Is gourmet olive oil really worth the price?

Here are some of the olive oil's in my pantry right now.

Some of my olive oils...

This is a question that I used to ask myself when I lived around the corner from Meinhardts. They had quite a good selection of olive oils. I was always drawn in by the beautiful packaging but scared off by the price and I always ended up with a basic extra virgin in my basket. It wasn’t until discovering the Olive Pit in Toronto that I really came to have an appreciation for the golden liquid. It’s a little shop on Queen West in the basement of The Spice Trader that carries more than 80 types of olive oils. Their policy was try before you buy – a policy I really like! I think my husband and I must have drank a cup of olive oil each by the end of it. But what complexity and diversity of flavours! Some had nutty flavour, others were fruity. There were even some infused with blood oranges (which we picked up).

So the answer is yes, it is worth the price. I used to buy salad dressing and now I prefer not to. Infused olive oils can add so much flavour with very little effort. I often mix the blood orange or chili infused olive oil with another good olive oil and then some aged balsamic, S&P and the salad is good to go. We get more compliments then ever on our salads and the oil can add so much dimension in flavour. And it’s just so easy! Now I can see why Jamie Oliver would always finish his food with olive oil. I tend to use a more economically priced olive oil for cooking but for finishing and dressing it’s definitely worth the price!


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