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Is my Kirkland olive oil real?

trolley Jan 19, 2014 07:03 AM

I know this has been a big topic for a while. I read about it and then sort of shelved the idea that my extra virgin olive oil is probably fake. I just recently met a nutritionist (brief chance encounter) and she explained to me how seed oils are made. While I don't remember the details it sounded not so great. Then she told me she was reading this book called "Extra Virginity" which broke down the olive oil industry which basically isn't governed at all.

So now i'm off to find "real" olive oil. I think she said Kirkland Organic in a glass bottle. is there such a thing? I only found the organic in a plastic bottle so bought the one in glass. Now, i'm searching the internet and thinking my regular olive oil isn't real. Does anyone have a list of real olive oils? I can't seem to find one. Thanks.

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  1. t
    treb RE: trolley Jan 19, 2014 07:24 AM

    Yes, the Kirkland Tuscan Organic is good extra virgin olive oil. The fact is, Italy does NOT export it's Nuvo 'premium' extra virgin olive oils, as there is not enough available for the local population. Italy does export good, usually blended, extra virgin olive oils which is what's available for export to us. Do what I do, go to Italy and bring it back for your personal use or find a reputable source on the internet.

    29 Replies
    1. re: treb
      trolley RE: treb Jan 19, 2014 07:30 AM

      well, i don't have the luxury of going to Italy but I was hoping a trip to Costco or somewhere slightly closer and more affordable. I can't quite leave a note to my family- "dear guys, i'm off to italy to buy some olive oil. be back in a few weeks!"

      1. re: trolley
        ferret RE: trolley Jan 19, 2014 07:51 AM

        The Kirkland glass bottle oil is in a tall, narrow, square-ish bottle. It's dated by year of pressing and when they're out, they're out. It's a great value.

        1. re: ferret
          trolley RE: ferret Jan 19, 2014 08:10 AM

          i got this one but i'm suspecting it's not real.

          1. re: trolley
            ferret RE: trolley Jan 19, 2014 08:33 AM

            It's real olive oil and it's very good (and a good value).

          2. re: ferret
            Bigjim68 RE: ferret Jan 22, 2014 07:40 AM

            Can you still get the Tuscan version at Costco? The last time I checked it had been replaced by a Spanish oil.

            1. re: Bigjim68
              jayt90 RE: Bigjim68 Jan 22, 2014 08:32 AM

              It usually appears every winter, following the autumn harvest and processing. It will be gone later in the year. I haven't checked this month to see what came in, but even if Spanish the QPR will be there.

              1. re: Bigjim68
                mcf RE: Bigjim68 Jan 22, 2014 09:41 AM

                If it's the Arbequina, buy it all! It's delicious and I can only occasionally get any. The Tuscan is very good and quite a bargain, too.

                1. re: mcf
                  Bigjim68 RE: mcf Jan 22, 2014 09:50 AM

                  It is the Arbequina. It came packed in two packs, and was about the same price/pack as the Tuscan/bottle.

                  1. re: Bigjim68
                    mcf RE: Bigjim68 Jan 22, 2014 09:54 AM

                    It's m favorite and while Tuscan is great and in my store year round, the Arbequina rarely is. So delicious.

            2. re: trolley
              treb RE: trolley Jan 19, 2014 08:11 AM

              Just trying to give you the true perspective on Olive Oils from Italy. The Kirkland Tuscan is a good grade extra virgin olive oil, a great value and it tastes very good. Also, try looking on-line for other possibilities, the hunt may be rewarding.

              1. re: treb
                Puffin3 RE: treb Jan 19, 2014 08:35 AM

                IMO 'real' OO is only available where it's grown. Even dealing directly with the OO grower/manufacturer you can not be 100% positive you are getting the real thing.
                How does one explain a OO grower with X number of trees capable of producing X number of gallons of 'extra virgin' OO being able to sell twice that much in one season? Happens all the time folks. European food investigators have long since discovered that many OO growers are adding other oils right at the farm before shipping.
                The myth that there is such a product as authentic extra virgin OO available in Costco is just that.
                The 'good stuff' is always only available to those who are willing to pay premium price.......for anything. Us peons are lucky to get whatever scraps are left.
                When you're paying about $180.00 a litre for Lambda OO you know you're getting the real deal. Pay $16.00 a gallon for something with an Italian looking label at a big box store and you ain't.

