Differentiating between the two Kirkland extra virgin olive oils requires a bit of savvy 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 Colavita extra virgin olive oil found in most grocers. If I see the Toscano, I might grab a bottle, but it isn’t my mainstay EVOO at this point.
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.
The bottle on the right is another Kirkland EVOO. It is labeled “extra virgin” olive oil and while it may technically qualify as such, it is not considered a superior EVOO. The Costco manager explained that this Kirkland EVOO is more suitable for cooking, salad dressings, and general uses.
In the last few months, my Birmingham Costco has not been stocking the Toscano EVOO. They have been offering Tasso Greek EVOO (pictured at right), but I was told by a Costco employee that this could be a short term, seasonal offering. I bought two bottles of this and love it. I hope that it will be a regular item, but if not, maybe the Kirkland Toscano EVOO will return to Costco shelves.
The Lucini bottle pictured at right is my favorite balsamic vinegar, and the Lucini extra virgin olive oil is one of the highest grocery store rated extra virgin oils. Lucini can be found on many store shelves, including most Target, Wal-Mart, Publix, and Winn-Dixie stores.