Monday, April 5, 2010

The Best Olive Oil


I know I always say to "use good olive oil" for various recipes I post. Many of you may be wondering what exactly that means or where exactly to find a good one. People write volumes on the components of a good olive oil, and talk about it as they would a fine wine! To boil it down for you and make it simple, a good quality olive oil should be very fruity and not bitter. You do not need to worry about the color as it has nothing to do with the flavor (color is dependent on the type of olive and what time of year harvested). You should buy olive oil in small quantities, as once the bottle is open, the oil starts to deteriorate.

I alway buy Extra Virgin olive oil (or EVOO, thank you Rachael Ray). EVOO is the first press of the olives (or cold press- same thing) and yields the most natural and flavorful taste. Plain "Virgin" olive oil is the second press, and "Light" or "Extra Light" olive oil is often made by mechanical extraction with what is left after the first two presses, with a little EVOO often added in for flavor. I actually like to use Extra Light olive oil for baking, as it has a milder flavor but is more nutritional than canola or other vegetable oils, which are probably rancid at the store, by the way.

OK, so I haven't had a problem finding good olive oil - it's just the price that I've found it at that I don't like (usually $30/liter or more). But, I think I've found it -a very good olive oil at a good price. I have tried a lot of olive oils, from upscale olive oil stores to the local dumpy Mediterranean store down the street. I haven't ever felt like I found something I'm completely happy with. Finally, when we ate at Macaroni Grille restaurant recently, I tasted it. I mean IT. The perfect tasting olive oil. I quickly jotted down that it was called Genesio. I figured if Macaroni Grille gave it to us at the table to pour liberally, it must be reasonable in price. At first, I tried tracking it down at Italian markets, but to no avail. I then resorted to checking online and sure enough I found it. I just purchased 4 liters of it (four 1 liter bottles) for $54 (with no shipping or tax). So, it's about $13 a liter, not a lot to pay for really good quality olive oil.

You can get yourself some at And, you can get an even bigger break on the price when you buy more. If you want to go in on an order with friends, and buy twelve 1 liter bottles, you can chop the price down to around $9.50 a liter. Free shipping is offered with every order over $29.99.

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