Olive oil is a kitchen essential. There should always be a full bottle in your pantry. Truthfully, though, it can be tough to know what variety to buy. Should you always reach for the extra-virgin olive oil, or will simple virgin olive oil suffice? When a recipe says to use "good" olive oil, what exactly does that mean?
There's only one person I would really trust to answer these questions with any kind of certainty, and that person is Ina Garten. Lucky for us, the bearer of all the best and most practical kitchen knowledge did us a favor and revealed her favorite brand of olive oil.
Ina invited the folks over at Bon Appetit to raid her pantry, and they discovered plenty of tidbits about how she keeps her kitchen organized when the cameras aren't rolling. For instance, Ina keeps stacks of Lindt bittersweet chocolate bars on hand for baking, and doesn't even keep her mustard in the fridge after it's been opened. Probably the most useful piece of advice Ina dispenses, however, has to do with the aforementioned olive oil.
Her preferred brand is Olio Santo extra-virgin olive oil, which is available on Amazon. Ina says that she typically prefers olive oil produced in California, not in Italy, which may surprise some people. Her reason? The flavor, of course. Olive oil from California is less bitter, and "fruitier," than Italian varieties.
Buy Now: Olio Santo California Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, $20
Ina has been using Olio Santo olive oil for at least 20 years, so you know it's dependable. Plus, Ina mentions that she usually doesn't buy "unusual" ingredients that she'll only use once; she clearly prefers the classics. Olive oil is just one of those multi-purpose ingredients that tastes great with everything. She uses it to sauté vegetables, as a dip for bread, and, of course, as a light dressing for salad.
So there you have it, the mystery has been solved. When a chef talks about "good" olive oil, they are probably talking about a brand like Olio Santo. You are now one step closer to cooking like Ina Garten at home (even if your home isn't in the Hamptons).