The olive oil to buy

I would like to tell you about some olive oil that is so good it is the staple at Elitistreview Towers; we always feel delighted when we have the chance to use it. ‘So good’ is the prime quality that interests the team here, but speaking for myself, I also have an eye for a bargain. Consequently, I am delighted to tell you the olive oil every lover of properly good things should be hunting down in howling packs costs £5.99 per 500ml bottle at Sainsbury.

It is true, that not so many years ago I raved about something much flasher: Ravida. The thing was, back then it was not so flash. Many years after I started buying it as a seventeen year old going to school in Oxford it still cost £12.99 for a 750ml bottle. That is not so bad for a keen lunatic to use for lubricating most delights without squandering all the Severe Disablement Allowance. It was very good, not the nec ultra plus but good and priced accordingly.

Sadly, news of unbeatable products at good prices spreads like a melanoma to all those who want to price me out of having a tits time of it. Last time I dared go near the burning intensity of the price label on a 500ml bottle of Ravida it was £31.95. Still good oil, for sure, but at that price it is shocking value. The Elitistreview oil purchases were sourced from ever more disparate suppliers, our net cast ever more widely in hope, until about a year ago.

The best affordable olive oil

The Editor, as so often these days, gets the credit for this as it was he who suggested we buy some Sainbury’s Taste The Difference Sicilian olive oil (Val di Mazara DOP) as we desperately needed some olive oil right now and this is seriously the best we can possibly afford, Davy! We bought it, we tasted it again, we tasted it on a selection of artfully chosen breads and, good god, it was lovely!

Now I will be honest and say Sainsbury’s TTD Sicilian olive oil is not, when subjected to fiercely analytical tasting scrutiny, quite as good as Ravida. But you would have to pay more frighteningly close attention than I’m capable of, to notice any qualitative difference when scoffing something as glorious as Isle of Wight tomatoes with oil, salt and pepper. I would happily drink the oil left on the plate, indeed I frequently do, with not a scintilla less pleasure than if it had been my long gone favourite Ravida.

Isle of Wight tomatoes with super olive oil

So, today Elitistreview is not peddling the pointy pinnacle, or even selling the slopes right before it, but rather the flatter bit just before that where the bagpipe player groans and children pose for photographs. However, at £5.99 for 500 ml the view is god-damned picturesque and it’s not as if you escape the bagpipe music even if you pay someone a fortune to carry you the few metres more to the summit.

Get out to your local Sainsbury’s and buy Taste The Difference Sicilian Val di Mazara DOP olive oil, you’ll bloody love us for it! In an act of sheer stupidity we have not arranged any commission from Sainsbury’s for this blog post – even though it’s possibly the most commercial, electric hot tip I’ve ever written…

  • Dids

    I shall pop out and buy a bottle David! Conor and I are currently nurturing tomato plants in our conservatory, and have ten plants, so hope to have a bumper crop of toms this summer. Now all you have to recommend is a good buffalo mozerella, and I shall have my favourite starter all summer long 🙂

  • Sean old bean, with a bottle (or two) of this and some tomato plants of your very own, Connor and you are destined to dine like uncommonly enlightened royalty this season. The fruits of both your work will never have tasted so vivacious. Well, not at this low, low price, anyway!

    Do you have access to Waitrose in your neck of the woods? If so I can recommend a frankly stunning buffalo mozzarella and, would you believe it, it comes from Hampshire! The Laverstoke Park Farm mozzies are the badger’s bum, delivering that ‘bite of fresh milk’ character with class and style. They have a website you could try ordering from if you lack a suitable supplier.

    If you’ve got the oil, toms, cheese and obviously winning company, in the form of you and Connor, sorted out maybe I should try to sneak in a visit – armed to the teeth with German Riesling! That would suit all (Connor perhaps a bit less well).

  • Ian Black

    David – The Ravida is pricey, but the price you quoted must be for the litre size. The 500ml. bottle is £16.35 chez Mr. Waitrose. I just checked it in my local store this morning. Of course that’s still nearly three times the price of the TTD oil, so your tip is good news on which I shall definitely be taking action.

  • David, unfortunately no waitrose here, but there really should be.

  • Tom Blach

    Thanks for the tip, David. Did you happen to notice the best before date on your bottle?
    The thing about the very finest oil is that like the very finest wine it should be taken unmixed and undiluted, and there are rather few occasions when that is called for. Generally the merely very good will do admirably, as you point out.