I am curious as to what brands of olive oil people use when making salad dressings? I like L'Estornell (Spain) and it's quite good and today I bought Partanna (Sicily) which I hope will also make a good base. I had a salad in CT dressed just in olive oil and it was THE most delicious olive oil I have ever tasted. I have yet to find one this amazing. Thoughts?

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nutcakes
nutcakes October 8, 2010

I like the peppery Tuscan style olive oils on salads, sorry I can't name a brand, I don't get to buy them often. I also like the premium California Olive Oil McEvoy Ranch.

As an aside, if you are not familiar with the recent study on 'fake' EVOO, you might like the check the UC Davis study.
http://news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=9553

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dymnyno
dymnyno October 8, 2010

I use the best brand of domestic olive oil. Olive oil needs to be kept in a cool dark place. And, alas, unlike wine, it does not get better with age! Olive oil should be used within the first year after it is pressed. Sometimes it can be stretched into a second year. But , generally, use it or throw it away. Did I say a cool dark place...so the stuff that is on the table of a lot of restaurants is not being stored properly. Taste it before you ruin anything that you might put it on.

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Amanda Hesser
Amanda Hesser October 8, 2010

I use Frantoia.

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anyone
anyone October 8, 2010

If you use your olive oil and don't expect it to be around long then Leaving on the counter or table is not that big a deal. I buy smaller bottles ( not gallon size) and keep them out on display. But I also use them in a months time. The trick is to buy as much as you need for a short period. don't get caught up in buying bulk because it's cheaper. It's like buying more produce than you can eat in a weak. You'll just end up throwing it out.

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pierino
pierino October 8, 2010

I'm a serious proponent of California olive oils (well okay, I live in olive country) and I've been tasting them for years. I've said this before but California olive oils are now about where California wines were in the Seventies. Much of it comes from European tree stock. Nutcakes mentioned McEvoy which is consistant and good year to year but I would also add Pasolivo as well, which has a grassy, herbaceous finish to it. But if you are using it for cooking I always recommend the lighter Spanish oils like Columela. I should add that the whole dipping your bread in olive oil at a dinner table is totally American (San Francisco). In Italy or Spain it's a good way to test olive oils, but what is normally served with bread is still butter (if anything).

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anyone
anyone October 9, 2010

Uh, pierino. My Family that is here from Italy (Way northern) and my family in Italy as well as our Family Restaurant has been serving and eating bread and infused olive oil as long as I can remember. They have never been to an Olive Garden or any trendy Italian restuarants much less San Francisco. They have been dipping bread in table wine, olive oil, the left over oil from anchovies as well as a little bowl of what we would most likely call Marinara just for a snack when people sit around the table and talk. Which they do alot of on the patio. I don't mean to be a ball buster It's a bold statement. I'm sure it has alot to do with the "trend" of doing so with SF being a city proud of thier sour dough. So it grates me a little to here someone saying it's totally American.

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dymnyno
dymnyno October 9, 2010

A couple of years ago, I had my olive oil pressed at Frantoio....There are better places to press olive oil, especially in the Napa valley area. They are ok but not the best.

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Madame Sel
Madame Sel October 9, 2010

Amanda, do you use it as an everyday oil or is this your "big fat finishing oil"? I tend to just use a store brand olive oil to cook and the more $$ ones for when you are actually going to taste the oil.

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healthierkitchen
healthierkitchen October 9, 2010

I found my favorite special olive oil by doing a tasting much like you would with wine. That way you can choose the oil most to your taste in terms of pepper, fruitiness, etc.We have a purveryor of California and Italian oils that comes to several farm markets in our area, but many stores do this too. Lately, my favorite has been from Robbins Family Farm in San Luis Obispo. For everyday and for cooking, I use either Zoe or a Trader Joe's house brand Spanish blend of hojiblanca, picqual and arbequina olives.

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Amanda Hesser
Amanda Hesser October 9, 2010

Madame Sel, I use it mostly for finishing, dressings, etc.

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Hilarybee
Hilarybee October 10, 2010

I don't use anything super fancy. Personally, I'd rather spend my money on something else. I use the same brands as healthierkitchen. I either use Zoe (it comes in a small tin) or Trader Joe's Spanish olive oil.

I keep my olive oil in dark cabinet. I don't like to display it because it spoils too easily.

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Madame Sel
Madame Sel October 11, 2010

Thanks for all the great answers!

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