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San Giuliano freshly crushed unfiltered extra virgin olive oil

Hard pressed for a good cold pressed olive oil?

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Considering how much I use at home, I'm always on the hunt for an olive oil that both tastes good and is affordable. More often than not, large bottles of olive oil are either prohibitively expensive or you wind up sacrificing quality for volume. Another problem is finding a multipurpose oil because, really, who wants to have to use three different bottles for each meal?

San Giuliano freshly crushed unfiltered extra virgin olive oil is not only a bargain at $16.99 for a 1-liter bottle, but you can use it for virtually everything: salad dressings, as a marinade, for sautéing, even for frying. The oil is made by the Manca family in Sardinia, Italy, which has been making multiple types of olive oil since 1916. Owner Dan Giuliano harvests the freshest Bosana, Frantoio, Leccino, Semidana and Coratina olives, then cold-presses them, a process that uses only pressure from granite millstones and preserves the integrity of the oil but reduces the amount of acidity in the end product. After the oil is cold-pressed, it isn't filtered like many other oils, so it remains cloudy and relatively dense.

The award-winning oil is deep yellow with floating specks of dark green sediment, but separates naturally while it sits on the shelf. Just give the bottle a couple of brisk shakes before pouring and you're good to go. San Giuliano's oil is completely raw and, because it is so minimally processed, it offers all of the same nutrients as fresh olive fruit. You can use this oil for any dish, but the vegetal aroma and full fresh fruity olive flavor with hints of spice are more pronounced when it's eaten at room temperature. San Giuliano's oil doesn't taste "greasy" - all oil and no fruit - like some other olive oils, which is a big plus if you use it to finish your plates. It has a short shelf life of about three months before it begins to lose its punch, but you shouldn't have a problem using it up.

You can find San Guiliano's unfiltered olive oil at Your Dekalb Farmers Market (3000 E. Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur, 404-377-6400). More information at www.sangiuliano.it.

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