As a first generation Italian American who loves to cook, I use copious amounts of extra virgin olive oil in my cooking. After trying many brands, I have become strongly brand loyal to Frantoia. Unfortunately, it has gotten increasingly expensive, but since my mother taught me never to skimp on food, I continue to buy it, even though a big bottle is now $22 at Fairway, $12 for a small bottle. (I joined the Park Slope Food Coop for a month and the only reason I was sad to quit was that Frantoia was $16 a bottle there. Still not worth the headache, but I had to think about it.)
Yesterday I was at Trader Joe's and paid $4.99 for a small bottle of Monte Pollino di Trappeto Gold Selection Extra Virgin Olive Oil to bring to work (for my salads. Salad dressings are just vile.) When I put it in my desk next to my nearly empty small bottle of Frantoia, I realized that they were in the exact same bottle. I mean exact. And the bottle is someone distictive, with an olive motif etched in the glass (I'm sure this was subconsiously part of the reason I originally bought it, but I didn't expect it to be the exact bottle.) Then I looked at the details and both of them were packed by Pemiati Oleifici Barbera. I haven't tried the Trader Joe's bottle, but the color of both of them is exactly the same. Could it be that I have found a glorious loophole? This would be incredibly exciting, but at the same time a little depressing that my beloved Frantoia would be sticking it to me in such a cruel way. Then again, what else can you expect from Sicilians? (Joke. I am Sicilian, so I can make it.)
I don't imagine anyone would really know the answer to this, but I was so excited about my discovery, I wanted to share. of course, that will probably cause of run on the Monte Pollino oil but who cares since Trader Joes will probably discontinue it and break my heart anyway, as that rascal Joe has a history of doing.
So what do you think? Have I stumbled upon a goldmine, or am I no richer than I was yesterday?