Dueling Dishes: Olive Oil vs. "Olive Oil"
|docnic, through a Creative Commons license|
|Old School Olive Press|
The extra light label on the Vons oil should have given me pause, for in small text below, it read "in flavor only." There's so much wrong with that label: the idea that olive oil should ever be light in flavor, not the mention its attempt to tap into America's light, low-fat, low-everything food mentality to sell something not relatively light in fat. And if the label was slightly insulting, the taste of what was inside the bottle was down right offensive. There was none of the fruity, grassy flavors of a good olive oil; the taste was reminiscent of castor oil. And nothing, not even too much mustard and vinegar in a altered salad dressing, could cover it up. Thankfully, it was only purchased out of necessity for one dinner's cooking. To call it canola would be a compliment to great for something so bad.
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|Olive Oil Bar?|
The Trader Joe's oil, made from arbrequina olives grown in California, was a revelation in comparison. Flavorful, affordable (under $10) and, if my palate is any kind of judge, certainly above zero on the fruitiness scale; it's a perfect everyday oil. It's certainly not the best olive oil I've ever had, but it's an oil you can swirl and drizzle with reckless abandon, employing it without any of the frugal economy an exorbitantly expensive bottle can inspire.
For anyone who has ever tasted a truly great oil--a grassy, green-tinged oil with a peppery bite, for example--its not hard to believe that the largely tasteless bottles of grease being pushed at supermarkets are engaging in some false advertising. Perhaps we should add olive oil to Dave's list of things not to buy at supermarkets?