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Jun 17, 2013 06:31 AM

Corto California Olive Oil at Far West HEB

I love this Corto Extra Virgin olive oil - heard about it on a recent splendid table episode. Maybe it's the bag in a box, or maybe it's a mistake, but it's only 17.99 for 3 friggin' liters, not even on sale. Used it in a greek salad with fresh tomatoes, onions, cukes from the 4th st farmer's market and I can't say I've ever had a tastier greek salad (w/ feta of course). Tonight it will be a bread dipper next to some grilled drum.

I'm not a huge fan of oils stored in plastic - chemically speaking, "like dissolves like", and plastic is more or less hard oil. But on the plus side, the bag keeps air exposure low as it's depleted and minimizes oxidation / spoilage (spouted from bottom). so far so great.

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  1. Thanks for the heads up - I've recently realized that I've been lowballing olive oil for years (Kirkland, from Costco). I'll drop by Far West HEB and pick up some of that oil.

    1. slowcooked, I heard that episode too via Downcast, my new favorite commuting app to play through the car speakers.

      Love the title of the speaker's (Author - Tom Mueller)book:
      "Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil "

      He recommended 2 every day brands -
      - California Olive Ranch
      - Corto

      He had not-nice things to say about Whole Foods 365 brand evoo as well as the brand that Cook's Illustrated always recommends (also starts with a C...


      Rudeboy, he quoted the price of Corto at Costco as an excellent bargain. That same day I went to HEB on Braker and 183. Doing the math in my head... The HEB price was very close; it might have even been slightly better than what he said costco charged on the podcast. I concluded it was better because it was a smaller quantity for close enough $.

      4 Replies
      1. re: sweet100s

        Good to know. I did not realize that Costco had a better alternative....I think I actually saw the brand, now that it is mentioned, at Costco. Corto from Costco.

        I wonder what the tasters think of Kirkland? I read somewhere that it isn't "real" extra virgin, that the label gets thrown around a lot because there isn't hard oversight as one would expect with an appellation. I've done the belly-to-belly taste tests at Central Market, and, although the oils all taste different, they still just taste like oil. I have a good palate, but not good enough to judge olive oil.

        Number five at the bottom of this article recommends Kirkland Organic. I'm just not so sure myself.

        1. re: rudeboy

          Have you been to Con Olio for a tasting? Might be interesting to try and compare to Corto and Kirkland.

          1. re: ssouth

            No, I haven't ssouth - when I have done tastings, I can't seem to distinguish flavors. Typically, you are given a little piece of sourdough to taste the oil with, so the whole thing doesn't seem to work for me.

        2. re: sweet100s

          HEB's (under the Central Market brand) Arbosana is my favorite. I'm pretty sure it comes from California Olive Ranch. I have not tried the most recent harvest, though as I am stocked with all sorts of other brands right now.


        3. I too cannot claim to be an olive oil expert but i have been using olive oils near daily for years. Kirkland isnt bad, the california brand at walmart was great. This Corto is just as good but much greater value. I mean three liters. And i hate patronizing walmart but do at times hypocritically. The other aspect pointed out on splendid table is the unscrupulous blending of good olive oils with canola, etc. not Corto. Apparently and its green cloudy first pressed look and fruity taste makes me believe. I am interested in my fellow hounds' opinion. Maybe a dupe?

          1. Well I'll be dipped in dog waller, that 17.99 / 3 liters of great EV olive oil is on clearance to soon be no more. It's a third of the price of any equivalent Corto 2013 I can find online. I went today and bought another and there's ONE LEFT. It's sort of hidden in the back on the bottom shelf, so I bet it'll be there if anyone goes and gets it. That HEB is clearing out a bunch of their high end oils. sorry folks, but I left one for ya :-). FYI, the red river store near campus did not have any, but who knows if they ever did. Not sure what other HEB might.