Favorite brands of extra-virgin olive oil

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Tedbear
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2005/05/22 18:50:17 (permalink)

Favorite brands of extra-virgin olive oil

Although I don't think that I ever tasted an extra-virgin olive oil that I didn't like, there are certainly some taste differences from brand to brand. Last year, Consumer Reports rated Goya as the best value, after considering taste versus price.

I bought some Goya E.V. olive oil, and I have to agree with C.R. that it is a very tasty oil. Since that time, I have stopped buying the Bertolli and Filippo Berio brands that are more expensive, yet have much less flavor. I have also found that Carapelli E.V. olive oil is somewhat lacking in flavor, as compared to the Goya brand.

While I am sure that some people would consider a stronger taste to be a shortcoming, I favor an olive oil with a pronounced taste. What are some of your favorites?
#1

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    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Favorite brands of extra-virgin olive oil 2005/05/22 19:34:47 (permalink)
    My regular cooking brand of extra virgin olive oil is Colavita. I buy that in large cans. Of late I've been using a Barbera Rais from Italy's Trapanni valley as the good stuff.
    #2
    forurlungsonly
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    RE: Favorite brands of extra-virgin olive oil 2005/05/22 20:20:23 (permalink)
    After reading that same Consumer Reports I tried Goya, and it's all I buy these days, too. It's very good and not too pricey!
    #3
    BT
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    RE: Favorite brands of extra-virgin olive oil 2005/05/23 01:25:09 (permalink)
    I like Greek oil. I think it's got more flavor than Italian. So I buy the Kalamata brand oil at Trader Joe's.

    I can't imagine anyone not thinking a good, strong flavor is a plus in an extra virgin oil. If you don't want a strong flavor, as you might not for making mayonaise or some other purposes, you can buy virgin oil or even the "pure" stuff. But the reason to buy extra virgin, in my opinion, is the intense flavor along with similarly intense color and smell.

    I assume the Goya oil that others here like is Spanish. I generally have also liked the Spanish oils that I have tried, but based on price I don't think you can beat the various oils available at TJ's including their own brands.
    #4
    zataar
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    RE: Favorite brands of extra-virgin olive oil 2005/05/23 10:14:37 (permalink)
    I like Sultan brand distributed by a Turkish company. At home we cook quite a bit of middle eastern and eastern mediterranean food. Sultan works perfectly for arabic food. Someone gave me a bottle of Tunisian olive oil that isn't available in the states. It was very nice. Super floral qualities, so I used it for mezzes. At work we use good old Kirkland from Costco.
    #5
    dctourist
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    RE: Favorite brands of extra-virgin olive oil 2005/05/23 11:05:39 (permalink)
    I use Colavita or basic Trader Joe's for cooking and a variety of "better" oils for caprese salad, dressings, etc. When I say "better" I actually mean fancier or more expensive - often I haven't actually tasted them first, and I like to try a variety. I had some Greek olive oil recently that I bought in a restaurant, and it was pretty good.
    #6
    Jennifer_4
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    RE: Favorite brands of extra-virgin olive oil 2005/05/23 11:35:49 (permalink)
    I buy a local brand, Oberti. They also sell olives (canned black and green) and have been around for decades.
    #7
    1bbqboy
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    RE: Favorite brands of extra-virgin olive oil 2005/05/23 12:39:11 (permalink)
    This gentleman, Jim Dixon, imports small brands and batches. He's a Portland foodie and self described "olive oil geek".
    http://www.realgoodfood.com/

    Bill
    #8
    QFan
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    RE: Favorite brands of extra-virgin olive oil 2005/05/23 18:43:31 (permalink)
    For those of you who may get down to this part of Florida (Naples/Ft Myers) occasionally, there is a specialty food chain called "extra virgin olive oil" or EVOO for short. It's kind of like Fresh Market with lots of gourmet type food selections you won't always find in the large supermarket chain stores. Yes, they do carry several hard to find imported olive oils as well as other neat stuff. A little on the pricey side, but lots of fun to browse through and occasionally make an impulse purchase or two to satisfy those inner foodie urges!

    QFan
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    #9
    Bushie
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    RE: Favorite brands of extra-virgin olive oil 2005/05/23 21:48:35 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by bill voss

    This gentleman, Jim Dixon, imports small brands and batches. He's a Portland foodie and self described "olive oil geek".
    http://www.realgoodfood.com/

    Bill

    As is almost always the case, bill voss is right. I order from Jim 2 or 3 times every year. My favorite is the Olio Novo. Order 2 bottles at a time to save on shipping, and it really doesn't cost more than buying 2 bottles of primo EVOO in your local stores. I also highly recommend the Flor de Sal from him.

