E. V. Olive Oil - Tijuana/Ensenada Purveyors
I like to venture into Tijuana and Ensenada in search of supplies for personal cooking, mostly its just for the adventure, since it makes more economical sense to source from the internet or locally here in So. Cal.
Since, Baja is a duty free zone I am hoping that there are some places to purchase high quality extra virgin olive oil from Italy or Spain. Perhaps there is a locally produced product in Baja Norte that I can try.
Also, my aunt says that the prices in Costco Mexico are less than Costco USA, but I have yet to verify this. Can anyone verify this?
My experience is with the Costco in Cabo last fall and previous times I've been there.
Some items that were less than what you'd pay in the states were Mexican products like coffee which were much cheaper. Other common Costco staples carried in the US were a little more expensive there, but based on the peso it was a matter of cents and not significant dollar amounts. Same with Wal Mart, some staples were higher, but you're talking cents and not dollars.
You said you're shopping on a personal level and the amounts won't add up to any significant savings.
Example might be the Costco $1.50 hot dog/drink....with the current peso its $1.42 in Cabo.
My observation with "duty free" is it's BS.
When it comes to duty free items like jewelry and perfume, you're paying no duty, but you're still paying retail and you can find the same stuff cheaper in the states if you know your prices.
From a Seinfeld episode:
Kramer: If anything, we'll probably get there early. I'll have a chance to
go to the Duty Free shop.
George: The Duty Free Shop? Duty Free is the biggest sucker deal in retail.
Do you know how much duty is?
George: Yeah, "duty". Do you know how much duty is?
Kramer: No, I dunno how much duty is.
George: Duty is *nothing*. It's like sales tax...
I have purchased olive oil from wineries in Guadalupe Valley, east of Ensenada. They were quite good but expensive. Certainly not comparable in price to Costco or even Trader Joe's olive oils, but worthwhile.
I have purchased olive oil from Adobe Guadalupe, Vinesterra, La Casa de Doña Lupe and L.A. Cetto, all of which are in the valley. I think L.A. Cetto also sells their olive oil at their wine tasting rooms in Tijuana and Ensenada.
You may also be able to get olive oil from the Guadalupe Valley at Witch Creek Winery in Carlsbad, Calif (San DIego County). If you like it, then you can hunt some down the next time you are in Baja Calif.
My favorite olive oil is produced in the Guadalupe Valley, it's Misiones de Baja California produced by Rancho Cortes. I get it through friends, but it's packaged for retail sale so I think it would be available in multiple places. The email on the bottle is firstname.lastname@example.org , they should be able to tell you where to buy it.
I do not think it is terribly expensive and IMO it is comparable to the best specialty imported oils that I have tasted from Italy. (Not that I have done exhaustive tasting of Italian oils.)
You can get great olive oil in the Valle de Guadalupe at just about any place.Also try Casa Vieja and the Russian restaurant and museum.Not to mention all the marmalades made from local fruit. All the places Ringo Gato mentioned are excellent.
Most of the prices aren't that different but one exception is high tax "sin" items like alcohol or tobacco. With all the sin taxes on these items in the US and the low tax rate in Mexico there are significant savings to be had buying in Mexico. For example if you buy a cartoon of name brand cigs in California you will likely pay around $60 but buying the same cartoon from the same US factory in Mexico will only cost around $18. That's most a difference in tax rates.
Of course if you don't smoke or drink then the rest of the prices aren't really worth the trip.