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Why Fairway’s EVOO is Exceptional

Olive Oil and OlivesWe’ve seen the face – your expression of sheer delight when you visit our olive oil stations in our stores. Next, cue the amusement-park level of enjoyment as you taste with a sense of discovery, relishing the depth of flavor that bursts in your mouth.

In my Ode to Olive Oil essay, I expounded on how when you’re choosing among the best of the best olive oils that Fairway offers (and you know we would never offer you anything less), there isn’t one that’s better than the other. It’s a matter of preference and an affinity for a certain taste — whatever flavors and aromas that entice you. We know you’re as inquisitive as I am, starving for as much food knowledge as I have always pursued. And we know you’ve wondered: How do they do it? How does each Fairway brand extra-virgin olive oil taste so special? How is it that each is distinctive and unparalleled in its richness yet equally delicious to one another? And at a bargain? So here are more extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) details that you seek to tempt your taste buds and nourish your thoughts.

Bottles & Bottles of Expertly Chosen Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Let’s start with our barrel oils. These high-quality extra virgin olive oils each come from one sub-region, and they were chosen by an expert (ME, of course) who obviously is extremely passionate about olive oil. The olives are grown by a specific farmer, and they are milled by a specific miller. Plus, these oils are unfiltered, preserving their rusticity through decantation, whereby the oil sits undisturbed for weeks in a tank to allow the solid material in the oil to sink to the bottom because of gravity. That’s why an unfiltered oil can be as clear as a filtered one.

Since Fairway buys these oils in bulk, the result is a low price for YOU and our other customers. If these oils were bottled and labeled at their origins, they would retail for a lot more than we charge. There are 13 barrel oils, which include:

  1. Gata-Hurdes Extremadura
  2. Catalan Arbequina
  3. Greek Koroneiki
  4. Italian Riviera Taggiasca
  5. L’Olivie Picholine Languedoc
  6. Oro San Carlos Extremadura
  7. Barbera Sicilian
  8. Trevi-Umbria
  9. Pugliese Organic
  10. Luque Early Harvest Organic
  11. Mexican Mission
  12. California
  13. Australian Picual

Now our house oils deserve some attention, too. They include the All-Purpose EVOO (the one that established us as the authority and source for serious olive oil), the Organic EVOO, and the Unfiltered EVOO. Fairway has strictly blended the oils from specific groves lying in Southwestern Umbria and northern and central Puglia in an attempt to achieve a certain flavor, texture, fragrance, and cost profile, one that delights us as serious cooks and as assiduous shoppers. We have succeeded mightily in each regard. These olive oils display a depth of flavor with a lingering and pleasurable finish, a creamy texture, an alluring fragrance, and a remarkably low price. (They’re all certified kosher, too.) They stand as a testament to our lofty opinion here of what we insist we have accomplished: Oil that is as perfect for drizzling over toasts and cheeses, steaks and seafood, salads and grilled vegetables, and is inexpensive enough to use to saute, pan fry, and marinate a range of foods.

And last, but certainly not least, is our beautiful Baena EVOO, which we’ve already described in perfect prose here, and you have to experience for yourself. Sampling it is a mind-blowing event.

TELL US: Which Fairway olive oils are your favorites? How do you like to use them?

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20 Responses to “Why Fairway’s EVOO is Exceptional”

  1. Matthew Di Meglio
    October 27, 2011 at 7:32 pm #

    My favorite olive oil is the Barbera Sicilian. I use it over a simple salad consisting of escarole, shaved garlic and salt. So as not to mask the taste. I drizzle it on fresh mozzarella and have recently used in my homemade jarred marinated eggplant. It’s also great for dipping the baguette’s that Fairway bakes.

    • Julie
      October 31, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

      My husband and I love Gata-Hurdes and Baena EVOO. We were introduced to them at an olive oil program at National Geographic in Washington, DC. We bought them on line for many years. I have been hoping to see them again on your site. They make terrific Christmas presents. Will they be available soon?

      • Christine Porretta
        October 31, 2011 at 7:37 pm #

        They’re available now and always — in all Fairway stores!

        • Christine Porretta
          November 9, 2011 at 11:52 pm #

          They’ll be available online soon, so please stay tuned! Those two olive oils are very special — thanks for loving them as much as we do.

      • Christine Porretta
        December 17, 2011 at 3:11 am #

        Hi Julie, I’m thrilled to announce that our online store Fairway Marketplace has now launched! You’ll find the Gata-Hurdes and Baena EVOOs and more. Check it out:

  2. Louise Januzzi
    October 27, 2011 at 8:06 pm #

    I buy the Greek and the Sicilian. I really do enjoy the oils; thanks!

  3. Carol Jarcho
    October 27, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

    I wish you had half bottles of olive oil. They are so tempting, but go bad as I don’t use them often enough. cj

  4. Carol Jarcho
    October 27, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

    I wish you had half bottles. cj

  5. Carol Jarcho
    October 27, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

    half bottles, please. they are so convenient. cj

  6. pat
    October 27, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    I LOVE you olive oils. My very favorite is #13 Australian picual and my second choice is # 1 gata-hurdes. I always buy a bottle or two for my family in massachusetts and rhode island. they love when i visit!!!

  7. Judy Price
    October 27, 2011 at 11:49 pm #

    What goes with your fabulous olive oils? (Beef) carpaccio! I wanted to serve it for a bridge party, but you don’t have a machine that would ultra-thin-slice (preferably frozen) filet of beef that I could serve as carpaccio, drizzled with olive oil and served with capers. Could you consider adding carpaccio?

