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Need Olive Oil recommendation

I am looking for a good EVO that I can buy consistently at a chain, including but not limited to Wegman's, Whole Foods, TJ's and Costco. I have tried Wegman's house brand and was woefully disappointed. I have vague recollections of buying something at Whole Foods that was good and didn't break the bank but I cannot recall. Can anyone suggest what I should use?

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  1. I like Costco EVOO, they have an organic and Tuscan variety.

    10 Replies
    1. re: treb

      Plus 1 for the Costco Kirkland brand. In Canada Costco also carries a Greek import called Solon which is even better IMO.

      1. re: treb

        Haven't seen the Tuscan at Costco recently - read on another thread that it was discontinued.

        1. re: FoodDee

          It's still reliably in my Costco in Melville, NY. What's missing lately is their delicious Arbequina, which came in a twin pack.

          1. re: FoodDee

            This is roughly when the new batch (2012 harvest) should appear, no?

            1. re: FoodDee

              The Tuscan was gone for a long time in Seattle but now it's back. This my favorite EVOO [well, really Trampetti is my fave but a little pricey]. I also like the Kirkland organic EVOO.

              1. re: knowspicker

                Thanks - need to recheck since I am in the Seattle area.

                1. re: FoodDee

                  I've seen the 2012 Harvest Tuscan at both SoCal Costco's I've been to in the last few weeks.

                  Since it's a particular harvest I assume they stock it until it runs out, then we have to wait for the next years batch.

                  1. re: FoodDee

                    Still not there at the Woodinville store.

                    1. re: FoodDee

                      Just picked up a bottle of the 2012 in the Warrington PA store. Also am going to get the Spanish from TJs. Two is usually better than one ...

              2. re: treb

                Same here, I use the organic and I like it.

              3. Trader Joe's California Estate.

                5 Replies
                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  I second this recommendation. It's consistently fresh, and a very good deal for the quality at $5.99/500 ml

                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                    Another vote for the California Estate.

                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                      Me too.

                    2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      Another yay for this olive oil - it's one of my TJ's staples.

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        While not my absolute favorite, in terms of "price/performance", I can't think of another olive oil that would beat TJ's California Estate.

                      2. For what use? Cooking, salads, special occasions?

                        I've been using a basic Spanish EVO from Trader Joes for several years. Occasionally I get something more special, but this is my every day oil.

                        It's been argued that used for cooking, most of the nuances of a high quality oil disappear.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: paulj

                          I use the TJ Spanish also. It sells for $5.99 and is very good as an every day oi.

                        2. A nationwide chain or a regional chain? Where?

                          1. I've had some of the world's best olive oils, and I've also had to suffice off of what's available locally in markets. In the latter case, Trader Joes' oils are the best you can find. Now, as to their variety of oils (there are many - President's Reserve [Italian], Sicilian, Spanish, California, Kalamata [Greek]) I think I have tried most all of them. I regularly buy the Kalamata. Flavor bomb, beautiful green color (note: color of olive oil is no indication of its quality or flavor, but it does add an aesthetic quality to your plate). Medium spice, good perfume, and unmissable olive flavor.

                            1. I like Trader Joe's Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Its a bit assertively flavored (peppery) but I like that.

                              1. We've been buying Filippo Berio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil by the gallon from Costco for decades now. Find it fresh, bright, & fruity for both cooking & raw use.

                                1. I used to buy Whole Foods 365 Every Day olive oil. it suited my needs perfectly and was a bargain. Then they changed the bottle, making it 1/2 inch taller than the average storage shelf. I noticed the change before I bought a new bottle (thankfully). I will not rearrange three shelves to accommodate one bottle. My tiny kitchen has just space enough for everything. Should you have a more flexible pantry than I, I highly recommend the WF 365.

                                  Now I use Trader Joe's Italian olive oil which is a bit more assertive with a peppery finish - not as ideal for egg frying, but very good for salad dressing.

                                  I have space for only one olive oil, but if you have more space you might try a few for different applications.

                                  1. I agree that Costco's Tuscan (in the glass bottle) delicious, great flavor profile, prominent olive flavor with peppery finish.

                                    I also agree that the Californian variety at TJ's is also just as delicious, and has a similar flavor profile.

                                    I used to buy the Organic Kirkland Extra Virgin at Costco, but I'm glad I finally tried their Tuscan variety, which I find far more flavorful. At the Costco and TJ's prices, it's feasible to use these oils not only for finishing/salads/dipping, but even for cooking (especially if you tend to saute without too much oil to begin with).

                                    Should you decide to try some other fine olive oils, I might recommend Bariani (from California).

                                    Corto (from California) and Columela (from Spain) are also quite good. I am sure there are many delicious EVOOs out there. I find it is ciritical to buy one that has been packed recently.

                                    1. I have Costco and Trader Joes, et al.

                                      My very favorite is a Greek oil called Spitiko.

                                      I buy it in the 3 ltr cans for about $25 at Phoenicia, a local Med-centered store.

                                      You can also get it online.

                                      Very green and fruity.

                                      Here's a link on Amazon:

                                      http://www.amazon.com/Spitiko-Greek-E...

