Differentiating between the two Kirkland extra virgin olive oils can be tricky unless you pay close attention to the bottles and labels.
Update: Since I wrtoe this post, it has become difficult to consistently find the Kirkland Toscano EVOO on shelves. Simply put, the product is good but availability in unreliable. Therefore, I now rely on several brands mentioned later in the post.
As for the Costco EVOO’s……since there are two Kirkland signature EVOOs, some might get confused (as I once did) as to how they are different. Although both are labeled “extra virgin,” the quality is not the same.
A manager at Costco explained to me that the slimmer bottle on the left (a glass bottle) contains a higher quality EVOO~one suitable for tasting, drizzling on salads, or offered as a dipper for bread. This higher quality EVOO will have the word “Toscano” on the label. This Kirkland EVOO has received high marks in several EVOO rankings published over the last few years; however, olive oil is a harvested item, and crop quality can change from season to season.
Since Costco is not consistent in stocking the Toscano EVOO, I have choosen some new favorites that are readily available online and in stores. As a paid member of cooksillustrated.com, I have access to their exacting “taste tests” and recommendations. All of my new favorites came from their recommendations which I outline below.
Cook’s Illustrated Winner/Recommended: This readily available inexpensive EVOO……. can be found at Target and most grocers. This is the most budget savvy choice, and Cook’s Illustrated ranked it as a rival to the favorite “high end” EVOO.
Just one step below the winner is the Cook’s Illustrated recommended, this Italian favorite….I buy this at The Fresh Market, and Lucini happens to be my favorite brand of balsamic vinegar.
Finally, Cook’s Illustrated “recommended with reservations” is my favorite, most oft-used EVOO.…..It is sold in most every store that I frequent, and it is an old faithful that has never disappointed.
Navigating the aisles for the best EVOO can be daunting, but I can truly say that all of the aforementioned EVOO’s are excellent. I am partial to Colavita, simply because I have been using it the longest. All of these are excellent buys, and all can be readily found on store shelves.
If you have a favorite EVOO, I’d love to hear from you! As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!