The overwhelming majority of the olive oil consumed in the U.S. is from Italy. The Italians, in turn, import most of their oil for domestic consumption from Spain. It’s not unlike how the French keep most of their best wine (“freedom grape juice” to me) for themselves. I recommend buying the generally cheaper, and much more flavorful Spanish versions in your local supermarket. For a complete guide to oil oil usage, types, etc…, there is handy guide available through Trader Joe’s.

A related Note: If you have never been to Trader Joe’s, its a magical place. You can get get inexpensive and interesting food from all over the world. A recent trip of mine included indian eggplant curry “t.v. dinner” (really good actually, comes in a airtight pouch you can boil), Chinese red bean buns, southwester chile flavored corn chips, and some Kim-chee. It’s also got a bit of happy hippy vibe, making for a friendly atmosphere. If you have one near one, check it out.

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