Olive Oil: Which Has The Best Flavour?

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mawnansmiff

Lifer
Oct 14, 2015
7,534
7,740
Sunny Cornwall, UK.
For my olive oil needs I've always used either Filippo Berio or Bertolli extra virgin oil.

I always assumed I was using Italian/Spanish oil but the small print informs me that they are blends from different country's oil crops. I was quite disappointed with this.

I've never knowingly tried Greek oil nor Tunisian oil but I read that (quite understandably) they have distinctive tastes.

I love the floral tones of the oil that I use but would be interested in trying other E/V oil so any suggestions wold be most welcome, moreso if some idea of how they taste is included.

Jay.
 
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briarblues

Can't Leave
Aug 3, 2017
407
684
Buying pure olive oil can be a challenge. Reading the label closely is paramount. Extra virgin, non blended, and Organic are things to look for. One "trick" to figure out if what's in the bottle is only olive oil is, to put it in the fridge overnight. If it gets "cloudy" it's only olive oil. If not it has other oils added.

I purchase DOP ( certified Italian ) olive oils only. I believe California also has certifications for pure non blended olive oil as well, but that I have not researched.
 

originalnutcracker

Can't Leave
Feb 26, 2018
304
2,020
62
Winnipeg, MB, Canada
As didimauw says - there a lot of small shops specializing in oils and vinegars - trying different regions and even single grove bottlings proves very interesting.

Much like wine, the different varieties and terroir make a huge difference to flavours. It is absolutely a thing. With a slice of sourdough or a light salad, this can be a fantastic experience.

For general cooking, bulk EVOO is just fine....
 

briarblues

Can't Leave
Aug 3, 2017
407
684
For general cooking at medium or low heat olive oil is excellent. Not high heat though. For high heat I lean towards butter, avocado oil, or coconut oil, and on all three you still need to read the label. Not all oils are what the large print states.

For general cooking, as silly as this may sound, Costco's Kirkland brand is very good. For anything "special" I use one of these.

The Barbera I use for salads. The Partanna has a hint more "zing", so I use this for zesty pasta sauces.
IMG_2169.jpgIMG_2170.jpg
 

andrew

Lifer
Feb 13, 2013
3,047
403
You really have to watch with olive oil. The mafia has turned it into a racket and very few olive oils are pure. It's not other olive oil it's blended with, it's cheaper seed oils. I can almost guarantee bertolii is one of the ones that isn't pure
 

mawnansmiff

Lifer
Oct 14, 2015
7,534
7,740
Sunny Cornwall, UK.
didn't occur to us to read the label,
I read this yesterday which was an eye opener....

"The suit had alleged that it was misleading for Bertolli to advertise its olive oil as being "Imported from Italy" when the oils actually came from olives grown and pressed in Greece, Chile, Spain, Australia, Turkey, and Tunisia, and had merely been mixed and bottled in Italy".

"Some controversy emerged in 2010 when Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil was identified as one of the olive oils mislabeled as extra virgin in a study by University of California, Davis.[17]

In 2018, parent company Deoleo agreed to pay a US$7 million settlement[18] to resolve a class action lawsuit which had alleged that the company had misrepresented Bertolli olive oil, and committed to undertake several actions to correct such misrepresentation".


Jay.
 

serpentx

Might Stick Around
Nov 18, 2023
83
284
Stanislaus County, California
I have a coworker who is originally from Algeria, he returns there every year for the olive harvest/press. He brings me back a half gallon oil fresh off the press and it's in a league of its own. I honestly cannot compare it to anything I've ever bought in a store.
Maybe it's got briar sap in it
 

camaguey

Starting to Get Obsessed
Jul 25, 2021
259
416
west indies
The best i have ever tried are from small producers. Catalunya have a distinct olive oil that goes very well with bread. The Seville style is different , stronger taste , specially the one from Huelva. In Italy i prefer the one from Puglia. California also makes a good one. Here in USA , i usually consume Kirkland from Costco because is the best price/value i can find.
 

briarblues

Can't Leave
Aug 3, 2017
407
684
For cooking (I use a lot) I usually use Gallo because it's the least expensive one that still tastes like olive oil to me. I also use Kirkland or Terra Delyssa. If I'm feeling fancy I'll get something nicer (like what Mike posted) from the Italian Center grocery store closest to me to dip bread in.

View attachment 280320
I guess I'm extra lucky. Only an hour away from me is Bosa Foods a large importer of Italian ingredients. Their selection of olive oils etc takes ones breathe away. When I am there I wait and watch what the Italian Nonna's buy.....