- 17 oz
BEST KIND OF OIL WITH THE MOST IMPRESSIVE CREDENTIALS
“COLAVITA – EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL” has an impressive list of credentials that clearly set it apart from other makers of Olive Oil. This particular product boasts the following:
—–*- Certification from the “I.S.O.” – “International Standardization Organization”
—–*- “Certified Authentic Product of Italy”, where the best olives for olive oil are grown under the best conditions
—–*- Natural product, just olive oil – nothing added
—–*- Excellent full-bodied taste
What are the nutritional components?
A tablespoon of olive oil contains 120 calories, 14 grams of fat, and no cholesterol. Seventy-seven percent (77%) of the fat in olive oil is monounsaturated and nine percent (9%) is polyunsaturated fat; fourteen percent (14%) is vegetable-derived saturated fat. Virgin olive oils also contain the antioxidants beta-carotene and Vitamin E, as well as the phenolic compounds tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol.
WHAT EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE IS USED FOR:
That being said, this is not an oil for cooking, as it has a very low smoke point. It is excellent for salads and for marinating and boasts a pretty low acid level. For cooking try their “Extra Light” product as it has a much higher smoke point.
PROVEN PROTECTION AGAINST ATHEROSCLEROSIS:
Eating foods high in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) [found in Olive, canola & flaxseed oil] will increase the blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids. ALA has been shown to confer a large measure of protection against atherosclerosis. As part of the “Mediterranean” diet, researchers used products high in ALA, and found that the ALA reduced the risk of dying from heart disease by 70% over the first 27 months.
Canola and Peanut oil also contain large amounts of ALA and are similarly cardio-protective. The presence of a larger proportion of “mono-saturated fats” is central to the cardio-protective properties of the oil.
—–*- NO Cholesterol — -*- No Trans-Fat
WHICH SIZE IS BEST FOR YOU?
This and most of their conventional oils are available at most groceries and this exact product sells for about $7.00 for 17 ounces [.5 liter]. Bear in mind, that Olive Oil will become rancid if you store it for prolonged periods. You can, however, extend this period by keeping the oil in a cool and dry place, preferably dark. Also, don’t buy the largest containers unless you can finish them within 1-2 months. Stored correctly, Olive Oil will stay fresh for up to 2 years. Smaller containers like this 17-ounce bottle may be more costly per volume than the gallon, but the oil will be fresh when you use it and that is ultimately what its all about.
[I AM NOT AFFILIATED WITH ANY PRODUCT OR COMPANY.]
The Only Olive Oil We Buy
Colavita Olive Oil is made in Italy by the Colavita family who has shipped this product to the USA for nearly 30 years according to the label. The label provides additional important information about this olive oil in that it is extra virgin and first cold pressed.
I have read in a number of publications that these qualities are important when one is selecting an olive oil. My wife is our nutritional expert and always specifies this brand of olive oil only.
As a husband and consumer of salads and various other assorted foods which benefit from olive oil I can testify that it has a great flavor as far as olive oils go.
Does the Job
In my opinion, having used a dozen or so brands of olive oil, Colavita is simply the best reasonably priced olive oil which is widely available. I’ve been using Colavita for several years now, and have never been dissappointed. Colavita is excellent quality, dependable, and reasonably priced—the perfect combination for a daily general purpose olive oil.
Although not an “olive oil gourmand”, I’d describe Colavita as “rich and smooth”. Connoisseurs probably have other silly terms for the flavor, such as “nutty” or “fruity” (but a “civilian” would never describe the flavor as nutty or fruity). It is not spicy like Whole Foods 360, and NOT strongly “olive-oily” (i.e., “herby”). Colavita is an evoo (“extra virgin olive oil”—to us non-olive oil snobs), which means “first pressing”. Most olive-oil nuts consider the words “extra virgin” to be sacred. Practically speaking though, the mere label “extra virgin” is not a guarantee of quality—most grocery store brands (evoo or not) are harsh and bitter, but some are good cooking oils.
Botique premium oils are are as variable year to year as wines, comparably expensive, and have to be bought the way you buy fine wine (that is, ideally at tastings, where you confirm the quality and flavor before purchase). Some are genuinely (as in NOT-gourmet-speak) buttery and nutty—great for dipping. Some taste like the fragrance of flowers—great for salads. Never cook premium olive oil—use it for dipping or drizzling, or on delicate salads. Colavita is a very good general purpose oil, perhaps the best common grocery store olive oil, but is not quite a premium oil.
Although heresy (comparable to suggesting fruit wines to a wine connoisseur) there are inexpensive alternatives to premium botique olive oils, including pumpkinseed, almond, sesame, and walnut oil. I particularly love pumpkinseed oil as a dipping oil (by itself, no vinegar, and with a little salt). The following are examples—I can’t vouch for the specific brands as they are different from what I use. Styrian Pumpkinseed Oil 8.45 oz, Pure Almond Oil 300ml, Kadoya – Pure Sesame Oil 5.5 Oz., 100% Natural Walnut Oil, Cold Pressed 16 fl oz (474 ml) Liquid
Non-extra virgin olive oils (second or later pressings) are usually darker and stronger flavored—which adds depth and complexity to soups, sauses, stews, chili, casseroles, bean dishes etc. I add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of olive oil to such dishes. Unless you particularly want the dish to taste “olive-oily” (I never do), cook the oil WITH the dish. However, olive oil can “go bad”—so unless you use alot, it doesn’t sense to use a different cooking oil than you use on salads, for dipping etc. Colavita is a very good general purpose oil, and therefore a good cooking oil.
