Give us your lucious, your aromatic, your fantastic Olive Oils
March 11, 2010 6:25 PM   Subscribe

What are the best Olive Oils that you always turn to?

I love Olive Oil. I love tasting it, I love dipping bread in it, I love adding it to soup, I love smelling it, I love staring at it, and if I could I would marry it [much like Usher's love for Avocados in a previous post]. But given all that I am still a novice in the world of Olive Oils, so what are the Olive Oils that you turn to in your time of need?

posted by zombieApoc to Food & Drink (25 answers total) 43 users marked this as a favorite
Unfiltered or "cloudy" olive oil. I used to get mine from Trader Joe's, but I haven't been able to find it there for about a year. It has a deep, rich, bold taste to it - unbelievably more flavorful than regular first press, extra virgin olive oil!
posted by raztaj at 6:33 PM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Bariani Olive Oil is one of the best tasting oils I've ever eaten. Everything I could say about it is said in the reviews.
posted by bam at 6:42 PM on March 11, 2010 [3 favorites]

Cooks Illustrated's most recent taste test recommended this Spanish olive oil amongst the grocery story varieties, but I don't think I've ever seen it in the store. Colavita was a close runner-up.

I buy my bulk olive oil for cooking from Trader Joe's as well; they have almost too many options to choose from (including some from Australia). And if money's not an object, the Italian EV olive oil my folks sent me from Zingerman's was fantastic - very green & slightly fruity.
posted by deludingmyself at 6:52 PM on March 11, 2010

Beaten to the punch by bam. Great oil, and they sell at farmer's markets in my city, so easy for me to get!
posted by mollymayhem at 6:53 PM on March 11, 2010

Columela. I've found it at Whole Foods. It's wonderful, but I save it for occasions where the taste of the oil is very important. For general cooking, I usually just buy a big jug of olive oil at Costco and use it to keep a smaller stove-side bottle filled. The cheap stuff doesn't have much flavor, but that's actually a "plus" for most general purpose cooking.
posted by rhartong at 7:18 PM on March 11, 2010

We Olive moved into the neighborhood and we haven't been back to the Trader Joe's or the grocery store for olive oil since. We use one for cooking (ascolano), one for salad dressing and drizzling (arbequina), and one just for popcorn (frantoio and leccino), (which, it must be noted, kicks butter's ass all the way up the street, around the corner and back down the alley, all the while maintaining its elegant mouth feel and better than butter buttery body).

Good God. What have I become?
posted by notyou at 7:20 PM on March 11, 2010 [2 favorites]

There's not a single Cobram Estate olive oil that I have not tasted and adored, and it's the best I've been able to find in Australia. I usually have a good slug of one of them in a bowl with a few pieces of crusty bread for breakfast. Hell, I used to live on the stuff.
posted by turgid dahlia at 7:43 PM on March 11, 2010

Another vote for Bariani. They also make a very nice balsamic vinegar.
posted by Quietgal at 7:48 PM on March 11, 2010

Sagittario. Very green and grassy.

(I'm biased because my mom picks and presses our own every couple years, but it tastes the same either way!)
posted by Madamina at 7:55 PM on March 11, 2010

I cannot believe no one has mentioned Frankies.

posted by RJ Reynolds at 8:16 PM on March 11, 2010

I've been using Trader Joe's Spanish olive oil. It has a little bit more of a kick than Italian oil. I like it.
posted by oinopaponton at 8:38 PM on March 11, 2010

I like my olive oil very powerfully flavored. Just to give you an idea, if you're familiar with Scotch at all, I like cask-strength Laphroaig. So with that warning, the best I've found so far is Sciabica's Manzanillo unfiltered.
posted by madmethods at 9:15 PM on March 11, 2010

Response by poster: I cannot believe no one has mentioned Frankies.

Note: We are temporarily out of stock of all sizes of our Olive Oil.
The new shipment is en route from Sicily and will be here in February.

big unhappy face.

a personal note of mine: if you don't like greek olive oil, or think you know what good greek olive oil is then give Theros a try.

