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Let's Talk Olive Oils

Discussion in 'Food and Drink' started by Erilyn75, Apr 16, 2014.

  1. Not all olive oils are created equally. Right now I'm using California Olive Ranch. It has a mild fruity taste which I enjoy but id like to give some others a try as well. Since reading the famous article on how many store bought brands were actually a mish mosh of different oils, I'm kinda leery on what to get.

    So, which one(s) do you prefer and recommend? Do you use one to cook with and another as a finishing oil?
  2. schanop

    schanop Founding Member

    I have been using mainly The Little General Olive oil for the past couple of years, both of their main Tuscan varieties: Leccino and Frantoio. Because I bought it in a 4ltr can, it is used both for cooking and finishing.
  3. chefcomesback

    chefcomesback Founding Member

    I use local olive oil from 5 km away , it is quite light in colour and on palate , i think it is a blend , looking forward to change it. Best one I ever had was a small chilean family importing their Arbequina olive oil from their farm back in US
  4. mr drinky

    mr drinky Founding Member Gold Contributor

    I use Sciabica out of California. After reading how much oil is mislabeled, mixed, or outright counterfeit I just don't buy foreign olive oils. I buy the green cans for my everyday oil, and their fresh pressed oil for when I want a really fruity, fresh taste. I also get a few of the flavored ones. I like to use jalapeƱo oil in my hummus and in some vinaigrettes.

  5. zwiefel

    zwiefel Rest in peace brother

    I usually buy something from a boutique store 1-2 times/year for special raw uses like salad dressings. but for cooking and everyday raw use I like Bertolli EVOO. It's well above average, widely available, and not strong enough to offend anyone...but is good enough that most people notice.
  6. PierreRodrigue

    PierreRodrigue Tactical Walrus Founding Member Contributor

    +1 to Bertolli
  7. Bertolli was actually one of the brands they found that cut their olive oil with lesser oils and did not pass the quality test. That aside, do you guys find it bitter? Initially that's what got me searching for other olive oil brands when I came across this article.
  8. MotoMike

    MotoMike Founding Member

    I think Bertolli is an ok oil. I did not find it bitter. I think with any of the big names that go nation or world wide they incorporate some sort of theory of mediocrity that aims at not offending the largest portion of the market segment. I lived in Italy for two yearsabout 30 years ago. Prior to going, the only oil found in most grocery stores was Pompeian which had a pronounced green olive flavor. When I started going to the markets and found all the local vendors who sold their own oils, I found that there were as many variations as you might expect to find in wine. Some buttery, some nutty, some cloudy some with chunks of olive in them still. All bringing their own thing to the table. Even with the current increased offerings now out there, they are still trying to cut a wide swath. I have not found a killer oil at a good price.
  9. zwiefel

    zwiefel Rest in peace brother

    I don't find it unpleasantly bitter...there is a little bitterness, a little greeness, and a little fruityness...they are trying to be all things to all people...which means they don't excel in any dimension, but neither do they offend. It's certainly not a special oil for special meals or discerning guests...but it is the oil I use for all of my cooking, I don't keep any other cooking oils in the kitchen. You can get it by the gallon at warehouse clubs for a reasonable price (I want to say about $20).
    But I also have 3-4 boutique oils on hand as well...for dipping sauces, salad dressing, etc. when I have discerning guests.
  10. PierreRodrigue

    PierreRodrigue Tactical Walrus Founding Member Contributor

    Agreed. Its not a premium impress your guests kinda oil, but it is a very good all round oil. If I am entertaining, I will get a boutique oil, or a premium cold press oil.
  11. Andrew

    Andrew Have Pen Will Travel Founding Member

    I've used CA Olive Ranch ever since I read about the lack of oversight and quality assurance of imported olive oil. I also try to buy American every chance I get. I only use it for dressings and dips. I cook with canola and coconut oil because they have a higher smoke point than olive oil. I think olive oil starts converting to some not so good for you compounds after it hits 400 degrees F, which isn't a very high cooking temperature.
  12. gavination

    gavination Founding Member

    Coconut oil actually tends to have a lower smoke point than olive oil. Usually about 350 or so I think? Olive oil, depending on the type, extra virgin versus virgin etc is 370s up to 400ish with some exceeding 450. Ghee and avocado oil are my go to oils. Just tried Cali Olive Ranch recently. Pretty tasty stuff. :)
  13. ThEoRy

    ThEoRy Founding Member

    Depends upon the intended usage. Are we sauteing, making vinaigrettes or finishing plated fish?
  14. I do all of the above. Someone, I think Gordon Ramsey, said not to cook with EVOO but instead just use regular olive oil because the heat destroys the health benefits. Not sure if that's true or not.
  15. scotchef38

    scotchef38 Founding Member

    In Oz there is a producer called Joseph that makes fantastic oil and there a number of boutique producers producing great every day oil.Bertolli used to sell an unfiltered oil that was lovely but i havent seen it for ages.Virgin oil has a short shelf life and i always think you will get fresher buying locally.I remember the first really good new season oil I tried - i thought it was chilli oil, it was so peppery.I personally dont cook with good EVOO as i think you do lose flavour and i have also read that it loses its health benefits but i have seen people cook with it in Italy and all along the Mediterranean coast so who knows.
  16. zwiefel

    zwiefel Rest in peace brother

    I dunno about destroying the health benefits...but it definitely destroys all the nuance of the oil. But I'm not going to keep two different bottles of oil in the kitchen just for that....esp when something like Bertolli is inexpensive. That said...never use my boutique oils for cooking...they tend to run 25-50USD for 16-32oz.
  17. Andrew

    Andrew Have Pen Will Travel Founding Member

    You're right. Apparently, a few factors contribute to the smoke point of oil. There's a good table here, and you can sort the data by temperature. I thought it was interesting, anyway.

    Avocado oil sounds like a great option for stir frying. Most of my cooking is done at medium or lower temps, though. "Extra light" olive oil and canola oil look good too.
  18. I've got coconut oil but I've never used it to cook with. Does it make food taste like coconut? Is it better suited for some things and not others?
  19. Erilyn, coconut oil is one of the highest heat oils available. It doesn't taste like coconut at all. I use it for getting a good sear on beef. I mix it with ghee

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