    Buy cheaper stuff to cook with, but the Olio Novo is awesome for drizzlin' or just drinking straight from the bottle!
    #10
    BT
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    RE: Favorite brands of extra-virgin olive oil 2005/05/23 23:09:10 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Bushie

    quote:
    Originally posted by bill voss

    This gentleman, Jim Dixon, imports small brands and batches. He's a Portland foodie and self described "olive oil geek".
    http://www.realgoodfood.com/

    Bill

    As is almost always the case, bill voss is right. I order from Jim 2 or 3 times every year. My favorite is the Olio Novo. Order 2 bottles at a time to save on shipping, and it really doesn't cost more than buying 2 bottles of primo EVOO in your local stores. I also highly recommend the Flor de Sal from him.

    Buy cheaper stuff to cook with, but the Olio Novo is awesome for drizzlin' or just drinking straight from the bottle!


    I'm going to disagree even though I expect to get voted down. I've tried a lot of oil from the least to the most expensive. Here in CA there's a substantial and growing industry in "estate bottled" boutique oils as well as a ready availability in gourmet stores of lots of European oils. I personally don't find that I am any more likely to really like an expensive oil than an inexpensive one (I am talking here only about extra virgin oil). They are all different and quite often I like the cheaper ones as well. But I do find that the price/quality equation works best with Italian and French oils because those are better known and more widely marketed and are usually what people looking for a high quality oil buy, whereas the oils from places like Spain, Greece, even North Africa and, as someone mentioned, Turkey go unrecognized and I can often get an oil I really like much less expensively.
    #11
    Danmel
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    RE: Favorite brands of extra-virgin olive oil 2005/05/24 09:50:15 (permalink)
    I like the Colavita too- nice and fruity. If it counts for anything the obsessive-compulsives at Cook's Magazine liked it best too!
    #12
    Scallion1
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    RE: Favorite brands of extra-virgin olive oil 2005/05/26 13:37:15 (permalink)
    I've used dozens of different labels over the years, some great, some indifferent. But my favorite - and it's for sure not an all-purpose evo - is Madre Sicilia. Very heavy, slightly pungent. And it's probably worth noting that it goes very well with Sicilian food, amazingly enough.

    Tasting olive oils is like tasting wines. You can do vertical tastings, and blind tastings, and come away with some interesting ideas. A perfectly valid enterprise. But olive oil, like wine, is meant to be consumed with food, and, more often than not, with food from the same area. A delicate oil from the French Riviera wouldn't work, for me, with hearty Sicilian or Greek or Mexican food, full of garlic and possibly chiles, and oils from those countries might easily overwhelm the more subtle flavors of French or Northern Italian food.
    #13
    santacruz
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    RE: Favorite brands of extra-virgin olive oil 2005/05/26 14:22:50 (permalink)
    I use Trader Joe's Greek Kalamata or Presidents e.v.o.o. for cooking. For salads and dipping I use Trader Joe's California estates it is very good quality for the price.
    #14
    WVHillbilly
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    RE: Favorite brands of extra-virgin olive oil 2006/05/25 13:44:46 (permalink)
    I've used most of the available olive oils I can find locally. If you were to compare side by side, there might be some subtle differences, but not much, and when used for cooking the differences disappear.
    I use Kroger's Premium ev olive oil. It's the least expensive.
    #15
    V960
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    RE: Favorite brands of extra-virgin olive oil 2006/05/30 16:42:25 (permalink)
    I like the house brand at World Market. $8/liter seems to be a good deal for the quality.
    #16
    MandalayVA
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    RE: Favorite brands of extra-virgin olive oil 2006/05/30 18:56:23 (permalink)
    I use Stew Leonard's EVOO--around $5 for more than a liter, decent tasting. His son Tom opened a "farmers market" in the West End of Richmond and in the summer you can't beat it for good cheap veggies and olive oil. The meat's not bad either.
    #17
    enginecapt
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    RE: Favorite brands of extra-virgin olive oil 2006/05/30 20:20:48 (permalink)
    Fusano of Exeter, CA.

    http://www.fusanoolives.com/
    #18
    Ciaoman
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    RE: Favorite brands of extra-virgin olive oil 2006/06/28 21:27:23 (permalink)
    Speaking of olive oil, does anyone remember when Williams-Sonoma had olive oil bars in their stores where you could taste a variety of oils from various regions? I recall liking the oil from Umbria very much. W-S had bowls or bread cubes for dipping. Does anyone know if any of their locations still do that?
    #19
    roossy90
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    RE: Favorite brands of extra-virgin olive oil 2006/06/29 02:27:56 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Parses6

    D'annini EVOO from Pienza Italy

    Parses loves to drag up an old dead thread. You amaze me. you really do.
    have you no imagination parses?
    you really dont, since you dwell on ketchup.
    why do you do this and never come back to check on the hornets nest you love to disturb you little twerp.
    Dont you have a mind of your own and post your own thoughts?
    #20
    tacchino
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    RE: Favorite brands of extra-virgin olive oil 2006/06/29 04:44:29 (permalink)
    Guess I'll add to the posts, even though the original posting is over a year old.
    Goya is a wonderfully fruity, tasty olive oil, and reasonably priced. One of the issues that has plagued the high-end oils from Italy has been the fact that some of these well-know brands have been known to blend low-cost Spanish and Greek olive oils with the Italian ones. Of course, the price will be much higher!!

