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Help me find a great olive oil, please

In '02, hubby and I had a great time at this tapas bar called Bambule in Friendship Heights. Sadly, I don't live in D.C. anymore, and it's closed now anyway. The most memorable thing about the meal, in my opinion, was the olive oil that we dipped our bread in. It tasted fruity, light, and had a great peppery bite. It didn't taste old, stale, and heavy.

I want to find an olive oil like that, but I'm tired of wasting my money at the grocery stores for something that looks promising but tastes and smells like rancid motor oil. Every time I turn around, there's a new one out. I don't know which to choose, plus the reports on adulterated oil don't make it any easier.

Any suggestions? I love fresh bread dipped in olive oil. Please help.

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  1. Do you have any specialty shops in your area
    (to save on s/h)? When possible, taste before you buy.

    Some of the olive oil companies I've tried and truly loved were from:

    http://www.ooliveoil.com/
    this one is sometimes sold in grocery stores

    http://www.carterandcavero.com/
    (I noticed the site is down for maintenance at the moment

    )

    http://thepassionateolive.com/wp/store/
    and if you can get your hands on the fig balsamic-go for it!

    http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipe...
    this is a good primer on what to look for and what to disregard when buying olive oil.

    3 Replies
    1. re: HillJ

      I don't know if there are any olive oil specialty shops here in Houston. I've been too busy exploring the asian markets on my days off. I'll have to check.

        1. re: fantasyjoker

          I second finding a specialty shop. I did a quick yahoo search on olive oil store in Houston and found this:

          http://oliveandvineshop.com/

          It looks very similar to a shop we have here in Philadelphia that I love (tastings, bottle it on the spot, etc). In fact, from the pictures and write up here:

          http://blogs.houstonpress.com/eating/...

          It looks and sounds just like the Taste of Olive store here in Philly.

          ETA: should have read all the replies first--I see pikawicca has already hooked you up.

        1. You may have to experiment to find the one you love. We love Falconero, a Sicilian olive oil, and serve it with Sicilian sea salt and a rustic italian bread. My husband considers that as good as caviar. But I believe you can get a kind of "gift box" of one ounce olive oils from all over the world, so you can hold your own tasting until you find the one you love.

          1. Better if you had a specialty shop to try at as others have mentioned, but if you can't you could always try the following two:

            Masia el Altet (http://www.masia-el-altet.com/en/); a really nice Spanish oil. I prefer the Premium one but

            Chateau d'Estoublon from Provence.

            1. If you're willing to spend a bit (mostly for shipping) this is my absolutely favorite olive oil (http://www.canaanfairtrade.com/produc...) which overseas is sold under this name (www.premcrest.co.uk/search-zaytoun.html).

              The Zaytoun is very nice (and far more accessible overseas) but the Canaan is aboslutely the best most fragrant olive oil I've ever had. I live in Jerusalem where I have access to incredible and very cheap olive oil sold on in empty Pepsi bottles - but every now and then I still buy Rumi Tree Olive Oil, particularly for dipping. Unfortunately, I think trying to directly buy the Canaan is still a bit difficult.

              1. My "best" extra virgin is Zaytoun - a Fair Trade Palestinian oil. Wonderfully fragrant.

                1. Thanks for all the responses. I'm going to track down the shop here next time I'm off.