Time to Buy Olive Oil (again!)
Well, we have the generic olive oil for most cooking uses, but one of the joys of the pandemic are that you can sample things from around the world, particularly if you are like us and are eating at home a lot (ok all the time).
So here is a review of olive oils we got in the summer of 2019 by looking at BestOliveOils.com which are winners of the New York Olive Oil Competition. At the Tongfamiliy, we tried these over the last year and I have to say that I'm going to change our methodology on this because I don't remember them too well:
Mandranova Nocellara. This is an Italian oil that was a silver winner in both 2019 and 2020. Really lovely, medium, the site says green pepper, chili pepper, artichoke and herbs. To me, it was just delicious.
Fonte di Foiano Grand Cru 2016. This is not long available but was pretty amazing.
Oro Del Disierto Coupage 2019. This is Spanish oil. But get the Oro Del Sierto Picual. This is a 2020 Gold Medal winner and has been a winner continuously since 2016. It is also medium with arugula, walnut, green pepper, and radish although I didn't take notes.
Partanna. If you want something more generic and not a tasing olive oil, the this is not a bad choice. I can't actually remember who recommended it but a good backing variety.
So what to get for 2021?
So here are some ones to try and I laboriously went through the first 100 or so entries in the gold medal winner list. I'm not sure their methodology or even if this is a legit site, but it was good to go over the list and I notice that most had good reviews on Amazon. New York Magazine had a review from safari:
- California Olive Ranch EVOO. This is good general cooking olive oil at a reasonable price. (It's just $9 at Walmart)
- Tenuta Di Capezzana. This was a good finishing olive oil from these chefs. The main issue is that it is pretty expensive at $58 for 500ml and least right now according to Fakespot there is a caution on the seller. But is supposed to be great.
- Olio Verde. This is affordable and has a mild flavor and less bitter. From Sicily although you can debate if $40 is a value for 500ml. 🙂
- Marchesi de Frescobaldi Laudemio. Well who could not want an olive oil named like this and at $40/500ml
- Brightland. This is the high-status olive oil from an ex-VC, so if you love Goop, you will love this and it's $37 direct.
- Kirkland Signature. Yes, the CostCo stuff is actually pretty decent more for cooking and finishing.
- Pianogrillo. This is a Sicilian and compared with Tuscan, it has less grassy flavor.
- O-Med Arbequina. This is grassy and neutral and not spicy.
The big list
So here's the Amazon Wish List with the ones available there. As always it's really great if you use your local store, but this is for those who don't such great access.
I also have a Camelcamelcamel.com list as well so you can look for price drops. If don't use this site, I really recommend it, it does periodic scraping of prices and let's you know when there is a drop. I have it set to a drop of 30% from the first listing date as the notification time. It let's you snipe great prices.
- Frescobaldi Laudemio. This is near Florence with notable bitterness, spiciness and fruitiness. A pretty typical $40 for 500ml at Amazon.
- Castello ColleMassari. Classic from Toscana, this is spicy, furity with hints of herbs. $45 for 500ml at Amazon.
- Ellora Farms. This is Greek olive oil, so a little off the typical Italian variety. Has pepper flavor and frutiness of Cretan EVOO. $30 a liter, so quite a bargain at Amazon.
- San Giuliano. They actually have no less than four olive oils on the list, Primer, L'Original, Fruttato and Organic. The organic is a medium while Frutatto is picked early so more intense spicy and fruitier taste. It is from Sardegna located in Sardinia. It is %67 for a 3x360ml for the L'Original $28 for 350ml from Amazon for the Organic and $49 for a two-pack of 2x350ml of the Fruttato at Amazon.
- Chateau d'Estoublon Beruguette, Salonenque and Picholine. This is made in France and the only thing on Amazon is a combination of Beruguette and their red wine vinegar for $75 which is grassy, shape and intense.
- Oro Bailen Frantoio, Reserva Familiar Picual and Hojiblanca. Amazon has a $80. gift box of this Spanish oil for %54 with Arbequina and Pictual delivered directly from Spain
- Iliada Kalamata and Organic Emerald. This is a Koroneiki from Greece with a mild flavor. Very reasonable $35 for three 17-ounce (so 750ML). at Amazon.
- Bono PGI Sicilia. This is a 3-pack from Sicily for $60 at Amazon.
- Nuvo Estate Blend, Early Harvest and Expert Blend. This is $23 for 250ML for the Early Harvest at Amazon which is the most robust and peppery since the olive are harvested early. This made in California.
- Laconiko. Handpicked early harvest in Greece. This has been a long time winner. $30 at Amazon.
- Pamako Organic. Also from Greece, it is hand picked and stored in argon gas. Pretty cool a 60/40belnd of Tsounati and Koronieki. $80 for 500ML at Amazon.
- Oleamea Premium Everyday. This is from Turkey so an unusual choice. This is early harvest, so a bit more spiky.. A reasonble $20 from Amazon.
- ACaia. Another greek olive old. only $13 for 500ML at Amazon.
- Marques de Grinon. From Toledo Spain with vegetable and utty flavors. It's $28 for 500ML at Amazon
- Olive Truck Tuscan Blend. This is made in California with Frantoio. $28 at Amazon.
- Oro Del Desierto Picual. $26 for 500ML at Amazon also from Spain in Andalusia, it is a long time winner with cut grass, leam and fig.
- Alonso. This is from a Chilean family farm so quite interesting. $29 from Amazon.
- Titone. Another Sicilian Olive Oil. Peppery and bitter as it lingers. $20 for 250ML at Amazon.
- Oilala. This is a much bigger olive oil (robust as they say with a long shelf life and artichoke, almond, walnut, and cinnamon. From a family farm in Puglia Italy.. $35 at Amazon.
- Aeolian Olive. From lesvos and very reasonable $14 for a 500Ml at Amazon.
Valle dell'Inferno. From a little valley in Siciliy.