                1. re: Puffin3
                  treb RE: Puffin3 Jan 19, 2014 08:41 AM

                  Great explanation Puffin, most are blended and indeed we get the 'scraps', although good scraps!

                  1. re: treb
                    bob96 RE: treb Jan 19, 2014 11:16 PM

                    This is absolutely wrong. I can name dozens of estate bottled, often single varietal, extra virgins, many with DOP certification of authenticity, from Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, and Greece available at a number of retailers, form Fairway to Eataly to Olio2Go.com to Greek markets in Queens. Many are, by design and tradition, blends of varietals. Sure, there's tons of junk, tons of fraud, and tons of mediocre but still useful and real evoo, but it's just absurd to deny that in the US, we have greater access to more kinds of delicious, authentic extra virgins than the average resident of Spain or Greece, whose local supply, while most certainly "real", will likely be all he or she can get. You need to know what to look for, and it's not that mysterious.

                  2. re: Puffin3
                    trolley RE: Puffin3 Jan 19, 2014 10:01 AM

                    one can dream, right? I did read about the test that UC Davis conducted and wanted to find the results of that test. Well, i'd like to start buying this oil again.


                    I used to buy it at the farmers market in San Francisco Ferry building but then I moved away and things fell apart. I think it's a decent one.

                    1. re: trolley
                      LindaWhit RE: trolley Jan 19, 2014 02:29 PM

                      Ooh - that's available at a natural grocer in my mother's town!

                      1. re: LindaWhit
                        trolley RE: LindaWhit Jan 19, 2014 02:39 PM

                        it's heavenly stuff LindaWhit.

                        1. re: trolley
                          LindaWhit RE: trolley Jan 19, 2014 02:50 PM

                          OK, so I need to go to Shaw's in Newburyport for Bay's English muffins and then to the Natural Grocer in Newburyport for Bariani Olive Oil.

                          Oh yeah. And go visit my Mom. :-P

                    2. re: Puffin3
                      trolley RE: Puffin3 Jan 19, 2014 12:20 PM


                      and not to push the topic but it has this sticker on it. does that matter??

                  3. re: trolley
                    tardigrade RE: trolley Jan 19, 2014 01:11 PM

                    C'mon up north to the Sonoma/Napa/Orland area: there are local producers making olive oils. Jacuzzi near the town of Sonoma has a big tasting room, and IIRC there's at least one shop on the square selling locally-produced olive oils. It's a much shorter trip!

                    1. re: tardigrade
                      trolley RE: tardigrade Jan 19, 2014 01:36 PM

                      sure. but i live in colorado so it's strictly mail order. that's fine. i just want to know if there are good ones. i'm willing to let go of my kirkland.

                      1. re: trolley
                        treb RE: trolley Jan 19, 2014 02:02 PM

                        There are good ones, depending on your budget. If you have a good budget look into EVOO's from Italy as well. BTW - Kirkland is a good EVOO and great value, don't throw out the baby with the bath water.

                        1. re: treb
                          trolley RE: treb Jan 19, 2014 02:41 PM

                          the baby is still here. I looked up my olive oil and it was harvested and made in Italy so I feel better. I'm open to more local stuff like CA. I'm planning on mail ordering Bariyani as soon as I work thru this bottle.

                          1. re: trolley
                            Ttrockwood RE: trolley Jan 20, 2014 07:08 PM

                            Last time i was in napa (a few years ago now) the wonderful market in st helena had a huge variety of local olive oils. I bought-and LOVED- this one:

                            The napa valley naturals (organic) line also has some great olive oils and are more reasonably priced- also widely distributed, so check stores near you as well.

                            And i also lovelovelove their fig basalmic vinegar

                            1. re: Ttrockwood
                              trolley RE: Ttrockwood Jan 20, 2014 07:16 PM

                              thanks for the links!

