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!


11 Responses to “Is gourmet olive oil really worth the price?”

  1. Posted on December 1st, 2008

    I second Lisa’s recommend for the Olive Pit! I spent some time there last year trying out all kinds of lovely variations on the mighty olive, settling on a nice bottle from the Italian countryside. The couple that runs the shop are passionate about what they do and what they carry and it shows. Just remember…you get what you pay for!

  2. Posted on December 2nd, 2008

    what are some of your favorites? where do you get them from in Vancouver?

  3. Posted on December 2nd, 2008

    Gourmet Warehouse in Vancouver has a fair selection of olive oils – I’m not sure where else.

    I used to have a friend who would bring back fresh-pressed olive oil in 1 litre pop bottles from Greece. It was very green and tasted fresh and very much of olives. I’ve been trying to find a match for it over the last few years in stores, with not much luck… I guess I’ll have to wait until I get to Toronto next!

  4. Posted on December 21st, 2008

    I used to live in Kitsolano in the late 70s and this is where I bought and fell in love with olive oil – at the Greek import stores in the neighborhood. A trip to Greece in ’76 and reading about the fact that people who eat Mediteranean diets are healthier converted me to using olive oil on a regular basis. Meditteranean countries often have their food swimming in olive oil. There is nothing better than a great Greek salad with thick green olive oil. This month(Dec 17, 08), Spanish researchers have identified anti-cancer chemicals in extra- “virgin olive oil that may help explain the apparent link between eating an olive oil-rich Mediterranean diet and a reduced risk of breast cancer”. Do we need to learn anything more to stock up… “let food be your medicine”.
    Dee Brown

  5. Posted on December 21st, 2008

    I am not sure what this means.

  6. Posted on December 27th, 2008

    Best olive oil around is AMELIA. Imported directly from the grower/producer, Rebecca Black and her daughter Rachel bring this yummy one in from Ameila, Italy. Contact them at 604 925 3028. You will be delighted. See their website.

  7. Posted on August 31st, 2009

    Gourmet olive oil is definately worth it! I buy my olive oils from the Olive Oil Emporium. They have oils from everywhere, Greece, Italy, Spain even Turkey and France. I refuse to go back to that supermarket grade. Check out their website I just sent some oil by mail to a friend in Calgary from Toronto. Hope they like it!
    john y

  8. Posted on September 8th, 2009

    I agree. There is no comparison with the supemarket brands once you know about premium olive oil and gourmet olive oils. I have also shopped Olive Oil Emporium. Their oils are great, and their gift box presentation made me feel really good about giving a bottle of fine olive oil as a nice gift.

  9. Posted on September 25th, 2009

    Olive Oil Emporium has great olive oils. I have tried two already, Primo Olio from Italy and the first royal from spain. They were great! Cost me a few more bucks but no comparison to the supermarket oils. -allis

  10. Posted on October 22nd, 2009

    Allis and Melti – thanks!
    I tried The Olive Oil Emporium too! Awesome oils, I just received them last week: the Primo from Tuscany, and a flavoured oil from greece called Twisted pit. Can’t even compare to the gallo or colavita oils at the grocery stores. I agree with everyone above. If you want to take care of youself better, and are able to spend a few more dollars for your health and good eating, gourmet olive oils are the way to go! just click to see what some options are

  11. Posted on May 25th, 2010

    I was contemplating spending some money on a coffee bean grinder, but there’s so many different things to take into consideration, many of which I’ve never even heard of before, such as: How long does it take to actually grind the coffee beans? Can I grind a lot of beans at one time? Is the grinder electric or manual? Is the grinder a space saver? How many coarness levels does the grinder have, ie; fine, ultrafine or coarse, medium coarseness. How was the cost of a grinder? What is difference in the most expensive grinder to the less expensive grinders? Can you use any flavor of coffee to grind? Does the coffee bean grinder come attached to a coffee maker? Will the coffee grinder have a any type of timer- along with some type of auto shut off?

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