Take your oil and vinegar to the next level.
Of course, everyone has their go-to olive oil and vinegar for everyday meals. But what about those occasions when you want something a little bolder, brighter and better?
Whether you use them for vinaigrettes, dipping, baking or finishing, these extra virgin olive oils and vinegars are sophisticated and complex. Find your favorites and keep them in your kitchen—you’ll be glad to have them on hand!
You can also watch our new video for firsthand tips on tasting, choosing and storing high quality olive oil from The Fresh Market’s Olive Oil Expert!
Tasting Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oils boast a wide array of flavors and aromas. Olive oil can range from smooth and nutty to fruity, peppery, bitter and even fiery. Good EVOO will leave your mouth feeling clean—never oily or greasy.
Like a fine wine, we recommend tasting your olive oil before using it. Here’s the best way to put your olive oil to the test:
Pour and warm. Pour a small amount in a shot glass, tulip-shaped wine glass or plastic tasting cup. Cradle the glass in the palm of your hand and cover the opening with your other hand. Swirl it gently to release the aromas.
Sniff and sip. Lift your hand and smell the oil. What does it smell like? Grass? Fruit? Pepper? Take a sip—enough to coat the inside of your mouth.
Aerate and taste. Before you swallow, aerate the oil by opening your mouth and sucking in air through the oil to further release the aromas. You should feel the oil spritz the back of your throat. Then, close your mouth and breathe through your nose. Swallow the oil and notice its pungency.
No matter what kind of extra virgin olive oil you’re looking for, we can help you find the perfect bottle to bring your cooking to life!
Olive Oil 101
Not sure which olive oil to choose? Here are some of our favorite ways to use different oils, along with recipes, tips and tricks to help you get started.
Our Favorite Olive Oils for Baking:
1. Cobram Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil Cobram’s olive oils are unrefined, meaning they haven’t been processed, contain no chemicals or additives and have a low acidity, resulting in pure, pristine taste. The olives are crushed just hours after being plucked from the tree, and with olive groves in both Australia and California, and two prime harvest seasons each year, Cobram ensures each bottle you buy is the freshest, cleanest oil available.
Why it’s best for baking: This ripe, bold oil has a more pronounced flavor that won’t get lost in baked goods. Try this oil in these delicious recipes: Olive Oil Brownies & Olive Oil Carrot Cake with Extra Virgin ‘Buttercream’.
Believe it or not, good olive oil adds richness to brownies. We like to balance the deep flavors with a sprinkling of salt flakes.
Our Favorite Olive Oils for Vinaigrettes & Dipping:
1. Bariani Extra Virgin Olive Oil This olive oil is made entirely on Bariani’s family farm in Zamora, California. Not only do they own their olive orchards—they also do the picking, crushing and pressing themselves. Bonus: Their cold-pressed, unfiltered extra virgin olive oil is rich in good-for-you polyphenols.
Why it’s best in vinaigrette: The raw nature of this first cold pressed, unfiltered olive oil helps preserve its nutrients and high polyphenols, so it’s best enjoyed unheated. Try it in our recipe for Grilled Salmon Raspberry Wasabi Salad.
2. Castillo de Canena Arbequina Olive Oil This family-owned business in Andalusia, Spain, has won over 100 international awards for quality and was named one of the world’s greatest olive oil producers four years in a row. This award-winning oil has flavors of apple, banana, quince and herbs, with an almond finish.
Why it’s best in vinaigrette: This oil is a perfect in vinaigrettes, as its fruity flavors and herbaceous notes lend a refreshing elegance to any salad, like our recipe for Seared Tuna Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette.
3. Regalis Infused Truffle Oils Regalis is one of the nation’s leading importers of truffles, truffle oils and rare, foraged ingredients. Their organic white and black truffle oils are naturally infused with the finest aromatic truffles and no artificial flavors.
Why it’s best for dipping: This fragrant oil is best enjoyed with bread, so you can really savor its rich, earthy complexity.
Our Favorite Olive Oils for Finishing:
The best way to use a really fine, robust olive oil is to enjoy it in a raw state and drizzle it over finished dishes like soups, pastas, fresh fish, meat and warm bread.
