Best bang-for-the-buck extra virgin olive oil in the Watertown/Cambridge area
- PinchOfSalt Jun 15, 2009 11:59 AM
My most recent bottle of moderately-priced green, peppery evoo has given up its last drop, Time to go hunting for a replacement! This bottle was the generic Italian evoo sold by Whole Foods. It's perfectly fine for everyday use and the price is comparatively gentle on the economy-impaired wallet. In times past I have enjoyed a Lebanese extra virgin olive oil that is sold in glass bottles and jugs at Sevan market - quite tasty at a reasonable price. However there are a plethora of other choices available at Sevan, Arax, Massis, and under the fruit counter near the check-out counters at Russo's. Alas, nobody seems to be staging comparative olive oil tastings. What are your favorites? My goal is about a liter of evoo that might stand in for a good everyday Italian product in sauteeing or dressings. In this specific case I am looking for something
- is moderately assertive
- somewhat peppery
- filtered (I tend to use unfiltered olive oil only in dressings or finish a recipe)
- greenish (as opposed to the yellowish; for some reason I associate more yellow-y olive oil with a milder/rounder flavor profile).
- it can be from Italy but doesn't have to be
For what it's worth I am also currently working on a bottle of Whole Foods Spanish evoo that works great when I want a milder flavor.
A little out of the way, but the former Roma Seafood on Somerville Ave. near the Target is now called Souza's. They had metal cans of Portuguese olive oil that pretty much hit the characteristics you seek, particularly the peppery part iirc. I unfortunately do not remember the name, but the folks there can probably help you out. That is also down the street from the original Capone's. It was pretty cheap too.
I always thought you weren't supposed to saute using evoo. Am I wrong?
I found a great delicious really "olivey" greek (and green!) evoo at the Milton Marketplace/The Fruit Center in East Milton Square. They had a lot of varieties from different regions as well. If that's close to you, I'd recommend checking them out.
Well, EVOO also has a really low smoking point so it is not good if you are going to get the pan real hot. Burns much easier then say Canola, or Peanut which is the best for frying.
Also, if you have really good EVOO the volatiles which make it tasty are the first thing to evaporate away when heated so most of the flavor will go away if you heat it much at all.
You certainly can sautee with it, but just don't heat it too much...
Not in the area you're looking in, but I used to go to George Armenis in the North End tucked away in a nondescript storefornt on Lewis Street for extremely cheap extra virgin olive oil (I will not say or write "evoo" thanks to Rachel Ray). I think I used to pay $12 for the large metal container of Olivia brand. I'll see if they are still there later in the week: http://www.oliviaoliveoil.com/