                        2. re: trolley
                          Steve RE: trolley Jan 21, 2014 10:32 AM

                          Real does not mean you will like it. For example, many olive oils have a peppery finish that can be off-putting. The biggest question will be from what kinds of olives. That is much more important than any other factor. It's a waste of money to spend a lot on an olive oil you've never tasted.

                          Do you have any favorite restaurants near you that use olive oil? Ask them what they use.

                      2. re: trolley
                        rasputina RE: trolley Jan 19, 2014 01:17 PM

                        Greece has very nice olive oil too. Italy isn't the only source.

                        1. re: rasputina
                          treb RE: rasputina Jan 19, 2014 01:28 PM

                          As does Spain but, Italy produces, IMO, the best.

                      3. re: treb
                        calumin RE: treb Jan 21, 2014 10:46 PM

                        I think the most important thing you can do is to taste a number of very high-quality olive oils, regardless of price. Then you'll have a true baseline for quality, other than whether something is perceived as "real" or not.

                        I use Kirkland extra virgin oil. It's fine, but I use it for cooking when I don't need very high heat. I don't use it for salads or when I want to highlight the taste of the oil.

                        1. re: treb
                          Bugsey34 RE: treb Jan 22, 2014 06:16 AM

                          How do you know that Italy doesn't export any olio nuovo? I know for sure they do at least in small quantities. The problem is that it is ready in October/November and due to customs regulations and shipping it never gets here until February of the following year. Hence it's not really "nuovo" anymore.

                          We do bring a lot of oil back from Italy because we go regularly to see family, but it isn't enough.

                          We also love olio nuovo from Trader Joe's, which comes in winter (it's in stock now, in Boston) and stays for a short time. Apologies that I don't have the exact title of what they call it. It has a very green color and a white label written in script. It costs $14.00 for 1000mL. We buy several and use that supply throughout the year.

                        2. r
                          Raffles RE: trolley Jan 19, 2014 08:26 AM

                          The question could be "Do you like it?" I find that some of the more expensive EVOOs are wasted on my palate.

                          1. s
                            sedimental RE: trolley Jan 19, 2014 09:21 AM

                            I believe that California Olive ranch brand was tested and came out as real (100%) OO.
                            I just threw out a Kirkland brand, I thought it tasted gross. I might have got a bad batch.
                            I have had a TJ brand that I thought tasted good, but don't know if it has other oils blended in. I think it was called TJ Tuscan EVOO.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: sedimental
                              fldhkybnva RE: sedimental Jan 19, 2014 09:52 AM

                              California olive ranch as well as Trader Joes California estate are my go tos

                              1. re: fldhkybnva
                                trolley RE: fldhkybnva Jan 19, 2014 11:01 AM

                                i moved to a state with no trader joes. i've been without TJ's now for 6 sad months. They are opening one soon. I can't wait. i'll buy the oil if they carry it.

                              2. re: sedimental
                                rmarisco RE: sedimental Jan 19, 2014 10:03 AM

                                i buy california olive ranch arbequina in bulk. have for years. we love it. never have i felt the need to question it's authenticity.

                                1. re: sedimental
                                  LindaWhit RE: sedimental Jan 19, 2014 02:31 PM

                                  California Olive Ranch is excellent, as is Trader Joe's Estate brand. Agree with fieldhawk on that one.

                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                    trolley RE: LindaWhit Jan 19, 2014 02:44 PM

                                    i'm counting down the days until my TJ opens. I used to live a walk away from the original TJ's in Pasadena. That was a hard store to give up. I guess that's for another thread ;)

                                    1. re: trolley
                                      tastesgoodwhatisit RE: trolley Jan 19, 2014 07:29 PM

                                      I did not know that was the original TJs! I used to live down the street from it.

