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Jun 20, 2009 10:39 AM

Malvasia Olive Oil from Riverdale Market

Last week I bought a bottle of Malvasia Cold Pressed Organic 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil (from Greece) from a guy who sells it at the Riverdale Market (and a few other markets I think). He says he owns his own olive groves in Greece.

Well I am not going to say I have the most discerning palate in the world, but I have been buying premium olive oil for quite a while (usually around $25-$30 or more for a 750 ml bottle and only ones with an expiry date and that are in a dark coloured bottle or metal can). But, this olive oil has a bit of a bitter and odd aftertaste unlike any others I have tasted.

I am wondering if anyone else has tried it. Is it just me? I was going to go return it but the guy who sells it is not the friendliest guy in the world and every time I asked him a question about his olive oil he acted as if it was an imposition.

I did try his olives though and they were delicious!

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  1. I just found this searching for my family's olive oil and I am so sorry you had this experience.

    My family owns the Trademark for Malvasia Extra Virgin Olive Oil and we import our olive oil under the Malvasia brand in the USA. I can assure you that this is not the same olive oil you experienced in Ontario, Canada. We're headquartered in New Jersey and don't have any affiliation with this seller.

    You can find us on the web at

    1. I don't trust these roaming, propertied oil tycoons, mainly because it's so easy to sell schlock oil that's nothing like the samples. Nice olives aren't at all hard to score around the GTA. Caveat emptor.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Kagemusha

        Although I agree with you on general terms you cannot lump everyone in one narrow classification. There are plenty of boutique olive oils that are far superior to the commercial blended garbage that is marketed as Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
        The statement "roaming, propertied oil tycoons" is demeaning and does nothing to further the point you are trying to make even though that point does have some merit.
        Choose your words carefully if you want to be taken seriously.

        1. re: Gerryp

          Gee, Gerryp, is this advice or a threat? The olive oil business is chock full of fraud and switcheroo tactics are numbingly common--I'm sorry if you think otherwise. "Blended garbage" and "boutique olive oils" aren't recognized categories, either. I think Flexitarian was conned, sadly. Had they bought from a shop they might have been able to remedy the situation. I doubt Mr. Riverdale would be open to that. Caveat emptor, as usual.

          1. re: Kagemusha

            Try reading my reply. Yes advice not a threat. Lumping the whole industry in your neat little box may simplify matters for you but it does not do justice to the honest producers. And yes they do exist.

            1. re: Gerryp

              I agree with Gerryp. I don't think categorizing someone as "roaming" is fair if you have no idea who is being referenced. This man is at the same markets week after week and has a loyal client base. He has a reputation. If you have an issue with his product, you can go back the next week and talk to him.

            2. re: Kagemusha

              I also bought this oil recently (got it from Brickworks) and thought it was good. I am not a connoisseur of olive oils, I judge mainly by whether or not I like the taste. I thought this oil was good; fruity and not greasy. I am going to have to try it more on its own and compare to others to say for sure if this is a good oil. Hopefully, this is not "blended garbage", but you are way too quick to judge without trying it first yourself Kagemuusha. If you ever get the chance to get to one of the markets mentioned by SMOG, you can pick up a 250ml bottle for $9.00. Acidity is listed as 0.3(unfiltered) on the bottle among other nutritional facts. Maybe you can shed some light on how one is to judge the quality of an EVOO without trying it first. Caveat emptor true, but how would one know without trying?

        2. This post is from a year ago, but still relevant. I know exactly the guy you're talking about - Angelo from Country Meadow Farms. He's at the Village Market and the Brickworks market as well. I've been buying olives and cheese from him for a while (sheep and goat feta, ricotta and a pecorino-style "hard" cheese). Like you, I've been looking for a good source of quality oil that isn't $30/litre. So I tried his and loved it.

          I love his olive oil. It tastes just like pure oil should. It has a very fruity and fulsome mouthfeel, followed by a slight bitterness, and then a peppery aftertaste. Oil, just like anything, is very personal. I like oils that are on the heavier side and full flavoured. I'm thoroughly impressed with this one. You may enjoy lighter oils, I don't know. But as far as quality goes, I'm certain this one is top quality.