                                      Highly recommended.

                                      1. I haven't tried it yet but America's Test Kitchen liked California Olive Ranch

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                          I saw that recommendation and I picked up a bottle at my local Fresh Market. I haven't tried it yet. Will I be happy with it?

                                          1. re: CindyJ

                                            Not sure, I haven't tried it but if you do, do report back.

                                            1. re: CindyJ

                                              You'll love it.

                                            2. re: fldhkybnva

                                              Bought a bottle based on their rec. Very good, IMHO. Use it in vinaigrettes or as a last flavor ingredient. Don't usually use EV for cooking.

                                              1. re: njmarshall55

                                                Yea, I don't use it much for cooking either and so it would mostly be used occasionally for salads which is why I have yet to buy it as it's quite expensive for a bottle to be used sparingly.

                                              2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                I really like California Olive Ranch. It's readily available in local grocery store chains.

                                              3. Trader Joe's Sicilian

                                                1. California Olive Ranch is excellent and fairly widely available. Trader Joe's California Estate is also pretty good and about 1/4 cheaper.

                                                  1. Just floating this out there..... http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/720875

                                                    1. It's not a specific recommendation, but this past weekend I picked up a bottle of lovely high quality imported olive oil at my Italian deli which they sell by the liter at an insanely reasonable price with a great bottle discount if you bring your own for refills. You might check if this is available anywhere in your area.

                                                      1. For what it's worth, my opinion is simple; don't overthink olive oil. I avoid anything imported or gimicky. Fresh is best. Look for something regional and estate grown. Regional means it should be relatively fresh and estate grown means consistency in flavor. California Ranch is very good, and even received a positive writeup in Saveur's top 100. I'm lucky enough to live just a few miles from a local ranch that grows, makes, and sells their own olive oil. It's all I use for everything.

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: porkchop

                                                          What's your beef with imported oil? Just curious... I run a web boutique that sells imported olive oils.

                                                          My opinion, and what I've found in studying olive oil vs marketing, is that "Regional" doesn't necessarily mean anything, it's just packaging. You'd want to know what variety/ies of olive is in the oil and when the harvest date was (California oils might be Koroneiki, Arbosana or Arbequina, or a blend of 2 or 3 or others). Also: "Estate Grown" is something almost every single olive oil brands themselves as, especially because most olives anywhere in the world are part of an estate.

                                                          Having a mill down the road must be fantastic! Oil out of the tap after a press is out of this world good.

                                                          1. re: dylan6

                                                            Yea, I was wondering the same thing. I love my imported olive oil from my local Italian deli although many domestic brands are great as well.

                                                            1. re: dylan6

                                                              If I may interject and offer my opinion: The easiest answer to give my normal friends when they ask "What olive oil should I buy?" is "Look for one from California."

                                                              They haven't had good olive oil, so I can't say "What tastes good to you."

                                                              Otherwise I have to start with harvest dates, then talk about which brands to avoid because of refined oil contamination, then try and navigate the Tunisian topic without condemning all their olive oil, then go on to single estate sourcing, where to shop, etc. I usually lose them right after the word "harvest" and before "dates". Don't get me wrong, I'll sit there all day and discuss, you know, if I should stock olive oils from different countries to use when cooking dishes originating from those countries; or stock just one olive oil. But I don't have a single non-online acquaintance who would be similarly enthused.

                                                              Maybe because they are a small, young industry, I feel Californian olive oil producers have maintained a good level of quality. Not even factoring in price, on average I have found their olive oil better than the average imported olive oil at regular supermarkets. Probably seeking to take advantage of this, the Californian industry partially funded a study a couple years back. This study scientifically concluded that the average bottle of Californian olive oil purchased at a Californian supermarket is superior to the average imported olive oil bottle purchased at a Californian supermarket.

                                                              For my "good" olive oil, I use a Greek oil imported by a vendor at my local farmer's market. In the winter I use a Greek olive oil imported by Mani. For whatever reason, the quality of the Mani oil sometimes varies from bottle to bottle.

                                                              1. re: bmorecupcake

                                                                I agree with you there.. explaining harvest date is usually where I lose people. Maybe because I'm 24 and there isn't anyone my age as geeked about it as I am, but it still does happen when I talk to people twice my age.

                                                                The problem I have with the word "imported" is that it is too often used as a marketing term for quality, when in reality the oil is actually imported... from a pomace dealer in ____, for example. That said, "supermarkets" is also so broad that it could include big box stores that might not care at all about quality.

                                                                Many of the products on my website have won prestigious competitions (one oil just won "Best Olive Oil in the World" by the IOC), but these oils are rarely seen on store shelves in the States because of their import cost, price tag and very little demand. We like selling online because we can list all of the details regarding quality (Harvest, origin, etc.), but also to build the producers' fanbase and make them more global.

                                                          2. While not chain, l know you are in Philadelphia area thus would recommend the two house brands Claudio sells in Italian market. The more expensive in a three liter can is awesome, called 'crema' by Claudio and staff it is a perfect finishing oil, also the lesser is the perfect cooking oil.