                                      1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit
                                        trolley RE: tastesgoodwhatisit Jan 19, 2014 07:42 PM

                                        There's two in Pasadena. Well, 3 if you count the one in Hastings Ranch. The original one is on Arroyo Blvd. The other one is the one my then 2 yr old (now 5) dubbed "Trader Joe's hiding" on Lake St. I really miss it! and Pasadena too :(

                                2. Caroline1 RE: trolley Jan 20, 2014 07:59 PM

                                  hmmm... "Real" olive oil versus what? That has me a bit puzzled. I'm also curious why the olive oil must be Italian? There are many truly great premium olive oils in the world. I love trying the olive oils of different countries, as well as different regions within a country. Greece is a favorite, but having visited several of the more famous groves there has undoubtedly prejudiced me just a little bit. Some truly delicious olive oils come from Morocco, Turkey, California, well many countries produce excellent olive oils. But there is only one reliable guide for great olive oils, and that is your personal taste and preferences. It could be fun to give the rest of the world a chance... '-)

                                  27 Replies
                                  1. re: Caroline1
                                    trolley RE: Caroline1 Jan 20, 2014 08:06 PM

                                    i don't care if it's from Australia as long as it's pure and not mixed with cheaper seed oils. my question was whether the bottle I bought was real or not.

                                    1. re: trolley
                                      bob96 RE: trolley Jan 20, 2014 08:37 PM

                                      Buy from an estate or producer, not a packager. Buy a bottle that has a DOP or similar seal of origin and authenticity. Buy a bottle that indicates a real place, like a village or region, not a warehouse. Buy a bottle that can tell you about the oil inside--its qualities, varieties, location. Buy a bottle with a harvest and use by date. Taste, and taste again--that's the pleasure--and find what a fresh, sound oil feels like, and find one whose flavors you like.

                                      1. re: trolley
                                        Caroline1 RE: trolley Jan 21, 2014 08:17 PM

                                        Sorry. I appear to have wrongly assumed you were knowledgeable about olive oil. Soooo... Basically what Bob said. If you want the good stuff,you have to buy the good stuff. I'm not a Costco shopper, but in the world of commerce "Kirkland" is the Costco house brand. That pretty much equates it with Walmart's "Great Value" brand in groceries, "Sam's" in sodas, and "Equate" in OTC drugs or "Trader Joe's" house brands. Going with the "Trader Joe's" labels as an example, if someone wants top quality premium wine, "Two Buck Chuck" ain't gonna cut it.

                                        There is a TON of information available to you via the web about olive oil, as well as lots of information about what "organic" REALLY means when it comes to their (plants) and our (animals) feed. If you educate yourself on the subject of how olives are pressed onto oil and how it is graded after pressing, as well as what "organic" really means, you'll be able to make your own informed decisions which is always more reliable than depending on others for information.

                                        Colavita is an extremely reliable brand of "Italian extra virgin olive oil." I've used it for years. As is Minerva's new "Village" (χωριό) brand extra virgin olive. I used Minerva when I lived in Greece, and still do when I can find it. Excellent.

                                        1. re: Caroline1
                                          acgold7 RE: Caroline1 Jan 21, 2014 11:02 PM

                                          Sorry, but with all due respect, you're mistaken about your characterization of Kirkland as a cheap low-quality alternative. Yes, it's a private label re-badging as a house brand, but unlike the other examples you mention, it is frequently of equal or higher quality than national or more-famous designer brands.

                                          Nothing could be more inappropriate than comparing Kirkland anything to Two-Buck Chuck or the Wal-Mart brands. A better comparison would be to the 365 Brand found at WF, which frequently comes out tops in tests.

                                          1. re: acgold7
                                            justicenow RE: acgold7 Jan 21, 2014 11:54 PM

                                            Agree 100%.
                                            I use the Kirkland plastic bottle olive oil and have been very happy with it.

                                            1. re: acgold7
                                              bob96 RE: acgold7 Jan 22, 2014 12:56 AM

                                              To clarify: by good I did not mean expensive. Oils like the Minerva Horio, the Kirkland Toscano or a Spanish picual evoo from Jaen or a well-balanced everyday oil from a respected Pugliese grower both for about $10/ltr, both current harvests, at the World Market housewares-food-wine chain. There are others like them that can offer sound, reliable, mostly traceable flavors, and can be excellent values. Thee are others. There are also expensive oils that are not worth it at all, sometimes because they are way too old or are just overpriced, overblown boutique packages. I think the first step is learning to identify genuine extra virgins of soundness and quality--and how they match their price points--and then to taste until you find a taste you like. Just because it's the real thing, doesn't mean you'll like it, regardless of price--there's that much variety in taste, texture, and production.

