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Fancy Olive Oil Review

by Meghann on September 10, 2009

A couple weeks ago I was contacted by Atlas Olive Oils on whether I would be interested in sampling and reviewing some of their high quality Olive Oils. Fancy Shcmancy olive oils? Sign me up! :)

A couple weeks later and I had almost forgot about the olive oils. That is until yesterday when I received a fairly beat up package containing two lovely bottles and a shipping slip that claimed they had journeyed all the way from Casablanca, Morocco. There was not messing around with these bottles of Olive Oil, they were legit, straight from the Atlas Olive Oils Estate itself.

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Granted I know nothing about Olive Oils, but anything that has traveled so far and comes in a pretty bottle has to be good.

I was sent two bottles of their top of the line Olive Oils.

First the Desert Miracle.

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From the literature:

Desert is known worldwide for being the extra virgin olive oil made in the Desert of Morocco. The oil is fruity (artichoke, banana), soft, sweet, and very pleasant in the mouth.It is one of the few olive oils in the world to have a low 0,1 – 0,2 acidity.

 

Second the Les Terrioirs De Marrakech

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From the literature:

The Les Terrioirs De Marrakech oil is fruity (fresh herbs, apple, mint) but more robust as it is more peppery in the throat and bitterer in the mouth palate. It is only 0,2 acidity.

I like how the olive oil descriptions all reminded me of wine descriptions. I think it takes a certain trained tounge to really tell the difference. Just as I can not taste fruit, flowers or herbs in wine, I could sadly not detect them in the olive oils either.

That did not mean I was not excited to sample the Les Terrois de Marrackech in my lunch today.

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I made a simple tomato salad of Cherry Tomatoes, Fresh Basil, Feta, and Steamed Brussel Sprouts which I drizzled with some of the Les Terrois de Marrackech and Balsamic Vinegar.

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This salad was basically amazing So refreshing and so perfect for the still hot summer weather e are experiencing.

Could I taste the difference between this olive oil and my standard Publix brand? Well, no. But, I think I it would be fun to do a side by side blind taste testing to really see if there is a difference.

Granted I can not tell the difference between a $6 bottle of wine and a $50 bottle of wine either. ;)

I mixed and matched my seasonal favorites by pairing a very fall inspired Pumpkin Biscuit with Cranberry Apple Chutney with the summer salad.

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And to round it all out I had some Cantaloupe.

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All together.

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Mid-morning I snacked on a Dark Mocha Almond Kashi Bar.

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Have you ever had fancy olive oil? Could you taste the difference?

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jenna September 10, 2009 at 1:52 pm

i have never tried fancy olive oil! haha. but the descriptions did remind me of wine too :)
hope it was good!

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2 Mounsif October 29, 2009 at 2:49 pm

hello all,

I just wanted to inform everyone that we actually have the olive oil described above for sale in the US, please feel free to go to http://www.gourmetmaroc.com if you are interested in experiencing the difference for yourselves.

Thanks,

Mounsif

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3 foodieinthecity September 10, 2009 at 1:55 pm

Your salad looks incredible! And a pumpkin biscuit? What a well rounded meal, it’s all about balance :)

I haven’t ever tried fancy olive oil, but I highly doubt I would be able to tell the difference either!

They were actually doing a taste test the other weekend at my local grocery store. Rold Gold’s pretzel’s vs. store brand. I thought the store brand was the ‘name brand’ Rold Gold. Goes to show you that *usually* there isn’t a big difference. However, there are some things I won’t get the store brand for!

-Jenna

http://www.foodieinthecity.wordpress.com

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4 So September 10, 2009 at 2:11 pm

Lucky you I LOVE fancy olive oil. Too bad you could not tell the difference. In order to appreciate fancy olive oils, I suggest you try it with only a piece of good bread (no vinegar, just oil).