1. Mis Raices Extra Virgin Olive Oil This olive oil is produced from an exclusive, unique Empeltre variety of olive from Bajo Aragón in Spain. It’s also limited edition, with just 20,000 bottles (we’ve claimed 8,000 of them)! This oil is fruity, ripe, delicate, sweet and low intensity. Drizzle over fresh cheeses, crusty breads or use to elevate creamy soups.
Why it’s best for finishing: This oil is deliciously complex and shines as a finishing oil. It’s excellent with good, crusty bread or as part of a cheese or charcuterie board, and it’s also a great finishing oil for white fish (try it with our Potato Fennel Soup with Seared Sea Scallops) or a simple salad.
Try this: Make Pa Amb Tomàquet (Spanish Tomato Bread) – This classic tapas dish couldn’t be easier to make! Simply rub half of the cut side of a garlic clove over grilled or toasted bread, rub a tomato halve over it, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
2. Laudemio Extra Virgin Olive Oil From their pristine olive orchards and peak harvest to their cold extraction process, every element is thoughtfully accounted for in Laudemio’s oils. Each bottle is scrupulously tested by a third-party olive oil expert to ensure superior quality and taste.
Why it’s best for finishing: This rich, fruity oil is made from olives harvested at their peak ripening, so using it as a finishing touch on soup, meat, pizza or pasta is a wonderful way to highlight its flavors and aromas. Drizzle over our classic Butternut Squash Soup to bring out its rich flavors.
Our Favorite Oils for Frying and Roasting:
Mustard seed oil and animal fat have high smoke points (the temperature at which an oil starts to smoke and burn), making them ideal for frying and roasting.
Yandilla Spicy Mustard Seed Oil Crafted in Australia, this award-winning, cold-pressed oil is totally unique. It has a bright, clean flavor and zesty heat reminiscent of horseradish. Why it’s best for frying: Its high smoke point makes it an excellent choice for frying. We especially love using it to fry fish.
EPIC Animal Fats Rendered animal fats are a trusted, pure and stable option for cooking. EPIC’s products are thoughtfully crafted with sustainably sourced, wholesome, non-GMO ingredients.
Made with sustainably sourced, grass-fed pork fat, grass-fed jalapeño sea salt beef bone broth and grass-fed beef, our hearty Grass-Fed Beef Chili is a dish you can feel good about.
Roasting potatoes? Swap olive oil for duck fat. Its high smoke point and rich, earthy flavor makes super-crispy potatoes that are so good, you’ll never go back. Try our recipe for Crispy Duck Fat Smashed Potatoes with Lemon Gremolata.
Glaze + Vinegar
Good olive oil and vinegar are a match made in culinary heaven. Whether you marry them in a vinaigrette or splash them over fresh fruit or ice cream, these rich, distinguished vinegars are delicate, bursting with flavor and guaranteed to enhance any dish.
1Regalis Black Truffle Balsamic Glaze
Why we love it: Made in Modena, Italy and infused with black Perigord truffles from Spain, this glaze is wonderfully rich and aromatic thanks to 18 years of barrel-aging!
How to use it: Drizzle over roasted vegetables, fresh burrata or ripe strawberries for unparalleled flavor.
2O Balsamic Vinegars
Why we love it: All of O Vinegar’s California Balsamics received the gold trophy at the International Fancy Food Show in New York. Their delicate vinegar is barrel-aged and hand-crafted, one batch at a time.
How to use it: Take salads to the next level. Try their Oak Aged Balsamic Vinegar drizzled over grilled radicchio with crumbled blue cheese and pecans.
3A L’Olivier Fruit Pulp Vinegars
Made with a blend of 40% fruit pulp and white wine vinegar, these distinctive French vinegars are a delicious way to brighten up any dish. Try adding them to cocktails or, if you’re feeling adventurous, splash some over your ice cream!
Aged in old oak barrels from France, these bold, bright vinegars are 100% all-natural and free of artificial flavors. Add them to sauces and vinaigrettes or drizzle over vegetables, casseroles and even roasts.