“Cooking” does NOT mean “frying” with ANY olive oil. Because of the low smoke point (i.e., olive oil burns at a low temperature) olive oil is NOT suitable for frying. That said, you can carefully fry an egg in olive oil at a low temperature (and honestly, good fried eggs swimming in good olive oil are wonderful). But you can NOT fry meat nor deep-fry anything. The best frying oil is peanut oil. Canola is a good frying oil and is particularly healthy. Like olive oil there is variation in the brands. Peanut oil should be slightly nutty, but not peanutty. Canola oil should be flavorless.
Traditionally (and in the best restaurants), Italian bread, oil and balsamic vinegar is served as an appetizer. The diner usually mixes his own oil and vinegar at the table. Albeit probably heresy, you can subsitute other premium types of vinegar (such as wine vinegar, rasberry vinegar, or even apple vinegar) or fresh lemon juice. I usually add a few drops soy sause or Braggs for saltiness and richness to the mixture. Bragg Liquid Aminos, Natural Soy Sauce Alternative, 32-Ounce Bottle , (Pack of 3) Colavita is a very good “everyday” dipping oil.
The requirements for an “everyday” salad oil are a little less stringent than that for a dipping oil, because the heavy flavor of the vinegar, and often pamessan, bacon bits, etc. usually dominate. However, I rarely use oil and vinegar the traditional way. For everyday salads (or as a dip for raw vegies) I prefer olive-oil based mayo with a little freshly ground pepper, and some citrus zest. For special salads, I use a seed or nut oil or a fruity premium olive oil (and just a hint of lemon and/or orange juice and zest). Colavita is a very good “everyday” salad oil. If you are not familiar with fresh citrus zest (wonderful stuff), the tool to use is Microplane 40020 Classic Zester/Grater
A drizzling oil is an oil you pour over a dish immediately before serving, or which you serve in a carafe on the table. If you REALLY like the flavor of “ordinary good” olive oil (I don’t)—then you will find Colavita to be a good drizzling oil. My hispanic wife frequently drizzles Colavita on the dishes I’ve cooked (with Colavita), because she likes the olive-oil flavor. By the way, the same principle applies to the use of butter, pepper, garlic, cheese, even soy sause—if you want the flavor to dominate, add it just before serving; if you want the flavor to be subtle, cook the seasoning with the dish. For most dishes I prefer a rich blend of subtle flavors.
I go to a great deal of effort to minimize animal fat in my diet, by very strict trimming, thorough cooking, and by chilling broth to remove the solidified fat. However, the body needs fat and craves fat. The ideal solution is to replace animal fat with healthy vegetable oils. Olive oil is ideal for the purpose. Canola is better, but is essentially flavorless.
My Southern grandmother could not cook any vegetables without a thick slice of fatback (fatty bacon)—and indeed her vegetables were very tasty. Speaking of which, what is the point of healthy vegetables if no-one will eat them? The solution is to add several tablespoon fulls of olive oil, and just a teaspoon of chipped ham Hormel Premium Real Crumbled Bacon to the vegies. For the best flavor, cook the vegies with the olive oil (do NOT add oil to the cooked vegetables—unless you really like the flavor of the oil). Season as necessary with pepper and fresh lemon juice. Truly delicious vegetables are possible—I eat them daily.
It has been about a year since I’ve purchased Colavita because I can buy a better but obscure brand (Bella Famiglia) locally for $12 per 17oz bottle. The 34 ounce tins of Colavita Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 34-Ounce Tins (Pack of 2) are about half the price of the bottle per oz at this time, but is still expensive for the quality, particularly with the shipping charge. The tins are small enough to use directly. But I prefer bottles, because controlling the flow of the oil is easier (since you can see the oil approaching the spout), and it is easier to gauge the amount of oil I’m using by eye (how far the level drops in the glass bottle). So, I refill bottles from the tins. I’ve been told that olive oil stays fresher in tins (measured in months and years) That becomes relevant when you don’t know how many months (or even years) a bottle may have sat on a grocery shelf.
The price of many items, including Colavita vary wildly on Amazon, sometimes from day-to-day. Sometimes it is available directly from Amazon with free shipping, sometimes not—which makes a big difference in the total coat. After major grocery shopping expeditions, sit down at your computer with your reciept, and check if you can buy any of the non-perishables through Amazon. When you find items (even if more expensive than you just paid), put the item on your Amazon wish list, and add a note to the wish list of the price you just paid. Check your wish list frequently, and when you see an item you need at a bargain price, buy it.