Looking for Good Quality Olive Oil.

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Master Chef
Dec 25, 2006
Long Island, New York
Many of the food shows, cookbooks and even recipes online call for " Good Quality Olive Oil".

I've tried buying more expensive olive oil to see if it made a difference, and I found the brand that I bought to be very bitter ( I dont remember which brand it was cause this was a year ago). So, I went back to my less expensive choice, which is ok, but leaves me still curious about the good qualities olive oils.

I dont want to play the price game ( buying the more and more expensive options) unless I know Im getting what I pay for. I also know that higher price doesn't necessarily mean better quality.

So I guess what Im asking is what everyone else considersa good quality olive oil brand ( Looking for specific brand, not necessarily whether it is Extra Virgin or not)

I currently am using California Olive Ranch ( extra virgin) . It is very good for salad dressing and cooking. Sometimes I think it tastes a little more fruity? than other oils.

The bottle says it is non GMO which is probably why I bought it. Was available at a regular supermarket.


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Olives and olive oils have as much variation as grapes and wines, including different flavors for different seasons. For general cooking, I use Bertolli because I prefer the lighter, grassy flavor to sharper, peppery oils.

For things like salad dressing, pesto and bread, I use a specialty oil from a local store that stocks excellent quality olive oil and balsamic vinegars. You can taste them in the store before buying, like wine, so you know you'll like it. It's not a brand, though. The owner imports the oils and bottles them at purchase in the store.

Larry, with all the traveling you do, you should be able to find a shop like this: http://www.savortheolive.com/norfolk-store/
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We get the cheap stuff from Costco or Trader Joe's from our yearly foray. Works fine for me.
There's a good chance I may prefer the cheap stuff :LOL:, I just want to do a comparison to see what ( if anything) I'm missing out on or if it would make any noticeable difference in whatever Im cooking.
I've had the more expensive stuff, it tastes too sharp to me. I'll squeeze my own olives if I want more of an olive flavor :LOL:

I got a great deal a couple years ago from Fratelli Carli. Their EVOO was mild flavored. As I recall, I got 6 bottles of EVOO, a ceramic decanter, a tea towel, and an apron, all for a great price, and free shipping.
In my area some of the pricey olive oils in the import/gourmet stores have a thick film of dust on them. :ermm::ohmy::LOL:

I would start by trying the range of oils within one basic brand and decide what you like. A brand like Filippo Berio and many others offer half a dozen grades or styles of oil, gradually try them all and see what works best in your kitchen.

Explore Our Collection of Olive Oils | Filippo Berio

Right now I'm using CORA first cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, imported and distributed by a local company. It is the oil Italian grandmas buy when it is on sale. I enjoy it in salads and in cooking or as a finish drizzled on a dish. It contains oils from Spain, Tunisia, Italy and Greece, basically whatever is available. They also offer an olive oil that is labeled extra virgin, fine for cooking and not very interesting in salads.
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: http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/09/guide-to-olive-varieties.html
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There's a good chance I may prefer the cheap stuff :LOL:, I just want to do a comparison to see what ( if anything) I'm missing out on or if it would make any noticeable difference in whatever Im cooking.

And you might! ;) When we get to BJ's, I buy their brand for cooking, but not for raw or lightly cooked dishes.

You're lucky, as your location makes this an easy prospect.

Look up the nearest Fairway supermarket. Get in your car and drive there.

I love Fairway and their house Olive oils have been my go to for 15 years now. They have a large olive oil department with loads of choices but what I use is their oils which they have imported from all over the world and bottled themselves. They have a tasting bar for these oils and good descriptions of their qualities. The prices are reasonable for the quality.

Then shop all the other terrific areas of the store!


At Fairway, we’re olive oil geniuses. We’ve travelled the world and brought you back the very best oils from small family growers and millers who have been perfecting their craft for generations. These olive oils are shipped directly to Fairway in 200-liter barrels; we bottle and label them. The result: fresher, tastier oil than anywhere, at wonderful prices. We've made it our life's work to go to tiny towns in Portugal, in France, in Sicily, the kinds of off-the-beaten-path places most would never bother to explore, so that you don't have to go anywhere besides your Fairway for exquisite and highly tasty finds."
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Not sure if these 2 brands have been mentioned but for cooking I use Zoe and for dressings and dips I use Olive Oak Ranch...

A good way to try different oils is "home goods/marshalls stores, they have a little kitchen section that always has bottles of oil littered here and there, I have gotten some good deals, oils marked $80 a bottle for $7 {in date}, some have been OK, and some have been excellent, actually how I found olive oak ranch, and its about the best I have ever tasted... I cook with it too, but its kind of expensive for lubricating onions and garlic, I honestly cant tell the difference between many olive oils once they are cooked with all the other flavors. But for dips, dressings, and in and on my breads, I LOVE the olive oak, give it a try, its really nice stuff..
Both, Just something that someone would consider higher quality. There are too many bottles on the shelf for me to experiment with.

The reason I ask is because I use different olive oils depending on whether or not I'm cooking with it.

For cooking, the one I buy most often is Whole Food's 365 California Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It has a mild flavor and the price in this area is usually less than $5 for a 16 oz (?) bottle.

For salads or finishing/dipping oil for vegetables, I usually buy something from a local specialty shop. The one advantage to shopping at these places is that you can usually taste everything before you buy. The disadvantage is that the prices are fairly high. But I've found the quality to be very good, and some of the oils are very nuanced and delicious.
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I also like California Olive Ranch. $9 -12 for the liter bottle depending on where you buy it.
I have been buying and using with success Kirklands Extra Virgin olive oil. Imported from Italy. Costco brand.

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.
The two oils the staff picked were both almost $40 a liter.
A bit to high priced for me. Especially since I would not know unless someone told me what i was using was sub standard.

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