I’m an Olive Oil Snob, and This One Seen on “The Bear” Is My All-Time Favorite

published Jul 10, 2024
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Credit: Leela Cyd

If there’s one thing I can never have enough of in my kitchen, it’s olive oil. I cook with it every single day, and I’m filled with an inexplicable rage anytime a recipe suggests cutting down on oil or skipping it altogether. Regardless of whether I’m preparing a salad or drizzling some extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) over veggies for baking, you can rest assured that I’m using a hefty amount. I don’t consider myself overly discerning when it comes to which one I use, but over the years, I’ve tried a number of different brands, and some are certainly better than others. My preferred flavor profile is one with a bit of a kick, but not too grassy or robust — in other words, just potent enough to be noticeable without overpowering the dish.

It just so happens that the most recent brand I tried fits my preferences to a tee and was featured in the most recent season of The Bear. (The show’s culinary producer also uses it in her own kitchen.) Partanna’s extra virgin olive oil is now the one I reach for on a daily basis, and I recommend it to all other home cooks, whether they’re fans of Chef Carmy or not.

What is Partanna’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

The first thing you’ll notice about Partanna’s olive oil is the stunning tin it comes in, but what’s inside is even more special. Made in the town of Partanna in southwest Sicily, the oil comes from handpicked, cold-pressed Castelvetrano olives that have been farmed by the same family for more than 200 years. It’s organic and certified non-GMO, not to mention made using sustainable farming practices. Partanna describes its robust extra virgin olive oil as having a “buttery flavor and a light, peppery finish,” and I’d agree that “light” is an apt description. The red-tin oil is made for sautéing, roasting, and all other cooking methods, so whether you use it to fry up some eggs or merely add it to your boiling pasta water, it’ll subtly enhance the meal and make it richer. I also tried the brand’s smooth extra virgin olive oil, which is intended for drizzling fresh over salads and already-cooked meals. It’s described as having “notes of artichoke and almond” with “a peppery finish.” Both oils are smooth and fresh-smelling, and they’ll serve as either a hearty base or vibrant finish to virtually any recipe.

Credit: Nikol Slatinska

Why I Love Partanna’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil

I have both EVOOs sitting at the very front of my pantry cabinet because unless I’m heating up a frozen meal to eat for lunch, I use them for whatever I’m cooking. For the ultimate quick and easy snack, I sometimes dip rosemary bread into the bottled one, along with some black pepper — it’s simple but scrumptious. I do also use and enjoy greener-tasting olive oils, like Graza, but if you’re looking for a one-size-fits-all cooking or drizzling oil, go with Partanna.

In addition to having a distinct but subtle flavor, the oil in the red tin also allows for nonstick cooking; the contents of my pan always slide right out. Of course, I’m not the only one who loves this brand’s olive oils. “I had never really paid attention to olive oil before, but suddenly all my culinary creations were so tasty!” one Amazon reviewer wrote. “I couldn’t figure it out, until I realized it was the oil! … I looked at so many stores after that first bottle and tried many others, but something about this is special enough to get it shipped from Amazon every so often.”

Other shoppers emphasized how rich the oil is without being heavy. The only small issue I had was opening the red container and pouring without getting the oil all around the top of the tin, but I am also notoriously bad at opening containers. In any case, I now see why Partanna customers are so loyal to the brand. Once you try it, I think you’ll have a hard time not going back for more.

Buy: Partanna Extra Virgin Olive Oil Tin, 16.9 Fl Oz, $19.99