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Old 11-24-2006, 06:11 AM   #1
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What is your favourite Olive Oil?

For once, I'm going to ask a serious question.

Having just experienced 2 Xmas bazaars, I was left with the distinct feeling that everyone looks for something NEW. 3 items were particularily successful; a hot garlic sauce, an Indian condiment called Kasundi, and a neat little concoction I called "Christmas Chutney"!
Next year I want to import some decent, but not TOOOOO expensive, Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Most decent brands here sell at about $10 a bottle (500cc, 750cc or 1lt), but it's always the same old stuff; El Gallo, La Española, Monaco, Colavita, Di Cecco, Bertorelli. I want to find something different. It could be a little more expensive, it could just be a little out of the way ( Turkish or Greek, for example). Project for this year, then - learn all about olive oil.

And that is where you can all help, with your vast experience in things culinary. Any suggestions, ideas, thoughts, brand names that you love?

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Old 11-24-2006, 06:31 AM   #2
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Clive - when we go to Crete, we always pick up a supply of this oil. My husband loves it as a dipping oil! Unfortunately, we've run out of this oil, and I've never seen it on the shelves here, so stocking up will have to await our next visit

http://kanakis.rethymnon.com/


Edited to add: looks like they are trying to expand their overseas markets, so you may be able to cut a deal with them!

Carluccio's restaurants now have shops attached to many of the branches (don't know if you remember him? Great Italian chef based in London) He sells a wonderful Ligurian olive oil - Here's info http://www.carluccios.com/products/p...nc=show&id=155
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Old 11-24-2006, 07:38 AM   #3
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Bertolli extra virgin is just fine with me. I see no need to spend a million bucks on fancy olive oil. After all, you aren't deep frying in it (I certainly hope not!) But I really don't really care if it's extra virgin since I mostly use olive oil for sauteeing onions, garlic, etc. and which press it came from really doesn't matter.

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Old 11-24-2006, 07:58 AM   #4
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As you could predict, I'm sure, you'll hear from me and from Boufa that Greek oil can be absolutely superb. Mind you, I'm not necessarily a believer in name brands, so while I'm happy to provide you with some I've tried and am happy with, I need also to say that names aren't the key to getting quality oil.

Right now, for instance, we buy an oil that Lidl (huge German chain of ultra-discount supermarkets) private labels. It's significantly cheaper than many other oils, and yet it's lovely oil ...

Please do consider the Greek oils. My understanding of the domination of the U.S. market by the Italians is that it's a ... well, a Sopranos thing. Having tasted oil from both countries, I truly don't believe it's a quality issue.
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Old 11-24-2006, 07:59 AM   #5
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Are you looking for olive oil to cook with or to use in dressings and the like?
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Old 11-24-2006, 08:04 AM   #6
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But it DOES matter if you like it for dressings or for just dipping!
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Old 11-24-2006, 08:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrton
Please do consider the Greek oils. My understanding of the domination of the U.S. market by the Italians is that it's a ... well, a Sopranos thing. Having tasted oil from both countries, I truly don't believe it's a quality issue.
I don't have cable or satellite television but I've heard of The Sopranos and it doesn't sound like something I want to see.

I've had Spanish olive oil and it's delicious. Greek, I'm sure it's also great. But I'm not really sure I care where the olives are grown, could be southern California for all I care, as long as it doesn't cost me an arm and a leg. I don't use it for everything, you see.

I have the same feeling about balsamic vinegar. It's not "all that" in my book so I'm not going to spend $50 for a bottle when I can get one for $5.

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Old 11-24-2006, 08:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FraidKnot
I don't have cable or satellite television but I've heard of The Sopranos and it doesn't sound like something I want to see.
What you've heard, then, is that it's a violent show, right? It is that, sometimes, but it's also warm and funny and very real with wonderful, full characters and excellent acting. (Gosh, is it obvious I'm a devoted fan?!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by FraidKnot
I've had Spanish olive oil and it's delicious. Greek, I'm sure it's also great. But I'm not really sure I care where the olives are grown, could be southern California for all I care, as long as it doesn't cost me an arm and a leg. I don't use it for everything, you see.
Agreed. Frankly, olive oil produced from wherever olives can be grown is potentially good oil.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FraidKnot
I have the same feeling about balsamic vinegar. It's not "all that" in my book so I'm not going to spend $50 for a bottle when I can get one for $5.
May I just point out that most likely the $5 bottle is imitation and the $50 bottle is the real deal?
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Old 11-24-2006, 08:40 AM   #9
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I'd LOVE to buy balsamic vinegar at 5 pounds a bottle, never mind 5 dollars... But, like Ayrton, I suspect it's not balsamic from Modena...

PS I love the Sopranos, too..... One of the best US series currently on UK TV.
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Old 11-24-2006, 09:54 AM   #10
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I regularly use Bertolli VOO for cooking purposes. I've not made dipping sauces or dressings, but I would certainly use EVOO for those. I know Bertolli makes EVOO, and I would likely give it a try, but I would also like to try some of the more exotic EVOOs to see what the differences might be.

I went with Bertolli because it was affordable, but I didn't want to go with the cheapest.
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