    So, buyer beware...be sure to check the labels of oils that you purchase. Just because it has an Italian name, and an Italian label, does not mean that you are getting pure Italian olive oil.

    Even in Italy, they will consume Spanish (and Greek) olive oil, acknowledging that it is perfectly acceptable, frequently of good quality, and still cheaper than Italian oil
    #21
    Tedbear
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    RE: Favorite brands of extra-virgin olive oil 2006/06/29 06:48:29 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Ciaoman

    Speaking of olive oil, does anyone remember when Williams-Sonoma had olive oil bars in their stores where you could taste a variety of oils from various regions? I recall liking the oil from Umbria very much. W-S had bowls or bread cubes for dipping. Does anyone know if any of their locations still do that?



    The W.S. store at the Short Hills Mall in New Jersey allows you to sample both olive oils and vinegars with bread cubes.
    #22
    Tedbear
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    RE: Favorite brands of extra-virgin olive oil 2006/06/29 06:52:23 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by tacchino

    Guess I'll add to the posts, even though the original posting is over a year old.
    Goya is a wonderfully fruity, tasty olive oil, and reasonably priced. One of the issues that has plagued the high-end oils from Italy has been the fact that some of these well-know brands have been known to blend low-cost Spanish and Greek olive oils with the Italian ones. Of course, the price will be much higher!!

    So, buyer beware...be sure to check the labels of oils that you purchase. Just because it has an Italian name, and an Italian label, does not mean that you are getting pure Italian olive oil.

    Even in Italy, they will consume Spanish (and Greek) olive oil, acknowledging that it is perfectly acceptable, frequently of good quality, and still cheaper than Italian oil


    Don't be so fast to put down the Spanish oils! There was a study published last year in one of the medical journals that found the Spanish olive oils to contain more of the health-giving antioxidants than the olive oils from Italy, Greece, etc. I actually seek out the Spanish olive oils, as I already liked the flavor of many of them, and now I have any even better reason to like them.
    #23
    jmckee
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    RE: Favorite brands of extra-virgin olive oil 2006/06/29 08:29:44 (permalink)
    DaVinci brand is available in many supermarkets, and it's quite good; if I don't feel flush enough to buy "high end" oil, it's what I use for salads, mayo, etc. Frankly, I can't tell much difference between it and some of the stuff I've bought at "gourmet" stores. Now, it's an Italian style oil. I've not found a good "cheap" French style oil.
    #24
    Jimeats
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    RE: Favorite brands of extra-virgin olive oil 2006/06/29 09:42:28 (permalink)
    I like some old posts, some are worthy of resurection. Olive oil can be like wine we all have our favorites. Some are hearty and some are light. I as a rule buy Italian first cold pressed. I do like a Spanish oil as well and they are saying that California is producing some nice oils now. Trader Joe's to me you get the best bang for your buck the wine isn't bad also 2 buck chuck. Chow Jim
    #25
    Catracks
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    RE: Favorite brands of extra-virgin olive oil 2006/06/29 21:36:51 (permalink)
    Colavita or Santini. First cold press. Love the fruitiness. Some say not to fry with it, but eggs fried in extra virgin are soooooooo incredibly good!
    #26
    fabulousoyster
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    RE: Favorite brands of extra-virgin olive oil 2006/06/30 11:34:43 (permalink)
    I was raised with Goya and I buy any extra virgin on sale, but always return to Goya.
    #27
    boyardee65
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    RE: Favorite brands of extra-virgin olive oil 2006/06/30 14:17:23 (permalink)
    I like the Filipo brand the best right now but I also like to try some of the Top shelf brands. As for cooking. I uase a blended oil and real butter 1/2&1/2. Keeps the flavor nice and balanced.


    David O.
    #28
    aleswench
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    RE: Favorite brands of extra-virgin olive oil 2006/06/30 15:10:29 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by forurlungsonly

    After reading that same Consumer Reports I tried Goya, and it's all I buy these days, too. It's very good and not too pricey!


    I was going to post the same exact thing - practically word for word!
    #29
    repartee
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    RE: Favorite brands of extra-virgin olive oil 2006/07/04 22:58:08 (permalink)
    I use Mancianti Afforiato. Apparently it has some acclaim and is well loved according to the net.

    Tried it here in Tokyo years ago and finally tracked it down.
    #30
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