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Old 01-05-2015, 12:48 PM   #21
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Larry, The unrefined oils are in fact bitterer. Americans are not used to the pure taste of olive oil, if you travel to olive oil producing countries you will find that oils taste completely different than what is sold here. The latest reports I've read about oil, do not like Italian produced oils, but do praise Spanish, California and some other producers. However those are not most common, or most reasonably priced ones you find in the store. I say stick with what you like, rather than what somebody tells you “is better”.
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Old 01-05-2015, 12:54 PM   #22
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I say stick with what you like, rather than what somebody tells you “is better”.
I agree %100, Just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing out on something that I have yet to try. And with so many brands/ varieties to choose from, I figured I'd get a smaller sample to try by posting this question, rather than just randomly grabbing bottles off the shelf.
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Old 01-05-2015, 12:59 PM   #23
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I'll have to check our local Fairway. Didn't realize they might carry a good variety, though we have a really small store here, so maybe not.
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Old 01-05-2015, 01:00 PM   #24
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I'm really glad that my palate is suited to less expensive olive oils. I usually get a name brand at the club store and I'm OK with that.
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Old 01-05-2015, 01:03 PM   #25
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P.A.G. prefers Colavita EVOO. I like it ok, but prefere Carapelli, and Bertoli myself. I have some expensive olive oil, but don't find the flavor profile to be significantly better for my tastes. I don't like Pompei olive oil at all.

No one can really tell you which one is right for you. People's tongues are just built differently. Try a couple of mid-priced oils, or see if you can sample a few with crusty bread. Only you can tell what's right for you.

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Old 01-05-2015, 01:19 PM   #26
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I was watching the "Cooking" magazine show yesterday and they did a small segment on olive oils.
He said the US was the dumping grounds for European olive oils. Oils that did not always meet the high standards in the European market.
I'm pretty sure I would not be taking advice from someone with that kind of attitude.
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Old 01-05-2015, 01:46 PM   #27
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There are many types of olives with different flavors, just like grapes for wine, so trying "an expensive olive oil" means you've tried only one of several out there. There is a range of flavors from sweet and grassy to peppery to bitter.

An EVOO/balsamic vinegar store opened near my brother at least 10 years ago and I spent an afternoon tasting them. Talking to the owner was like talking to a wine sommelier. So much fun! Then, a few years later, a similar store opened in my area and I was thrilled that I didn't have to order it online anymore.

So if there's one near you, give it a try. It's really nice having an amazing olive oil to use for salad, pesto, etc. I don't cook with it, though. Cooking changes the flavor and it's too expensive to use it that much.

More info: A Beginner's Guide to Olives: 14 Varieties Worth Seeking Out | Serious Eats
There is an olive oil/balsamic vinegar store that opened right next door to the Savory Spice shop in Littleton (suburb south of Denver) where I get many of my herbs and spices. It makes the stop at Savory more costly and time consuming than it used to be. Fortunately we now have a 2˝ drive to get there, so I don't go as often... but it's still too easy to drop a quick C bill shopping online.
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Old 01-05-2015, 01:52 PM   #28
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I've had unfiltered, really green olive oil that was just drizzled on crusty bread. It was from the first cold press. That stuff was heaven as a finishing oil or just as I had it, on bread. Kick myself for not bring some back.
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Old 01-05-2015, 02:25 PM   #29
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I just want to get extra virgin olive oil if I'm paying for it. The olive oil business is almost as crooked as the honey business, and I stay with domestically produced olive oils (not just domestically bottled or labeled). Most of the big-name European imports and domestic importers like Whole Foods and Rachael Ray have failed testing in one way or another, the worst being adulteration with every kind of oil imaginable, including lard(!!) and the hideous substitution as a food ingredient for "olive oil" described officially as "Swill or gutter oil (refined oil from recycled food and livestock waste)."

So far as I know, all but one California EVOO passed quality testing. I also favor California Olive Ranch, the Texas oils still being real pricey.

The ancients had the same problem. That's why Roman amphora that held the reliable lines of olive oil were marked with the production location, the seller, the importer, and the name of the official who confirmed all that information. Roman imperial officials kept an eye on this, but the FDA will not protect you. They don't have the resources. You have to choose so that you know the source, otherwise it sadly looks like you can pretty much assume a high risk of fraud.
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Old 01-05-2015, 02:28 PM   #30
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I've had unfiltered, really green olive oil that was just drizzled on crusty bread. It was from the first cold press. That stuff was heaven as a finishing oil or just as I had it, on bread. Kick myself for not bring some back.
Dip that bread in the first pressed EVOO, toast over fire, rub with raw garlic, and you have the original, and in my opinion, best bruschetta, which was a way to test the flavor of the oil. Mmmmmm.

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