                                              1. re: bob96
                                                acgold7 RE: bob96 Jan 22, 2014 10:55 AM

                                                Excellent point. A few years ago we did a tasting at a famous small boutique producer in Tuscany, who proudly brought out his latest and greatest vintage for us, and it was so bitter and peppery it had the entire large group of us Americans in tears.

                                                We managed to swallow it but I'm sure he thought we were all uncouth, uncivilized savages. He was probably right.

                                                1. re: acgold7
                                                  mcf RE: acgold7 Jan 22, 2014 11:27 AM

                                                  One of my favorite olive oils is D.O.P. Gata Hurdes (sp?) and it has a spicy kick on its own. They say that the healthiest ones are the most peppery, higher phenols.

                                                  1. re: mcf
                                                    bob96 RE: mcf Jan 22, 2014 12:50 PM

                                                    Fairway bottles an excellent Gata Hurdes DOP, which comes from Estremadura in SW Spain. It's got a nice balance of peppery kick and smooth fruit.

                                                    1. re: bob96
                                                      mcf RE: bob96 Jan 22, 2014 01:37 PM

                                                      That's the one! It used to be sold under a different label, been buying it for years.

                                                      1. re: bob96
                                                        Ttrockwood RE: bob96 Jan 22, 2014 08:56 PM

                                                        Ooooh! That sounds great! I'll be looking for this on my next trip to fairway :)

                                                2. re: acgold7
                                                  Caroline1 RE: acgold7 Jan 22, 2014 05:25 AM

                                                  My point -- and this is a personal viewpoint based on my own personal experience -- is that when I want a premium brand, I shop for a premium brand. As I said, I am not a Costco member, but whether I want Minerva Greek olive oil or Colavita Italian olive oil or Chateau Lafitte Rothschild wine, THOSE are the brands I shop for, NOT a store (ANY store) brand.

                                                  1. re: Caroline1
                                                    mcf RE: Caroline1 Jan 22, 2014 09:46 AM

                                                    Colavita is one of the dilutred, fraudulent brands.

                                                    Costco has seriously strong quality control.

                                                    You'd do better to actually know what you're buying and recommending. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7208...

                                                    1. re: mcf
                                                      bob96 RE: mcf Jan 22, 2014 09:52 AM

                                                      Colavita may have failed the UC Davis standards test for extra virgin, but it's still olive oil. "Extra virgin" has been a loosely used term, which, thankfully, is now increasingly better regulated and enforced throughout the world. Here's an industry publication report on Colavita: make of it what you will.http://www.oliveoiltimes.com/olive-oi...

                                                      1. re: mcf
                                                        trolley RE: mcf Jan 22, 2014 09:53 AM

                                                        Thanks for this link but as I stated the UC Davis link is no longer active but I think this other thread summarized what I needed to know. I didn't get the Costco Organic but regular. It looks like my oil can be traced back by this Toscano IGP label. So it looks like it's "real". As I mentioned, I don't care if my oil is from Tunisia as long as it's real olive oil as opposed to a seed oil mix. Taste is secondary as well.

                                                        1. re: mcf
                                                          Caroline1 RE: mcf Jan 22, 2014 11:16 AM

                                                          LOL! And who is defining "fraudulent"? Here's a link to the "new" American standardized version of thee AOC's definitions.

                                                          Here is a link to the quantity package of the standard Colavita extra virgin olive oil I've been using for years and years:

                                                          For a while now, Colavita has also been offering "Mediterranean" olive oil, which is a blend of premium quality extra virgin olive oils from Italy, Spain, Greece, and Portugal. This is the blend that many less scrupulous companies market as "Italian" olive oil simply bcause they BOTTLE it in Italy. A blend is not that uncommon, nor is it illegal, but MANY American's do not understand all that much about olive oil becase as a GENERAL rule of thumb, we don't "grow up" with it.