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5 Evan Thomas September 10, 2009 at 2:15 pm

I really want to try fancier olive oils I bougt some from Greece when I was there that’s very good but it’s nothing like that

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6 Mellissa September 10, 2009 at 2:17 pm

We bought really good olive oil when were did our wedding and honeymoon in Italy and shipped it home. I can tell when I am using it to dip bread but that’s about it.

We did buy infused oils that I can really taste, but you can make those at home pretty easily.

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7 Kristen @ Simply Savor September 10, 2009 at 2:20 pm

i’m the same as you–can’t tell the difference between a $5 and $50 bottle of wine (i actually think i probably prefer the $5 bottle!) lol. it reminds me of the Trader Joe’s Charles Shaw (2 Buck Chuck wine) winning best taste over some $200 bottles at a famous winetasting. I’ve never done an olive oil tasting, but i probably would be clueless

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8 Lindsey (Mrs. LC) September 10, 2009 at 2:25 pm

For both wines and olive oils I can smell the differences more than taste. I do think there’s a big quality difference between low quality olive oil and high quality cold pressed extra virgin olive oil. They just smell and taste more vibrant when it’s the good stuff. That’s just the complete food snob/ dork in me talking though. ;)

(In truth, the Publix EVOO really isn’t that bad).

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9 Leah September 10, 2009 at 2:28 pm

I can very much tell the difference in certain dishes. It’s about simplicity with distinguishing though. Try just the oil on a piece of white bread. It’s a good way to train your palate. I would not cook meals with that olive oil but use it to enhance flavors. Like in Bruschetta, as a dip, in a pesto.

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10 sarah September 10, 2009 at 2:31 pm

if you just try them with bread dipped in, or put a bit on your finger and taste them, i bet you’ll be able to tell the difference between this and a generic – i’ve had some REALLY delicious oils and balsamics. but i agree, when mixed in with a meal like yours, i don’t think i’d be able to tell the difference.

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11 Leianna September 10, 2009 at 2:37 pm

I’ve tried some fancy olove oils in Spain and I could tell they were more authentic and richer, maybe thats because most come from there! But I buy the regular stuff because it really doesn’t matter that much to me!
Those ones you got look great!

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12 Gloria September 10, 2009 at 2:44 pm

You gotta try the olive oil in sauces and cold salads where you can really taste the flavors. I use generic extra virgin olive oil for things like stirfrying, grilling, or baking but when I’m making homemade sauce or dips I use the good stuff I bought in Greece. It’s so fruity!

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13 Nicole September 10, 2009 at 2:49 pm

I agree with Mrs. LC, on this issue. I am a food snob, and I can’t help it! Meghann, I don’t know if you know this but balsamic vinegar is the same way. Once you’ve had aged balsamic vinegar (100 years), you never want to put cheap balsamic vinegar in your mouth again!

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14 Brandi September 10, 2009 at 2:50 pm

those oils sound fabulous!

I have never tried any fancy olive oils, but I would love to. Good olive oil just can’t be beat!

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15 Niki September 10, 2009 at 3:06 pm

Love those bottles! I’ve never tried fancy olive oil:(

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16 angieinatlanta September 10, 2009 at 3:07 pm

I can never taste the difference in oils but I can in cheese and chocolate! I guess my taste buds have their priorities!

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17 fitforfree September 10, 2009 at 3:17 pm

The only olive oil that I’ve ever had that stood out was a lemon-infused olive oil. It was amazing!!! But the lemon flavor was super-strong :-)

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18 Samantha September 10, 2009 at 3:23 pm

I have never had fancy olive oil, but I would love too try some!! The BF and I love dipping Italian breads into herbs and oil….making my drool right now!! Let us know how you like the other one as well!

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19 Lauren September 10, 2009 at 3:35 pm

Recently I was at a gourmet pizza restaurant and they had an olive oil trio – from New Zealand, Italy and a third country that I’ve since forgotten. Sitting there, dipping bread into them we could tell the differences between the three, although between the three of us that were eating it, we all had different favorites! it’s a taste bud thing, just like wine.

