made from pure arbequina (Spanish) olives, but is now made with a blend of Spanish olives, including arbequina. I've read that California Olive Ranch is a huge commercial operation--if I remember right, the largest in the state--but trust me, they are making a terrific product. It's smooth and nutty with an amazing texture/mouth feel.

        Monterey Market sells it in bottles at $9.95 (unless it's gone up recently), which is cheaper than I've seen the bottles anywhere else and about the same as you'll pay buying it in bulk at the Pasta Shop. (I just bought some there and refilled the bottle I bought at Monterey Market for just under $10.)

        1. re: TopoTail

          What is the size of the bottle?

          1. re: wolfe

            California Olive Ranch uses 500ml bottles.

    2. I believe that the Berkeley Whole Foods (on Telegraph & Ashby) sells it.

      Berkeley Bowl does sell liquids in bulk, but they are pre-packaged... they're to the right of the counter where you have your bulk foods weighed and labeled. If I remember correctly, they carry olive oil and maybe one other oil, plus, honey, agave syrup, and others.

      1. For cooking, I used to buy Kalamata olive oil in 3-4 liter cans at Lucca Ravioli in SF, but these days I get it by the bottle at Trader Joe's.

        1. How much do you need and what quality? Might just head to Costco or a warehouse type store.

          7 Replies
          1. re: ML8000

            Magnani may sell it (Hopkins at Monterey)- they used to, along with a number of vinegars.

            1. re: ML8000

              Costco used to carry a good, relatively inexpensive EVOO, but to my taste, Trader Joe's Kalamata is currently better.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                I buy extra light olive oil from Costco for basic cooking. Interestingly, it usually costs more then EVOO in standard grocery stores I think I get 6 liters for around $20. I also buy EVOO from TJ for salads...hard to beat those prices.

                1. re: ML8000

                  Kirkland "Signature Pure" is currently about $5.50 a liter. I think TJ's EVOO Kalamata is now $8.

                  For salads I like Oleificio Chianti Buonsapore, which I prefer to think of as costing 50 cents per tablespoon.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    I've never bought EVOO from Costco. The price is better but there's no way I can use that much. I can use that much extra light w/i a year but not EVOO.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      Costco/Kirkland oil is sold in plastic bottles which I've read is not good. True?

                      1. re: baron45

                        The quart / liter bottles are glass. Big jugs are plastic.

              2. Farmer Joes on Fruitvale sells it. I don't know the price.