                                                          The Colavita website is fun to explore. My own PERSONAL suspicion is that the only reason they ever introduced the EVOO BLEND of olive oils is because they signed a contract with Rachel Ray to provide her with an EVOO label... That is a personal co9njecture, and I've never read anything that stated that, but based on long usage of Colavita's olive oils (My son used to be the owner of the Colavita elite amateur development cycling team, which meant wheneve the team raced in Dallas, this mom got to host the team and Colavita is VERY generous with its host gifts from its cycling team(s) (don't even know if that's still plural, the 2005 crash did such damage to sponsorship on a world level!). Anyway, Coavita is NOT a bad guy in the olive oil owrld.

                                                          Knowing more about olive oil and learning how to read labels is very very very important! Marketing and PR firms ALWAYS put a weird spin on so very many things that the consumer is on his/her own when it comes to educating ourselves so we are "spin proof." For example, anyone up for a bottle of "gluten free" extra virgin olive oil? "Nuff said...!!!!! '-


                                                          Here are some links to Colavita's website where you can learn a lot about their products:

                                                          1. re: Caroline1
                                                            mcf RE: Caroline1 Jan 22, 2014 11:29 AM

                                                            I don't need to learn *more* about Colavita. It used to be my brand til I found better oils for less money..

                                                        2. re: Caroline1
                                                          acgold7 RE: Caroline1 Jan 22, 2014 10:57 AM

                                                          And as others have noted, Kirkland should not be put in the same category as other store brands, and a little research would have shown that. Prejudice is an ugly thing.

                                                      2. re: Caroline1
                                                        E Eto RE: Caroline1 Jan 22, 2014 06:44 AM

                                                        FYI, Trolley is concerned from the findings from the UC Davis investigation of many olive oils available in the US. Colavita was found to be one of the brands that "failed to meet the extra virgin olive oil standards, according to this study"


                                                        1. re: E Eto
                                                          trolley RE: E Eto Jan 22, 2014 06:50 AM

                                                          well, that's exactly what I was going to mention. That Colavita was one that failed and was passing off their oil as "real" when in fact it was probably a mixture of cheaper seed oils. They use the minimum amount of real olive oil and write things like "imported BY Italy". None of the report results are available on the UC Davis website. In fact, now it looks like they're selling their own oil.

                                                        2. re: Caroline1
                                                          jayt90 RE: Caroline1 Jan 22, 2014 07:22 AM

                                                          Caroline, you will have to do more research before categorizing Kirkland Tuscan EVOO with Great Value.
                                                          You mention Colavita; are you sure it is 100% Italian, let alone Tuscan?
                                                          I have tasted Kirkland against Colavita, and there is only one I would put in a salad or dipping saucer.

                                                          1. re: jayt90
                                                            bob96 RE: jayt90 Jan 22, 2014 09:27 AM

                                                            For the record,the Davis study tested oils for acidity, sensory quality, and other qualities that are associated with the term "extra virgin". Levels of acidity--or rancidity--is a baseline marker for this kind of oil, as is method of production. Colavita, like other oils, "failed" on the numbers, and on sensory defects but was not accused of passing off seed or other oils as olive oil. It never claims, also, that's Tuscan; its plant in the region of Molise uses southern olives, most likely from nearby Puglia, Italy's largest growing region, as well as its own area. I'm not a great fan of the brand, and never buy it, but have no reason to believe it's anything other than oil from olives. There have been, and are brans, that have committed these frauds, of course, as Tom Mueller has so vividly detailed. The Kirkland Toscano is IGP controlled--that is, certified as having been made from olives grown in Tuscany and made according to national and EU standards. (There are producers whose hq is indeed in Tuscany but whose oil is made from less expensive oils or olives trucked up from Puglia, Calabria, and Sicily--Tuscany produces less than 5% of the Italian crop.) Again, this designation does nothing to ensure personal pleasure, but does make it a "real' (and representative) extra virgin oil. It is, indeed, a good value. As for "premium" oils: that term's always only a personal one, and while I use value extra virgins for everyday cooking, I, too, also shop for and use smaller-production and more characterful , and, yes, expensive, oils for finishing and seasoning. Like I drink an everyday red wine most everyday, and a special red on, well, special days. But that can change, too, depending on a lot of things.