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20 Morgan September 10, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Those bottles are so beautiful! Like everyone said, dipping them into bread will help you taste the difference. It’s all about personal preference, but yes, good olive oil is amazing!

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21 cookinfanatic September 10, 2009 at 3:52 pm

I love garlic/herb infused oils…w/ some bread…hmmm indulgent!

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22 Matt September 10, 2009 at 3:53 pm

I doubt I would be able to tell the difference either!

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23 foodcents September 10, 2009 at 3:55 pm

Like many have said, if tasted on its own or dipped in bread, I can taste the difference. In a dressing or something along those lines, not so much.

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24 Dottie September 10, 2009 at 3:56 pm

The bottles are beautiful, btw :)

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25 Erin September 10, 2009 at 4:14 pm

Yes, like everyone says, dip it in some yummy crusty bread. You will taste the difference. And it is an oh so delicious difference!

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26 sugiorg September 10, 2009 at 4:27 pm

I WANT TO MAKE A BET: FOR ALL YOU READERS; WHO DO YOU THINK WILL WIN IN THIS WEEKEND’S RACE?

A) MEGHANN
B)MEGAN
C)CAITLIN
D)KELLY

I PERSONALLY VOTE FOR CAITLIN

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27 wholesomefoodie September 10, 2009 at 4:58 pm

Honestly I can not taste the difference between high quality olive oils/balsamic vinegars and the regular stuff. I wish I could, but my palate is not that sophisticated.

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28 Stephanie September 10, 2009 at 5:08 pm

I love your lunches! I have tried some fancy olive oils, but I couldn’t tell the difference either…

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29 Susan September 10, 2009 at 5:09 pm

Ha, I have a digestive intolerance to olive oil and many other high fat foods like avocado. I do enjoy fancy balsamic vinegars though! :)

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30 Annamarina September 10, 2009 at 5:32 pm

Whenever I cook a Barefoot Contessa recipe, she always calls for “good” olive oil. I don’t exactly know what that means, so I just figured it meant expensive :) Recently I bought a more expensive olive oil at Whole Foods, which happens to be organic. I assume it is “good” olive oil. But, like you I don’t taste a difference. I’m sure there is a reason many of these recipes tell you to use the good stuff, but I haven’t figured it out quite yet! I just like to use the organic stuff!

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31 Kristin September 10, 2009 at 8:26 pm

Mmm… I love olive oil!
I have some incredible blood orange infused olive oil that I can DEFINITELY taste the difference in… maybe it has to be a strong infusion?
In any case, your salad looks great and I love olive oil!!

xo
K

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32 Lauren September 10, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Ooo, that salad does look pretty incredible. So fresh and delightful. The oil seems like a perfect addition. I just love a good EVOO!

PS- Pumpkin biscuts?!?! Hell yes! I am book marking this recipe.

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33 Katie September 10, 2009 at 9:42 pm

So funny, just last weekend we went to a friend’s house for dinner and did an olive oil comparison! A cheap one from Albertson’s and one they got from Italy…..I could TOTALLY taste the difference! I never would have guessed!

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34 Jessica September 11, 2009 at 4:25 am

There is definitely a huge difference, just like with wine. But it is a palate thing, you have to become accustomed to picking out the deeper flavours. With wine, in particular, once you have a lot of better quality wine when you go back to the cheap stuff you’ll definitely notice the lack of depth of flavour. Not to say that there isn’t good, inexpensive wine, there is, but it’s usually not as finely crafted.

I’d assume olive oil is the same way. I’ve had some good quality oil that just tastes like it’s made from better quality ingredients. I also prefer cold-pressed. But for cooking I’ll use anything.

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35 Jess September 13, 2009 at 8:48 pm

I haven’t had the pleasure of trying “fancy” olive oils, but I do have a few “fancy” balsamic vinegars in my arsenal! I bought a desert quality vinegar on accident a year or so ago when it was shelved in the wrong slot but after getting past the sticker price it was the best “accident’ I’ve had grocery shopping in a while! Yummy.

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