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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

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  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:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/322529

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/327976

    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 http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/539335
              and i think "patak's tomato relish" fit the bill. http://www.asiamex.com/proddetail.cfm...

              1. re: alkapal

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

                excellent.

        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%)

                  http://www.amazon.com/Badia-Coltibuon...

                  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.

                  2. Cooks Illustrated picked Columela as their favorite. It goes for about 19$ for 17 ounces. Probably higher than what you wanted to pay, but getting lower. You might be able to find it on sale as well.

                    1. If you can find it, Goya's Spanish olive oil is a really fragrant oil and it doesn't cost a lot.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: RGC1982

                        This is what I use, Goya...I'm particularly fond of their extra virgin olive oil...I think my 8.5 ounce bottle cost $3.59 or $3.99 at Target. Publix sells it too. For regular olive oil, I usually buy whatever is on sale--I will say that sometimes Publix will have b1g1 for good brands like Filippo Berrio.

                        1. re: Val

                          The last buy one get one I remember Publix having was Crisco, but it came in plastic bottles, so I didn't buy any of it.

                      2. Try Red Island oil for a sweet, fragrant extra virgin olive oil with no peppery after notes at all.
                        I was really impressed with its sweetness, and I'll go on to say that it ranks pretty high amongst the daily oils I use (Bertolli, Colavita, and Carapelli). The Australians have certainly got this right. Look for it at your local supermarket.

                        Link --> http://www.redisland.com/

                        1. I haven't tried the TJ brand mentioned by other posters, but as far as common grocery store brands, both Goya extra virgin (first cold pressed) and Filippo Berio extra virgin are very good, and relatively inexpensive. Goya is smoother, golden colored and not too strongly flavored. Berio is greenish and has quite a peppery bite, which I love. I prefer it to Colavita. Pompeiian is not worth trying, IMO. Goya and Berio, while both evoo, are quite different but both good for the price.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: janniecooks

                            Thanks again everyone for the replies, I bought some Goya, I have to say it's pretty good, it has a decent aroma to it and a pretty strong but not over powering flavor. Now if they would would change to a darker glass bottle it would be almost perfect =)

                            I also looked at the Coavita, well the reviews seem to be pretty good, I'm a tad leery about buying a mixed oil. The label had multiple countries that "it could" be from.

                            1. re: comfortablynumb

                              CN (great song ... are you PF fan?), did you buy the extra virgin or regular Goya?

                              1. re: Val

                                Thanks =) , I do like Pink Floyd mainly DSOTM and The Wall, but the nick also sums up how I feel a great deal of the time (and no I'm not referring to drug or alcohol use people lol)

                                The Goya reads Extra Virgin, First Cold Press and comes in a medium/small bottle, I believe it's 8 ounces.

                                I've also tried the Newman's again, seems since the first time I opened it; it has a little more of an aroma to it, and a very mild olive flavor. I still think it could pass for a much more neutral oil though IE: Canola

                                1. re: comfortablynumb

                                  Yep, DSOT is probably my favorite (On the Turning Away..monstrous guitar!) though I also own The Wall..Dave Gilmour rocks! Sons have those cd's too! I might try Newman's Own sometime...though I always know what I'm getting with the Goya EVOO. I know I'm getting my music and food all intertwined here...heh!

                              2. re: comfortablynumb

                                I used to buy the Colavita Lemon olive oil. It was fabulous warmed in a pan with a clove of garlic sliced or squashed in. Tossed with hot pasta it was a simple yet impressive dish.

                            2. Costco has a nice organic EVOO in their Kirkland brand, around $11 for the bottle.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: cstr

                                Kirkland is my general use olive oil for sauteing and such. And that $11 bottle is a full 2 liters (actually you need to buy a two-pack), so it's cheaper than most pomace oil blends. For the price it's pretty good stuff, but not something I'd use for drizzling (I'll reconsider that if I get laid off). I haven't tried it side by side with Colavita, Berio, or any of the other easy to find brands, but I'd say it's in the same category.

                              2. Definitely Mediterranean Gold. Very well rounded with just a hint of pepper. Available on-line or at TJ Maxx or Marshall's. About 12 bucks a bottle. Great stuff.
                                http://www.medgoldoliveoil.com/index....

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Alfred G

                                  I've seen some stuff at Tj Maxx but can't remember the brand, I just always feared how fresh it is, and how it's been shipped and stored as there not exactly a food store. The one by me reeks of cheap potpourri, perfume and shoes, not something I would want getting in something I'm putting on food, lol...

                                2. Riscossa is extremely reasonable--$12-15/qt--and has a wonderfully fruity aroma.

                                  1. i recently bought "napa valley naturals" "rich & robust" first cold pressed evoo. it is a good, direct olive flavor, with some very light herbal, floral notes, buttery, very slight pepper at end. very nice as a finishing oil.

                                    http://www.worldpantry.com/cgi-bin/nc...

                                    i bought it on sale at safeway, where their price was $8.50 for 500 ml; i think it is around $10 regular price.
                                    based on this purchase, i'd buy it again, and try their other oils (see web link).

                                    my most recent use was last night, when i marinated some vidalias in the oil, with lemon juice and kosher salt added. i then used the vidalias on some stuffed sole made with spinach. mr. alka loved the marinated onions.

                                    1. I very much enjoy the California Estate olive oil I purchase at Trader Joe's. It is in a tall, green-black bottle that is flat on top. It is fruity and delicious served on a plate with sea salt and Italian herbs sprinkled on top and dipped up with crusty bread. It is about $6 a bottle so it doesn't break the budget.

                                      1. I just had a look at the Colavita again, I can swear the first time I picked it up, it said it was from different sources. There where two 8 ounces bottles on the shelf (publix for $5.24) that sated that it was pure Italian olive oil, so I bought some.

                                        I think the Colavita beats the Goya, it's not quit as strong, but it has a nice mild fruity flavor, and taste a bit fresher, even though the Goya is well within date.

                                        if anyone else is looking for a cheap Olive oil with taste so far the Colavita is the winner for me. I wish I could find some of the other cheaper oils mentioned (Trader Joes, Costco, etc..) just for comparasion.

                                        1. I am no expert but I've been getting Aldi brand (Aldi is a super cheap swiss grocery store, I'm not sure if the chain is national). Anyway, it's quite nice, not bitter. It could stand to be a little more fruity and aromatic, but it's like 3.50 a bottle so I'm not about to complain ;)

                                          I'll have to pick up the TJ's spanish that ya'll are suggesting too.

                                          www.honestlygoodfood.com

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Honestly Good Food

                                            Aldi's, over 1,000 stores in 29 states is owned by the largest privately owned corporation in Germany. Same ownership as Trader Joe's. The Albrecht brothers, Karl and Theo; served in the German Army in WWII and after the war took oever their Mother's store. Karl and Theo are the 2 richest men in Germany. Theo died in 2010. Worldwide the reach of the Aldi Empire is over 8,000 retail outlets. In 1993 the brothers gave most of their wealth to foundations.
                                            Many items are private label, and of varying quality. I have not tried the Olive Oil; I have found for everyday use, COSTCO Tuscan EVOO has an excellent grassy flavor and it is very low in Acidity.

                                          2. Apologies for not having read through this whole thread; someone may have mentioned this. I recently tried (from Sam's Club, their store brand) Member's Mark ORGANIC EVOO, and although I was skeptical at first, I'm a convert. It is wonderfully fruity/aromatic, and at about $15/liter, it's great for salads and everyday drizzling. I had my girlfriend try some here, and she too has become a convert.

                                            1. I like DaVinci extra virgin, but the only store in my neck of the woods that carried it closed.