Wednesday, May 2, 2012

How to buy olive oil

I found this article about how to shop for olive oil really helpful.
She says that instead of looking for unfiltered oils or dark green colors, you should look for marks of origin and "Product of Italy" instead of "Made in Italy" (since those olives might be imported and then pressed in Italy).

I get my oil from the Park Slope food coop, and I buy the big Zoe tins of it.

Then I transfer the oil from the big tin to an old olive oil bottle since it's so much easier to handle.
That keeps the remaining oil out of the light and heat while I use up the oil in the bottle.

What oil do you use?
Any good ones?
I remember that years ago the Filippo Berio oil was rated the best value of the ones you can get in the grocery store. I always liked the design of their tin as well:

Here is a list of good olive oils to keep your eyes out for from the author of that post:

Olive Oils I Use & Love

Katz: Chef's pick is a fantastic deal and well-balanced.  I usually have a bottle of this around for both cooking and salads.
McEvoy Ranch
Yolo Press
O Olive Oil

San Giuliano Oils: Affordable and relatively mild, these oils have been the mainstay cooking oils in my kitchen for the past few years.  I like their pure and their extra virgin, as well as the delicious Cannonau red wine vinegar.  I use the neutral pure oil for browning roasts, all-purpose, and things like mayonnaise base that I then finish with better, more full-bodied oils.

Mastri di San Basilio: I particularly like Due Sicilie and usually have a bottle of this soft-spoken, yet delicious oil on hand for salad dressings and salsas where I don't want the oil to have too much personality.
Olio Verde: one word--delicious

Stephen Singer Olio: This is the oil that has been at the base of CP cooking for decades, though now there is a lot of California oil in that kitchen as well.  My favorites here are the San Giusto and the flagship oil.
Badia a Coltibuono
Tenuta di Capezzana
Frantoio di Sommaia
Laudemio Frescobaldi
Tiger Brand: This is a pure olive oil I LOVE to use for cooking because it's so neutral and affordable.

Francesco de Padova: The 5 Liter tin is a STEAL!  Howard Case has had a relationship with these Pugliese producers for years, and imports these oils and sells them himself, keeping costs relatively low.  I really like these oils--the pure is great for cooking and the extra virgin is a wonderful all-purpose oil.

Costa dei Rosmarini: I went through a seriously obsessive phase with this olive oil in 2004 and it remains a favorite.

Siurana olive oil: This isn't a brand, but rather a DOP.  Kelly brought me some Siurana olive oil recently, and it's delicious.  I'm not really educated when it comes to olive oils from beyond the borders of Italy or California, so this was a really great introduction to high-quality Spanish oil.

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