Olive Oil Buyer's Guide

A well-rounded pantry needs a couple of bottles of quality olive oil on hand at all times, and our staff has traveled far and wide to source our unique collection. Whether you are looking for a good everyday oil or something off the beaten path, we can help you find the right bottle for the job. Here is some information to get you started.


Consider the Source

While it is worth considering an olive oil’s country of origin, it is a guarantee of neither quality or typicity. Tastes change, technology advances and an individual producer charts their own course from the olives they grow, harvest time and methods of production. Even within a region, you might have a producer who defies tradition with non-typical olive varietals processed using the latest technology neighboring an old-school producer deeply rooted in local olive varieties and traditional production methods. As with other products, it is important to taste various oils and develop your own preferences.


What will you be using the olive oil for?

Are you making salad dressing? Are you sauteing vegetables? Look for an all-purpose extra virgin olive oil such as Aria or Roi. These oils are less peppery and won’t overpower your food, but they’re not so delicate that their flavors get lost in the mix.

Looking for something to dip a crusty baguette into or drizzle over a fresh piece of fish? This is an opportunity for the oil to take center stage. You’ll want something special like Jean Marie Cornille’s beautifully-textured oils from Provence.


What about specialty or flavored oils?

Olive oils are just the start of a wonderful world of specialty oils. Nut and seed oils such as Le Blanc’s hazelnut oil or Stonybrook Farm’s acorn squash seed oil can add nuanced flavors to any dish.

Medi Terranea Agrumato lemon oil from Abruzzo will add pure citrus flavor to your favorite dressings and can even be used in cakes and other baked goods.

For a touch of extravagance, there’s nothing like a dash of truffle oil to add unmistakable truffle aroma and flavor to risotto and pastas.

For more information on olive oils, please visit our Olive Oil Education page.