I promise I will give every Oil I see in this list a shot.
posted by zombieApoc at 9:36 PM on March 11, 2010

We go through a lot of Olive Oil. For general cookery, I prefer Al Wazir from Lebanon.
Lotsa flavor.

I'm a contrarian, though. I never liked all of the oils that were supposed to be superior (you know, of the ones I've actually tried).
posted by Seamus at 10:13 PM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Note: We are temporarily out of stock of all sizes of our Olive Oil.
The new shipment is en route from Sicily and will be here in February.

posted by bam at 1:20 AM on March 12, 2010

Stonehouse - I get the big square bottle, forget the name but it is fantastic.
posted by cestmoi15 at 5:01 AM on March 12, 2010

I get my olive oil from Whole Foods' 360 line of products. It is not the best olive oil in the entire world, but it is super cheap. If you still haven't discovered your cooking standard, I'd give it a shot.
posted by mmmbacon at 6:09 AM on March 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

Just don't waste any extra-virgin on cooking. When you heat it up, you lose all those lovely flavors.

I've saved a ton of money since I figured this out. I now keep two bottles around, one nice extra-virgin for bread, salad dressings, and other no-heat applications, and a big bottle of cheap grocery store stuff for sauteeing.

And what's up with "extra-" virgin anyway? I thought virginity was more of a binary thing: either you are or you're not, right?
posted by Aizkolari at 6:18 AM on March 12, 2010

Trader Joe's Spanish Olive oil, cheap and delicious, slightly spicy.
posted by vegetableagony at 7:39 AM on March 12, 2010

I get mine from Cost Plus World Market - cheap, but delicious.
posted by echo0720 at 8:28 AM on March 12, 2010

Following up on Aizkolari's comments: The really good EV olive oils that we're talking about, especially the unfiltered ones, should not be cooked. That's a little different from not using them in cooking. You don't want to lose the aromatics, or scorch the solids in the oil or the oil itself (it has a low smoke point). In hot dishes, treat these oils like fresh herbs, adding them right at the end. That's assuming that you haven't used them up on bread or salads, or by just drinking them from a bucket :).

You can use a more refined olive oil for some higher-heat / longer-time cooking applications. For really high-heat applications, you want a highly refined oil with a high smoke point (probably not olive oil).
posted by madmethods at 9:52 AM on March 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

For really high-heat applications, you want a highly refined oil with a high smoke point (probably not olive oil)

This is key: too many people think olive oil is good for everything. Grapeseed oil is far better for frying.

If you want to find out yourself which oils yu like how about googling for "olive oil tastings" - and see if you can come out to CA sometime?
posted by lalochezia at 11:33 AM on March 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

Go to "ethnic" grocery stores (preferably in "ethnic" parts of the city.) I have found that they have a slew of olive oils that range from worse than anything you would normally buy to pretty damn good. The advantage is that they are far cheaper (10-20 dollars for 3 liters) than anything you are going to find at a regular American grocery store.
posted by SouthCNorthNY at 1:56 PM on March 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

Seamus, I get Al Wazir too, but although the label is in Arabic and I imagine the oil is produced to a Middle Eastern taste, it's a Spanish oil. At least that's what it says on the label of the bottle I'm currently using.

This is the thing: buy from somebody who's selling to people who would recognize crappy oil, somebody who has a reputation. I found the Al Wazir stuff in a beautifully cool and clean little shop in Montreal that sells mostly nuts and fruit and a few Turkish groceries. $11 for a large bottle. Spectacular.
posted by zadcat at 3:04 PM on August 25, 2010

I've got a new one! Husnu's is a well-established Turkish restaurant here in Madison, and his lovely daughters (with whom I went to school) are now selling this Turkish olive oil. In a recent test of several brands, it came out on top. (And I can vouch for it myself, too. Mmm.)

Check it out here [Facebook fan page]. It's available in Madison, Los Angeles and online.
posted by Madamina at 6:07 PM on August 25, 2010

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