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The 'best' imported olive oil..

What, in your opinion, is the best imported olive oil you've tried for under $30.00?? And/or if you have a favorite import, what is it?? If I may ask.

I saw the America's Test Kitchen episode where COLUMELA was coronated as 'the best', I'm a little dubious as other polls have COLAVITA as the best, but I wasn't all that impressed with it. I also keep hearing good things about Lebanese OO, which along with COLUMELA, I have yet to try. At an OO tasting, I thought the Proven├žal oils were the most tasty, if that means anything.

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  1. Aria extra virgin olive oil from Crete is my favorite. You can get a 1/2 liter bottle for $24.95. I have never tasted an olive oil that is smoother yet also packs a huge olive heavy punch.

    For a domestic oil Bariani makes the best I have tasted.

    1. Under $20 for what volume? 500, 750ml, L? There's a wide range of very good and distinctive oils in this range. Two I adore are the Segreto DOP Monti Iblei form Sicily, ( about $25 for 750ml) and a strong second for Bariani's regular bottling extra virgin, at less than $30 Litre. Barbera's many labels from Sicily (Frantoia, for one) are excellent everyday oils, often as cheap as $21 Litre.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bob96

        Crete-no better place/accept no substitutes.

      2. Disregarding your dollar amount, Laudemio from Florence has been my fav for a long while. Neither hot, nor acidic it is a wonderful finishing oil. Sells for @$ 35/500 ml.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

          Laudemio is a collective trade brand name for high-end Tuscan estates, not a single grower. It's a good Tuscan oil, but $70/liter?

          1. re: bob96

            Never claimed a single grower, have four different ones in my fridge right now, they cost between $28 and $42/500ml.

          2. re: Delucacheesemonger

            I get Castello de Poppiano Laudemio for $25/ 500 ml. Is that the same stuff? I love it.

          3. Volpaia. I have tried nearly all that others have named thus far along with many, many other labels and they all fall short when compared to Volpaia. You'll want to purchase oil made with the fall 2010 harvest olives.

            1. Zaytoun is the best I've come across. Organic and Fair Trade Palestinian oil. Currently impossible to get as exports are being prevented by the occupation forces, according to two local suppliers.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Harters

                Blockade appears to have been lifted (or "other arrangements" found) as I recently found Zaytoun, although not in my own region of the country)

                1. re: Harters

                  I got my Palestinian oil and zatar fix by going to a lecture on fair trade in Palestine, Lol!

                  1. re: luciaannek

                    I boughtt Zaytoun zater, couscous and almonds at a recent gig by comedian Mark Thomas (oil also on sale). He recently walked the length of the wall that Israel has erected in occupied Palestine. Very interesting and very funny.