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Olive Oil

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by The Wayfarer, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. The Wayfarer

    The Wayfarer Senior member

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    More and more I am beginning to appreciate the importance of quality olive oil in cooking. The cheapo $20 jug from Giant Eagle just isn't adequate for me and seems to ruin many of my otherwise delicious meals. I feel I need to turn it up a notch and use higher quality ingredients. I do it with my cocktails, produce, and seasonings, so I really ought to apply the same to my cooking oils.

    With that said, what olive oil would you personally recommend? I'm looking for both a multi-purpose oil to buy in bulk, as well as a more premium finishing oil. I've access to Greek/Italian/Mediterranean markets, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, etc.
     
  2. DNW

    DNW Senior member

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    I'm using Colavita EVOO from a local Trade Fair store. So far, I'm happy with it. I use it to cook with, as well as to dip bread in.
     
  3. lpresq

    lpresq Senior member

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    I've never been a fan of Spanish olive oils (not much flavor). IMO, Trader Joe's brand first cold-pressed olive oil is much better than any of the overly marketed Italian branded oils.
     
  4. buffalojump

    buffalojump Member

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    I like using Colavita EVOO Fruttato (extra fruity) for OO recipes requiring no heat.
     
  5. alliswell

    alliswell Senior member

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    OP-

    Find a Greek grocery store. Buy a 5L tin of Chorio for $20. Don't even think of buying Italian oil again. And use it for everything, even seasoning your grill.
     
  6. syracuse1976

    syracuse1976 Senior member

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    Wegmans Sicilian is excellent.
     
  7. rocks

    rocks Senior member

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    OP-

    Find a Greek grocery store. Buy a 5L tin of Chorio for $20. Don't even think of buying Italian oil again. And use it for everything, even seasoning your grill.


    I'll remember this suggestion next time, for years I've been using a Spanish brand, time for a change.
     
  8. JohnRov

    JohnRov Well-Known Member

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    Taste a bunch and see what you like. You should have a lower priced oil to cook with and some other, higher quality oils to use raw and finish dishes with.
     
  9. Connemara

    Connemara Senior member

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    Whatever you do, don't get the "Super light tasting!" garbage.
     
  10. HitMan009

    HitMan009 Senior member

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    I would go for any decent priced olive oil from greece. I brought a 750ml bottle from the island of crete for $14.99 at Whole Foods when it was on sale. It was by far better then any other italian olive oil I have ever bought. When I worked in Paris for a while, I brought a brand named SITIA. It was delicious. Full of olive flavor with none of the bitter or acidic edge I get from an italian olive oil. If someone can find a place where I can buy this brand in the states, please let me know.
     
  11. cheessus

    cheessus Senior member

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    +1 on Greek olive oil, it's the best.
     
  12. kaxixi

    kaxixi Senior member

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    Can vouch for TJ's oil--good price/quality.

    If you frequent supermarkets with a large kosher section, Israeli olive oil tends to be pretty flavorful, but I don't really go out of my way to get it.

    Will try the Greek oil recommended here.
     
  13. Despos

    Despos Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I get this in restaurants but can't find it in stores. The olive oil is much more green than gold in color and tastes more on the fruit/sweet side. I've asked at a couple of specialty stores thinking they were knowledgeable enough but they could not identify a brand. Anybody know what I am asking?
     
  14. Tarmac

    Tarmac Senior member

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    I've never been a fan of Spanish olive oils (not much flavor). IMO, Trader Joe's brand first cold-pressed olive oil is much better than any of the overly marketed Italian branded oils.
    I'm the opposite. I go for Spanish Hojiblanca every time. I avoid Italian olive oil unless I can sample it beforehand
     
  15. SField

    SField Senior member

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    OP-

    Find a Greek grocery store. Buy a 5L tin of Chorio for $20. Don't even think of buying Italian oil again. And use it for everything, even seasoning your grill.


    What's your reasoning? Greek olive oil is fine, but you realize that there are many, many varieties, and Greek food isn't exactly the height of cuisine. It's about as unsophisticated as you can get, and I do think that italians have stuff that is as least as good, and is probably the reason why most chefs use good italian olive oils.

    EDIT: I just realized that I've tried this Chorio. There's an excellent reason why 5 litres of the shit costs $20. I remember working in a kitchen at Cap Grille with this hairy sweaty Greek bastard who always went on about Greek olive oil. We did blind tastings and it wasn't the blow out he said it would be.

    For anyone with tastebuds and any kind of exposure to food apart from McDonalds and olive garden, treat yourself to something a little better.
     
  16. Baron

    Baron Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I've been using a Greek oil that I buy from a guy at a local farmer's market (Eliki is the brand). I get that one because I tasted it at the stand and I really liked it. I've had other very good oils from Italy, France and California - I don't think the country of origin means all that much. You really need to find a good gourmet food store or other vendor where you can taste a few of the oils get the one that you like the best. There is variety of flavor among good oils, so tasting is the best way to find what you like.
     
  17. GQgeek

    GQgeek Senior member

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    I use Ravagni if I'm not using heat or mixing with something that would make it pointless to use a $30 oil. Sometimes I'll try something else but I buy this more often than not. If I'm using heat, I use cheaper stuff, so I always have at least 2 bottles on-hand.
     
  18. GQgeek

    GQgeek Senior member

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  19. SField

    SField Senior member

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    I've been using a Greek oil that I buy from a guy at a local farmer's market (Eliki is the brand). I get that one because I tasted it at the stand and I really liked it. I've had other very good oils from Italy, France and California - I don't think the country of origin means all that much. You really need to find a good gourmet food store or other vendor where you can taste a few of the oils get the one that you like the best. There is variety of flavor among good oils, so tasting is the best way to find what you like.

    It doesn't matter but there are some distinct greek oils that are very assertive. For quite a long time Greeks have been selling their oil to italian brands that just market it under their own marquee so it's a bit of a misnomer, but there are differences in the typical oils.
     
  20. King Francis

    King Francis Senior member

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    What's your reasoning? Greek olive oil is fine, but you realize that there are many, many varieties, and Greek food isn't exactly the height of cuisine. It's about as unsophisticated as you can get, and I do think that italians have stuff that is as least as good, and is probably the reason why most chefs use good italian olive oils. EDIT: I just realized that I've tried this Chorio. There's an excellent reason why 5 litres of the shit costs $20. I remember working in a kitchen at Cap Grille with this hairy sweaty Greek bastard who always went on about Greek olive oil. We did blind tastings and it wasn't the blow out he said it would be. For anyone with tastebuds and any kind of exposure to food apart from McDonalds and olive garden, treat yourself to something a little better.
    You saved me the trouble of saying this. I agree completely. And another thing: it's practical in a sense to save your good olive oils for finishing and use your supermarket extra-virgins in the pan. On the other hand, you should realize that nice oils degrade rather quickly over time, and that most people -- especially if they've got several bottles in their cabinet -- are not going to be able to use up their supply of the good stuff in time if they reserve it only for finishing and dipping. Applying heat does cause many of the more subtle characteristics of a fine EVOO to break down, but it will still be evident in your plated dish that you used a high-quality oil to prepare it. So in other words, don't be so stingy with the good stuff.
     

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