Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Jun 2, 2009 10:22 PM

Is there a decent cheap olive oil (serving, not cooking with)

I'm looking for a decent olive oil mainly to drizzle over salad and basmatti rice before serving (sounds strange but I like a light drizzle of good oil on my rice)

I bought Newmans Own organic olive oil (source shows: Tunisia ) tonight about $8 for 17 ounces, it has no nose to it at all and it's about as neutral as canola oil. I know for 8 bucks I'm not going to buy a top of the line oil, but I would like something with flavor.

Any supermarket brand suggestions? Thanks in advance

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The supermarket brands, in my experience, vary widely from bottle to bottle with the exact same label. I believe most of them blend many different oils according to availability and price.

    Whole Foods 365 and Goya seem to be more consistent than the competition -- but the Goya can be very pricey, depending on where you buy it.

    Also check out these threads:

    1 Reply
    1. re: dmd_kc

      Thanks for the links, I must not of searched deep enough, maybe I'll try DaVinci or Colavita next.

      I would really like to try the whole foods brand, but I'm a good 75 miles away from a whole foods.

    2. I love Trader Joe's new Spanish olive oil! Fragrant, fruity, sweet, rather than bitter or peppery. And it tastes so. . . Spanish. That something so good is only around $8 for a bottle (750 ml, I think) is a bit of a surprise. The only hitch is--I like it so much that I go through a lot more olive oil than before.

      5 Replies
      1. re: pilinut

        TJ's Spanish olive oil is truly a best buy. Stock up now before the discontinue it as they seem to do with every item I get attached to. The front label reads "Organic Olive Oil", but on the back label you will find "Product of Spain". If you prefer peppery, their California Estate Olive Oil is also very good. Both come in 500 ml (17 oz) bottles. I forget the prices but I think they are both in the $7-$8 range.

        1. re: Zeldog

          Yes I use the TJ's Spanish as well. Very good price and tastes great in salads and the like.

          1. re: Zeldog

            I thought I was the only one Trader Joe's keeps discontinuing favored items on!! Glad to know I"m not alone. I dearly miss their India Relish. It was so good slathered on a fried eggplant sandwich with cheese then pressed in my Foreman grill for an impromptu panini.

            1. re: KristieB

              kristie, there was a thread a while back about trying to find a substitute for that indian relish.

              edit: yep
              and i think "patak's tomato relish" fit the bill.

              1. re: alkapal

                Another vote for Trader Joe's Extra Virgin Oilive Oil from California.


        2. I don't mind a mixed olive oil and olive pomace oil. I have seen this called "Spanish oil." It isn't for the purists, but it does have that olive oil taste and is cheaper.

          1. IMO, the Tuscan extra virgin olive oil from Costco is excellent for an inexpensive oil. I think it's around $11/liter which blows away the price you're paying for Newman's.

            4 Replies
              1. re: Den

                Thanks everyone for the replies so far..

                I don't believe we have Trader Joes here in Florida, I wish we did I keep hearing great things about them. I forgot to mention I live smack dab in the middle of nowhere right now, within driving distance I have Target, Publix (supermarket), Tj Max and Ross. There is a Wal-Mart but I try to avoid going there, to busy amongst many other reasons. Now if I happen to be a few towns down there are places like World Market, and Costco but I don't get down there very often.

                1. re: comfortablynumb

                  I'm not particularly picky about olive oil, but spouse prefers Pompeian extra virgin among the ones commonly available at those kinds of stores. As a bonus, it tends to show up as a buy one-get one free special at Publix on a fairly regular basis.

                2. re: Den

                  Another vote for the Costco Tuscan EVOO. Comoares favorably to oils costing 3x as much.

                3. I've always wondered about the mystic of Olive Oils. Having only used the store brands, I just didn't "get it" and would never consider eating ANY of them "raw" to dress a salad, much less to use as a dipping condiment.

                  Finally, while shopping at Central Market about a year ago, I went out on a lark, basically did eeny, meeny, miney, mo, and bought a bottle of Badia a Coltibuono Extra Virgin Olive Oil to try. I love it simply with about 1/3 the same amt of red wine vinegar and a dash of water with S&P for dressing a salad. It's flavorful, but mild and if by itself, has a peppery finish - NOTHING like any olive oil I tried. I think I paid about $17 for a 8.45 oz bottle, but online, have found a 17 oz bottle around $25. (If it means anything to anyone, the acidity noted on the label is 0.23%)


                  I need to go get another bottle.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: CocoaNut

                    That's nearly $50/liter, hardly in the "cheap" category!

                    1. re: Den

                      You should have seen the $$$ tags on the "expensive" ones. They were in a locked case. Everything is relative.

                      Edit: I hope it would be evident that this "class" of oil is not used for cooking, but as a mealtime "treat" that I don't use everyday. Expensive? Yes maybe. Certainly moreso than the typical grocery store label, but it has wonderful flavors and as the OP said, the $8 variety had "no nose to it at all and it's about as neutral as canola oil".

                      Just an option.