Bariani olive oil

Bariani olive oil

These days, we don’t have the same luxuries I lived by when I was single.

In my book, I wrote about sampling expensive bottles of olive oil, slowly, and sipping them in tastings on warm spoons. After much deliberation, I bought bottles the price of two tickets to the movies. (And we all know ridiculously expensive those are these days.) Well, I haven’t been to a movie theater since Little Bean was born. And we’re not buying expensive bottles of olive oil much anymore.

Certainly, the economy has its effect on all of us. But more importantly, I have learned more about food than I once knew. Before I met the Chef, I glugged olive oil onto everything, sautéeing all my food in those bottles quickly emptying of precious liquid. He gently led me to the bottles of canola, sunflower, and grapeseed oil instead. And back in the thick of making dishes all day long for the cookbook, the Chef and I bought giant cans of pure olive oil — not as good as extra virgin, by any means, but serviceable for all the cooking we were doing.

Still, when a great olive comes through the door, we certainly don’t say no.

Last month, Anita and Cameron from Married with Dinner came over for lunch. (I know. How lucky were we?) When they came in, both of them went right for Little Bean. But not before handing us a small bag, with a jar of rosemary salt from Eatwell Farms and a bottle of Bariani olive oil.

Oh, we love them. (I mean Anita and Cam. But also, those two ingredients.)

Bariani olive oil is something special. Crushed from Mission and Manzanilla olives, this is Italian olive oil grown outside Sacramento. The Bariani family comes from just outside of Lombardy, in northern Italy, and they brought traditional methods and a stubborn insistence on doing things right.

Thank you for those qualities.

This is such a lovely oil. It’s green and silken, not assertive or peppery. Warm and robust, the Bariani olive oil tastes of hot summers and cool evenings, like the handmade press that crushes the fruit, like family business and the green drizzle of olive oil on good mozzarella at the end of a hot day of work. And really, given all this (and because we don’t have to pay importing costs), Bariani olive oil is our favorite olive oil of the moment. Slightly more expensive than the cheap jugs at grocery stores, Bariani Olive Oil is pretty darned affordable for such fine oil.

Since olives don’t grow in western Washington, we’ll call this our local olive oil.

What is your favorite olive oil at the moment? The one that you can afford?

12 comments on “Bariani olive oil

  1. Becks

    I use this olive oil! I save it for things I’m really going to taste the olive oil in though – like vinaigrette or drizzled on soup or for mopping up with bread. I use the cheap stuff for cooking.

    It is me, or does this oil have a bit of “bite” to it? Almost like a tang? I feel like my cheap oil is more buttery and mellow (but also less flavorful).

  2. Anita (Married... with dinner)

    I’m so happy you liked the olive oil!

    In San Francisco, we’re lucky that we can buy biggish bottles at some of our local grocery stores, and huge jugs at the Bariani stand at the farmers market. But even in the smaller sizes, it’s a worthwhile splurge. 🙂

  3. Indy

    I’m in crazy expensive Zurich. Any olive oil is ridiculously expensive. We tend to stock up everytime we go overseas. My favourite olive oil though- is one my brother bought for us as a housewarming present.

    He purchased it from a roadside stall in Andalusia. Its a 5 liter bottle- and has no label. It was produced by a small family farm, and they were just selling the excess they didn’t need.

    I’ve never tasted anything so delicious in my entire life. Honestly, with a leeetle sea salt, on fresh crusty bread? Heaven.

    I dread the day I begin to run out of it 🙁

  4. Diane

    This is my favorite olive oil. I buy it locally from the family matriarch at the Berkeley farmer’s market. It’s excellent, and I try to buy nothing else.

  5. theknitist

    De-lurking here to say “OMG, I love that olive oil!”

    I found it over a year ago while living in the bay area and looking for a really good olive oil that was local and not crazy-expensive. I found it at Whole Foods for about $25 for the giant bottle. Since then it’s gone up $3 and I’ve moved away from the Bay Area.

    These days I find it on through a 3rd party seller for about the same as WF, after you pay for shipping. My new local WF does not carry it, sadly.

    I had to buy some more for myself around xmas-time so I bought a smaller bottle ($12 – I think) for my brother and his GF. They loved it as much as I do.

    Thanks for posting about this oil. I’m so excited to be able to buy such quality olive oil and not have to have it shipped from another continent!

  6. Mia at Easy-Recipes

    This is a great find for me! I have tried several different types of olive oil some better than others but nothing has really seemed to jump out at me. I am on a tight budget so I never really go for any of the high priced bottles. Can this be found in a general super market?

    I live on the east coast in Jersey.


  7. La Niña

    I’ll have to try the Bariani, but for years and years I’ve sworn by the Italian Colavita Extra Virgin. I usually get it in the metal cans for about $20- I believe that holds about 34 ounces? But Ballard Market has had a huge sale on a slightly smaller glass bottle of Colavita- 25.5 ounces for $7.99. (I bought 6 bottles and stored them in a cool dark cabinet.)

    Colavita is not a “boutique” olive oil, but it is well-balanced and does not overpower what you are preparing. The company is from near Rome.

  8. Barrie

    Hi Shauna. I’m an olive oil fanatic.

    Lately, I’ve been into Olave’s garlic olive oil. It’s Chilean. They crush the garlic and olives together.

    It’s great on a night where I don’t have time to mince a little garlic for sauteeing veggies or to drizzle over something.

    They do lemon and basil too. Yum.


  9. Anonymous

    It’s our favorite olive oil too! The basalmic vinegar is great too. We used to live in Sacramento and would buy it from the Bariani’s at the local farmer’s market. Mr. Bariani is an adorable Italian man with a beautiful accent and enough English to get by and make people smile. A few months ago I spotted the olive oil at TOP FOODS and was thrilled that I don’t have to shuttle bottles back home when we visit Sacramanto now.

  10. Carrie

    This is one of my favorites too! They sell at the farmer’s market in Walnut Creek and some Whole Foods in the area carry the brand as well. I also buy Katz, which is also local (Suisun Valley, Napa), also organic, and also delicious. (And also available at Whole Foods). It’s different than the Bariani, though I couldn’t tell you how (I don’t have that refined tastes, and the price is about the same). I can tell you they use different olive varieties. Katz has a website (Bariani does too) if anyone wants to Google them. They are both great.

  11. Anonymous

    Yum! I love Bariani Olive Oil. Can be addictive too. 😉 I agree it's expensive. Luckily I usually find it online for a better price than the stores. I currently get it at and stock up on a year's worth to get the lowest price.

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