                                                            1. re: bob96
                                                              Caroline1 RE: bob96 Jan 22, 2014 08:24 PM

                                                              Yay, bob96! This whole thread is most interesting because I've been all over the UCDavis Olive Center website looking for their "report." i could find none. So I googled newspaper and magazine reports of the report. Ahah! They said I could find the report in question in .pdf format here:

                                                              As you will see if you click the link. either the "report" has been removed *OR* it never existed in the first place. I highly suspect that if there ever was such a report, it may have been removed because of gross misunderstanding and/or oversimplification. I can readily understand how such thing might happen. Anyone remember "mitochondrial Eve" and the gross misinterpretation of that scientific finding by the media?

                                                              I suspect that what has happened is that a variety of formal olive oil tastings from several formal tasting/grading sessionss and a number of lab analysis reports could be mistakenly interpreted by media to lead to the false conclusion that some classic true and pure single source/single "vintage" evoo's might not be ranked "at the top of their game" simply because EVERY crop, from grapes and olives to flowers grown for the perfume industry and tomatoes grown for the table have "vintage" years. You just don't hear about them all that much in association with foods other than wine and/or olive oil, but they do exist for all plants, and are important. And olive oil, like the grapes grown for wine, has "varietals" as well as flavor and quality that is affected by weather and the soil the trees are grown in (terroir). I would have to see a UCDavis report first hand that states Colavita or any other premium brand of single source or mixed (for flavor balance) botlings of Italian, Spanish, Poruguese, and Greek evoo's is contaminated with oils from anything but olives.

                                                              But if anyone would like more information about their particular olive oil purchase, here's the place to get it:

                                                              1. re: Caroline1
                                                                mcf RE: Caroline1 Jan 23, 2014 09:10 AM

                                                                "As you will see if you click the link. either the "report" has been removed *OR* it never existed in the first place."

                                                                The report has been removed, but it exists, and it's still widely discussed in professional conferences and industry news: http://ideas.time.com/2013/05/17/forg...

                                                                Your brand tested inferior and Kirkland was one of the few that met the highest standards.

                                                          2. re: Caroline1
                                                            treb RE: Caroline1 Jan 23, 2014 07:13 AM

                                                            I think you're very mistaken about Kirkland Brand products and I can understand your statement because you are not a Costco member. Unlike store brand labels at Sam's, TJ's Walmart etc. The Kirkland label is always 'better' in quality and price than most brand name products. As for the Tuscan Olive Oil at Costco, let's keep it in perspective a tad, at 16.00/liter it's good olive oil and a good value. It's not exceptional by any means but, better than most other store label EVOO's.

                                                        3. re: Caroline1
                                                          GH1618 RE: Caroline1 Jan 23, 2014 09:44 AM

                                                          Most olive oil produced in Italy uses Spanish olives anyway. There aren't enough Italian olives for everybody.

                                                          1. re: GH1618
                                                            bob96 RE: GH1618 Jan 23, 2014 11:25 AM

                                                            Not most, but a much the supermarket grade is. Spanish producers also find it more profitable to ship their excess (and there's lots of it) to Italy for blending by Italian or multinational companies, and then re-packaged and sold abroad in "imported from Italy" brands. The multinational sources are so labeled on the bottles. The Italian address brings them more than if they'd exported it out as Spanish olive oil.

                                                        4. p
                                                          phantomdoc RE: trolley Jan 20, 2014 08:39 PM

                                                          Not sure where this comes from but it is one of the disorganized drawers in my crowded brain.

                                                          Put the oil in a glass container in the refrigerator. The more it congeals the better the quantity of extra virgin it is.

                                                          I do not know if you can "unblend" by pouring off the liquid fraction.

