Quality Olive Oil?

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Howdy KKF,

What are your recommendations for good quality olive oils? I'm mostly interested here in finishing vs. cooking. Dressings, drizzling over pasta, bread, etc.
 
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We use extra virgin olive oil daily in our home kitchen, so we buy the 2L bottles of Kirkland brand at Costco for about $15.00. It's an Italian cold first press, and it works for us as an excellent all-purpose olive oil. Not boutique by any means, but reliable, reasonably priced, and we find it sufficient for the purposes you mention, among others.
 
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Jovidah

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Don't have any specific brand recommendations, but my general observations from when I dug into this a few years ago:

-I don't see any reason to buy anything but good extra virgin olive oil. By the time olive oil is processed and filtered enough to withstand higher temperatures any of its taste and health benefits are gone and you might as well use any other high temperature product like peanut oil, rice oil, clarified butter, etc.
-If you want to fry in EVOO, make sure it doesn't get too hot as the oil doesn't stand up well to that.
-Most of the stuff sold as EVOO in supermarkets (at least over here) is still garbage, so don't just let that guide you.
-Good oil doesn't necessarily have to cost a fortune, I normally use a canned brand that's similarly priced to supermarket stuff but it's simply miles better.
-In the end it is somewhat personal preference which oil you prefer taste-wise, so it can help to just experiment a bit and see what you like.
-Ideally buy from a place that has a decent turnover since good oil doesn't have an unlimited shelf life.
 

Delat

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Do a search to see if you have a local specialty store - it’s very cool when you get the opportunity to sample different oils - they’re all distinctively different. Sometimes you can find olive oil vendors at farmer’s markets too, where they’ll let you sample. I do that for drizzling/finishing oils, and oils for salad dressing.

Just checked the label for my latest bottle and here’s the info: brand is Divina, from Renieris Estate, Chania, Kristis (PGI - protected geographical region). For drizzling and dressing I prefer an oil with a forward flavor, very fruity and spicy. I don’t really check the brand or region, I just sample a few and pick one I like at the time.

For cooking I just grab the 365 house brand from Whole Foods. I don’t think much of the flavor is going to survive the heat and overcome whatever spices I’ve used so I’m not too picky.

edit: Just did a search and found my current bottle:
 
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Jeff

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We use extra virgin olive oil daily in our home kitchen, so we buy the 2L bottles of Kirkland brand at Costco for about $15.00. It's an Italian cold first press, and it works for us as an excellent all-purpose olive oil. Not boutique by any means, but reliable, reasonably priced, and we find it sufficient for the purposes you mention, among others.

Actually, the Kirkland EVOO gets very high ratings.

They have a vintage line that is widely respected.

I like it because it is not too “grassy”.
 

coxhaus

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We usually have about 3 levels of olive oil. Our high-end olive oil right now is from Round Pound Estate winery in California.

We have a cooking level.
A salad level
And an eating level.
 
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MarcelNL

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We usually have a couple, varying in bitter/pepperiness (which is correlating to polyphenol levels). My favorite is unfiltered biodynamic La Vialla (Tuscany), second comes oil from Umbrie or Sicily or good Spanish Hojiblanca. As mentioned before, freshness is important, about now the 2021 Harvest is available.
 
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Go with a retailer you trust.

I live near a great Spanish market called despana. In soho, NYC. I usually get my finishing oil from them, I find them very willing to let me taste. I also get a 16 year old sherry vinegar that’s delicious. I feel the Spanish oils are a tad more affordable than the best Italian ones which I can get at eataly ( no tasting though). I don’t really know a reliable source for French oils near by.

for everyday oil I’m blessed with a boatload of Lebanese groceries nearby, those guys get my vote.
 

DitmasPork

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Howdy KKF,

What are your recommendations for good quality olive oils? I'm mostly interested here in finishing vs. cooking. Dressings, drizzling over pasta, bread, etc.
I’m a fan of Frankie’s olive oil; also like Greek olive oils; lotta great choices out there.

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chefwp

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I was looking at that first one. Good stuff?
It is excellent. Is it worth the $? I don't know, I feel like I need more information and a lot more tastings. But I keep going back to it because it is so far the best thing I've found at market. Once I crack it open, usually for focaccia/tapas, I feel I need to then use it on everything or risk it going bad and wasting it.

Oil can make such a huge difference on a plate. I was once served a bit of buratta in a bit of oil at my very favorite restaurant as part of a large tasting menu. Buratta in general is way overrated IMO, but the oil they served it with was so dang good it was the most memorable part of the meal!
 

btbyrd

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I buy Zoe and Mythology in 3L tins (or whatever's cheapest) from Amazon. Occasionally I'll splurge on a drizzling oil from Zingerman's.
 

MarcelNL

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sprinkle some course grey seasalt on a scoop of really good vanilla icecream and drizzle some great grassy unfiltered oil over it.

another EEVA I like is Ardoino fructus, but that is too mild for my taste.
 
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deltaplex

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I second the recommendation for Zingerman's as a retailer for quality Olive Oil, I used to live around the corner from them and I've been ordering some staples to be shipped since I moved away. They'll for sure have oil that's not spoiling (which is rather difficult to find easily where we're at now) and they have excellent descriptions for every product. They run a yearly sale every July and that's when I try to grab a few bottles.
 

MarcelNL

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I try to buy the more expensive better oil early in the year once it is available and tend to lower grade oil towards the end, simply because the taste profile flattens considerably over time.

@Lars that one is indeed nice too! We have a Greek store near by and unless I'm misstaken it was that one they recommended when I asked for a great olive oil.
 
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Lvrgsp

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I buy the Filippo Berio in the 3.5 qt metal can I use it for everything I want to use olive oil for cooking finishing etc...
For other things I use bacon fat or lard ....
I must add I do also have a big can of Antolina right now. Forgot I had picked that up.
 
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DitmasPork

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Same, love it and widely available (but we're both in BK, are they national now)? And Jugs O' Kirkland for anything that's going to see heat.

With mail order, everything is national, ...I think. I've bought is at Whole Foods and certain butcher shops in Brooklyn. Frankies is also a wonderful restaurant, but haven't been there in years.

For budget, everyday olive oil, I do like Trader Joe's; but my local supermarket has decent enough stuff in a pinch.
 
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Well that's certainly true.

Yeah the restaurant is great. I've probably been half a dozen times but not in years. Do you have their cookbook? So beautiful - gilded edges, leather-like binding and lovely illustrations. And their "gravy" recipe is so simple and so good.
 

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With mail order, everything is national, ...I think. I've bought is at Whole Foods and certain butcher shops in Brooklyn. Frankies is also a wonderful restaurant, but haven't been there in years.

For budget, everyday olive oil, I do like Trader Joe's; but my local supermarket has decent enough stuff in a pinch.
I used to eat practically every day at Frankie’s when I used to stay in an LES hotel - during the days they were in LES. Now they have moved to the west village

but the food is amazing as always. love Frankie’s, but I have never been to the Brooklyn one, only the NYC one in LES now west village

for olive oil - Frantoia is a good one for cooking or salads. I discovered it at Dean and De Luca in NYC because they recommended it to me.
But going to a speciality Italian store and trying out different olive oils in smaller bottles in a fun pastime - I use those smaller bottles for salads and caprese

don’t get me going on balsamic through 😂😂

olive oil is fundamental- and good olive oil is the key to health and taste
 
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