          But I will say this about the guy. All his products are of exceptional quality. I also thought his personality was a bit strange at first, but the guy's a farmer. He's not a salesman. He's genuinely a nice guy and I understand him a bit better after getting to know him week after week for the past 2-3 years. I would never judge a farmer's products by his/her personality. He also has a photo album at the Village Market that shows his farm here, his property in Greece, etc.

          I would suggest you give the oil another try! I bought 5 litres for $90 and think it's the best bargain out there. What you get in the container absolutely is what you sample. I also endorse his other products, being his olives, cheeses, eggs and dried wild mountain oregano. He's one of my go-to vendors.

          8 Replies
          1. re: SMOG



            Ask "Angelo" if he knows the acidity of his oils. I suspect neither you nor he does--but then how could you?

            "it tastes just like pure oil should. It has a very fruity and fulsome mouthfeel, followed by a slight bitterness, and then a peppery aftertaste. Oil, just like anything, is very personal."

            Yup.The Italian-grown and pressed EVOO from Costco has the same characteristics.

            Science? Works for me!

            1. re: Kagemusha

              The acidity is 0.35. It's actually labelled right on it. But now I supposed you're going to tell me that the label is a scam?

              Look, I'm by no means an expert on oil and I suspect neither are you. I can certainly taste the difference between real olive oil and fake. There's also an easy test - put some in a dish in the fridge and see whether it hardens or not. But the real test is taste.

              I appreciate the link, which outlines the guidelines for what is considered extra virgin olive oil. Here's another link for you, which talks about how to taste for what is considered good quality oil.


              I'm telling you that what this guy sells is the real thing. According to the guidelines that you attached, and even more importantly according to what is good quality that you can only judge by actually tasting it. It's real, period. And I'm sure the stuff at Costco is also real, by the way. And so is a lot of the supermarket stuff that you buy for $9.99. Even the study that was done a couple yrs ago on fake oil said that the "Our Compliments" brand was always tested to be pure. Whether it's as good quality or not is a different question altogether.

              I know there are a lot of scams out there, but that doesn't mean that you have to automatically assume that EVERYTHING is a scam. We're talking about a specific brand here. You may want to actually investigate this particular case before bashing a person and discrediting their business.

              1. re: SMOG

                Happy you've found a trustworthy vendor. Just for the record, though, there are many sellers cropping up around GTA and Ontario markets offering iffy product. It's just too easy a con to pull off and I've seen it work. Distributors can unknowingly channel utter crap into the market, too. Some of the worst EVOOs I've ever pitched out came from Italian bakeries around the GTA selling offbrand stuff--sometimes OK but often not. Problem is, SMOG, Gresham's Law applies here, too. Reasonable sellers of quality oil get smacked unfairly for the sins of their unethical competition who aren't that rare. The man in question deserves your business but many oil sellers I've seen over the past couple summers don't.

                  1. re: Kagemusha

                    Interesting. This reaches a lot more brands than the National Post article a while back. If concerned, I think it's really important for people to know how to properly taste oil and determine on their own whether it's real or not. It's a shame, though, as so many trusted brands are affected here. Definitely not a good sign for the industry.

                    1. re: SMOG

                      Anybody can get screwed, taste buds notwithstanding. This New Yorker piece made me cynical quick about olive oil:


              2. re: SMOG

                I second SMOG. I love this olive oil and get it from the Dufferin Grove farmers market. I will happily eat a bowl of pasta (especially delicious Riscossa brand, which I've been getting at Fiesta Farms) dressed with nothing but this guy's "Malvasia" olive oil, salt and pepper. I went through my last refill at record speed. Like many fresh products, I would only caution that you need to use it up within a reasonable time frame (a few months in my experience) or it gets stale and the flavour takes a turn for the worse.

                Fiesta Farms
                200 Christie St, Toronto, ON M6G, CA

                1. re: gisaster25

                  I buy it in the 5L containers, which stay sealed from air. I've had mine now for about 8 months and it's still fresh as new. Time for a refill soon. He brings fresh batches in once a year and the new ones are expected to come in this weekend (pressed in November, I believe). If stored properly and air tight, you should get at least a year out of it.