                                                          1. hill food RE: trolley Jan 22, 2014 01:29 AM

                                                            Italy is genius at processing the oil. yet only a fraction is grown in that country. as some have said if you're going to get particular it really comes down to the source of the olive.

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: hill food
                                                              Caroline1 RE: hill food Jan 22, 2014 05:54 AM

                                                              The source of the olive isn't as important, in my experience, as the integrity of the producer. For example, if I want an Italian olive oil composed completely from oils pressed in Italy from Italian grown olives, I would buy Colavita, but NEVER the Pompeian brand. Olive oil is like everything else in life: you only get the best results when you know what you're doing. '-)

                                                              1. re: Caroline1
                                                                mcf RE: Caroline1 Jan 22, 2014 09:56 AM

                                                                If you want to pay premium price for an inferior product, that's your right, dammit! :-)

                                                                1. re: Caroline1
                                                                  hill food RE: Caroline1 Jan 22, 2014 06:41 PM

                                                                  oh yeesh Pompeian or Star (remember those little never used 6 ounce bottles in every pantry well into the 80's? who would only use 2 tablespoons once a year?)

                                                                  personally, I used to buy weirdo small producer Turkish or Greek by the half gallon at about $20-30 USD per. loved it, comparable in price and worth every penny. I just don't have the opp to use it that much anymore.

                                                                  1. re: Caroline1
                                                                    mcf RE: Caroline1 Jan 23, 2014 09:55 AM

                                                                    Interesting to note that Colavita is one of the companies who refused to sign onto a voluntary quality assurance process.

                                                                    Of all the fraudulent brands, only Pompeian agreed to do it.

                                                                2. o
                                                                  ohmyyum RE: trolley Jan 23, 2014 08:33 AM

                                                                  I buy the trader Joe's California estate arbequina extra virgin olive oil and I have been very pleased with it. I believe estate oils require that all the olives come from one specific ranch or farm so there's no possibility of it being cut with inferior oils. It was one of only two rated "excellent" by consumer reports, and was also recently mentioned in the Wall Street journal http://m.us.wsj.com/articles/SB100014...
                                                                  I haven't bought the Kirkland since I tried the TJ's, although I'd be interested in trying the Kirkland arbequina to see how it compared.

                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                  1. re: ohmyyum
                                                                    mcf RE: ohmyyum Jan 23, 2014 08:47 AM

                                                                    Did they test for the qualities and content the way UC Davis/Australia did?

                                                                    1. re: mcf
                                                                      ohmyyum RE: mcf Jan 23, 2014 09:30 AM

                                                                      I'm fairly certain these were both taste tests. Consumer reports may have done more quality testing, but I'd have to dig up the article to be sure.

                                                                    2. re: ohmyyum
                                                                      ohmyyum RE: ohmyyum Jan 23, 2014 12:16 PM

                                                                      I saw the toscano at costco today. $11.99/1L. The label had a protected designation sticker and a harvest date of oct/nov 2013. No sign of the arbequina.

                                                                      1. re: ohmyyum
                                                                        mcf RE: ohmyyum Jan 23, 2014 12:18 PM

                                                                        I'm going to request it at my warehouse. Odd how I can get Toscano year round and the Arbequino shows up briefly once a year for no time at all.

                                                                        1. re: mcf
                                                                          jayt90 RE: mcf Jan 23, 2014 04:40 PM

                                                                          They have to supply 600+ warehouses, so it may take awhile to get enough from a particular Ca. supplier.

                                                                          1. re: jayt90
                                                                            mcf RE: jayt90 Jan 23, 2014 07:12 PM

                                                                            I've only been able to buy it twice in two years. I think it's a bigger problem than that. Like maybe my store management isn't stocking it.

                                                                          2. re: mcf
                                                                            bob96 RE: mcf Jan 23, 2014 05:01 PM

                                                                            Never seen the arbequina at any Costco store--thanks for alerting us.

                                                                            1. re: bob96
                                                                              mcf RE: bob96 Jan 23, 2014 07:12 PM

                                                                              Happy hunting!

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