  8. Nancy Dell'Aria
    October 28, 2011 at 12:57 am #

    I’m quite familiar with your olive oils and would love to order them as I have done in the past . I bought them when I lived in NY and loved them. when will I be able to order them on-line again?

    • Christine Porretta
      November 9, 2011 at 11:50 pm #

      They’ll be available online in the near future, so stay tuned! Thanks for loving our olive oils as much as we do!

      • Christine Porretta
        December 17, 2011 at 3:13 am #

        Our Fairway olive oils, other specialty foods, gift baskets, and more are now available through our new online store Fairway Marketplace. Check it out:

  9. Bob
    October 28, 2011 at 5:01 am #

    Until a Fairway Market opened near me, I knew little about olive oil other than that all the common brand name EVOOs that I tried tasted alike. I also had never heard of unfiltered oil. Now that I have sampled several of the barrel and house olive oils at Fairway, as well as having read Steve Jenkins’s learned essays on the subject, I have gained an appreciation for the variety of extra virgin oils available. Catalan Arbequina is the EVOO that I currently use for my own regular homemade salad dressing (though I have also tried Greek Koroneiki for that purpose). As for Gata-Hurdes Extremadura, it is unlike any olive oil I have seen, smelled or tasted. I generally use it as a dipping oil for slices of a Fairway baguette while snacking on many of the fine Fairway cheeses that I frequently enjoy, and I also use it as a makeshift dressing for a robust salad green such as arugula, the kind of green that even a strong oil such as Gata-Hurdes won’t overpower. Aside from these olive oils, I use the Fairway unfiltered house EVOO as a dipping oil and also for whatever else I would generally need an olive oil for. I am curious about the Fairway Molise EVOO, though, and that is one I should sample again at the store to see if it is next on my list to bring home.

  10. Beverly
    October 28, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

    The simplest of pleasures – a platter of freshly made ricotta cheese spread on crusty olive bread slices, and your exquisite tasting Oro San Carlos Extremadura drizzled over all with a sprinkling of your super premium balsamic vinegar. There are additions to this presentation (sliced grape tomatoes with basil, grilled nectarine slices, strawberries macerated in balsamic vinegar) but the basic one never fails to get lots of sighs. The olive oil is the key to bringing it all together. This is the one I use for finishing dishes and tossing with fresh vegetables and salads. Flavorful, light, with a little spice. Your olive oils and balsamic vinegars are always welcome gifts that I share with friends.

  11. Al Gozinia
    October 29, 2011 at 6:31 pm #

    I prefer the most full bodied and flavored varietals; so then I say, Bravo! to my personal top three favorites:

    Barbera Sicilian
    Oro San Carlos Extremadura
    Luque Early Harvest Organic

  12. Oscar C.
    October 30, 2011 at 3:20 pm #

    My favorite is California. The great olive taste lingers on the palate, unlike some oils that start off similarly and then end with a bitter or peppery finish.

  13. Mary Artemis
    November 9, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

    I am enjoying the Greek Koroneiki which has a great taste. Being Greek, myself, I’m somewhat partial to the taste having grown up on it. I do have a question that is perplexing me and weighing more and more. And that is the Greek Olive Oil (& many others) are not organic. Is there a way to find out more about this particular olive oil, the practices in farming it, and whether pesticides are actually used?

  14. Christine Porretta
    November 10, 2011 at 12:07 am #

    Hi Mary, thanks for enthusiasm for our Greek barrel oil. I know that Fairway’s very own Steve Jenkins personally got in touch with you today to respond to your questions, and he also provided contact information for the oil producer, so you could reach out directly with your queries. I’m also posting part of Steve’s response to you here, so others can benefit from the information, too:

    “My friend Katherine Doukas is the American-born granddaughter of the Doukas family. They produce the marvelous oil you have told me you like. I am crazy about it. I taste around two dozen Greek and Cretan olive oils every year, and I have never had any of them thrill me the way the Doukas family’s oils thrills me. I have visited their groves, and I know the way things are done there. While they have not gone to the expense of being certified organic, a practice I find does nothing except drastically raise the price of the operation of the grove, they practice an immaculate style of farming, from the maintenance and husbandry of the trees, through the harvesting process, to the milling and bottling of the oil itself.”

    Also, here is what Steve has written about Fairway’s Greek Koroneiki barrel olive oil:

    “About six miles from Sparta in the Peloponnesos region of Greece, the state of Lakonia, is a valley called Glykovrissi, referring to its ‘sweet fountains,’ that is, its bountiful freshwater springs. Here, too, are the olive groves owned and tended for generations by the Doukas family. These are old trees, some of them hundreds of years old, bearing the koroneiki olive, and also the athena olive, an ancient and almost forgotten variety. Both are pressed to derive this fine, unfiltered olive oil that Steven Jenkins of Fairway has the honor of offering to you. He says he tastes melted butter and ripe stone fruit, and that it finishes with black pepper; its fragrance is powerfully vegetal, with a bit of citrus. Its texture is thick and luxurious. The olives were hand-picked, and the intensity of the oil falls precisely and exactly between the gentleness of a Catalan Arbequina and the robustness of a Sicilian Biancolilla. It is similar in structure and flavor to an AOC Nyons, but at about a third of the price of the Nyons. It is recommended for all salads, certainly salads containing sheep’s milk or goat’s milk cheese, citrus fruit or avocado. It is superb as a table condiment to be drizzled over roasted or grilled seafood and vegetables, and certainly for any marinade or baste.”

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