March 18th, 2008

Product review: Monte Pollino di Trappato Olive Oil

by Tim, 19 Comments »
monte pollino

I have been enjoying olive oil my whole life long. I am half Italian (mom’s side) and so I have a nice relationship with olive oil. I have recently developed a nice relationship with Monte Pollino di Trappato Gold Selection Extra Virgin Olive Oil… that’s a long title. This is one of the best olive oil’s I can remember ever having. I picked this olive oil up at Trader Joes not sure of what to expect… I guess I expected the usual versatile extra virgin olive oil that I get. I was pleasantly surprised.

For comparisons sake I will compare it to another excellent olive oil also available at Trader Joes: First Lady Reserve Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Sure I am comparing a filtered to an unfiltered but get past that. First Lady has excellent flavor… it goes from grassy to peppery. I think it tastes as good as other unfiltereds that may cost three times as much at other stores. What I think is so great about Monte Pollino though is that it has the excellent flavors that one would expect from an unfiltered…. but to me it’s even better.

Monte Pollino has a definite buttery taste that is full of fruit and aroma and then it has a spicy finish that surprised me the first time I tasted it. It was spicier… I want to say hotter, but that isn’t really right… than other peppery olive oils.  It is impressive because it is more complex than most olive oils you will taste in the store. It also has an excellent aroma and for 5 bucks at Trader Joes it is an incredible buy.

I have pretty much tried every olive oil at Trader Joes (yeah this is turning into a plug for Trader Joes) and I think Monte Pollino is by far the best, followed by First Lady Reserve. I hear the Kalamata EVOO is excellent but that is one that I haven’t had… prehaps on my next trip to a Trader Joes I will get some, unfortunately there are no Trader Joes in Nashville.

If anyone has any recommendations for excellent olive oil feel free to leave a comment… or even better you can contact me and send me a sample! 

  • Paula

    Hi Tim,

    YOU are CORRECT.  Monte Pollino is the BEST olive oil …unfortunately Trader Joe’s has discontinued it … and I am at a loss. Monte Pollino comes from the are of Sicily where my mother spent most of her childhood. 

    Let’s get a letter writing camaign going … to bring it back!


    Ci vediamo


  • Tim

    haha… yeah we should get a writing campaign going. Last I heard from a TJ employee was that it was only seasonal and was out for the rest of the year and that it would be back next year for several months.

    I know that the first time I had it was two years ago and couldn’t find it till earlier this past year… so it may be back early next year… if so we’ll have to stock up!

  • Dear Tim,

    I picked up recently a square box of olive oil packed in plastic cryovac from australia, called red island. I love the flavor of this oil. Also a company on the internet worth checking out, is ariston specialties. I think ariston olive oils are really super. Also check out Dellalo website, they have the nearest possible Italian products around. And for the best in certified Roma Tomatoes with the D.O.P. check out Lavalle Tomatoes and Tomato Pastes! Other than that , all things Italian are great!

  • BrujoGarza

    hello, i’m a trader joe’s junkie. my name is J.brujo garza but you can call me brujo. i enjoy plenty of products from trader joe’s, i usually leave with nearl $100usd of products biweekly! i love their coffee’s, chiefly their ethiopian medium dark roast organic fair trade shade grow and such, whose prices have been on an upwards ride! this is most likely because of the situations in that country? i recently tried the trader joe’s first lady reserve unfiltered olive oil, and so far my family enjoys it, not common for my 12 year old daughter, but ok with my six year old son! i try getting in as much healthy like products into the dinner table as possible, as does my wife. we had a previous oil from Trader Joe’s, that we loved also, but its name escapes me at the moment! and like some products it seemed to have disappeared! i hope the do bring it back soon! i like to make a dip with them using fresh herbs from our garden, and sometimes dry ones, and this is an excellent way to get the children involved, they love making their own creations, and actually eating them! well as i wander in and out of subjects, ill end with this, trader joes is a bit pricey, but i think in the end its worth it!

  • Tim

    Yeah… I can’t wait till they get a Trader Joes in Nashville. Also, I don’t think it is as pricey as most other natural and whole food stores. I think their prices are great. Thanks for the tips!

  • Olive oil is really very good for everyone. It helps to run down our cholesterol. Thanks for your product overview. I like it very much. Very good for health.

  • Paula Cullison

    I spotted Monte Pollino Olive Oil at World Market on Camelback Rd and 18th St in Phoenix, AZ($7)

    I just stopped by and bought two bottles.  Although it is in a different bottle (rectangular) with a different label and is marked Extra Virgin Olive Oil, I am sure it is the same product.  As you know, Trader Joe’s is no longer carrying it (also $7).

  • I think ariston olive oils are really super. Also check out Dellalo website, they have the nearest possible Italian products around. And for the best in certified Roma Tomatoes with the D.O.P. check out Lavalle Tomatoes and Tomato Pastes! Other than that , all things Italian are great!

  • Trader Joe's First Lady is fab

    I love both of these olive oils, and I believe they recently quit carrying the First Lady Reserve. I am extremely disappointed, as I go through a bottle every two weeks. I spoke with someone, and the product was slow moving. I want to know who the Italian supplier was, so I may find it elsewhere.

  • Artful1

    America rise up. We want First Lady Reserve Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil back on the shelves. Flood them with emails.

  • StevenTaylor

    Flooding with email would be one thing to do, but I do think that they might have financial problems as well. Another thing may be that their provider just cancelled the contract or something like that. Probably in the near future you will see that back on the shelves or something similar from a different provider.
    Olive Wood Bethlehem

  • max191

    Thanks for the blog loaded with so many information. Stopping by your blog helped me to get what I was looking for.
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  • Jan

    This is no longer available at Trader Joe's. 11/07/09 Jan Cambria,CA

  • Jan

    This is no longer available at Trader Joe's. 11/07/09 Jan Cambria,CA

  • Uma Chernoff

    After being accustomed to T.J.'s First Lady Reserve Olive Oil nothing else tastes good enough. I want it back. Surely it must be being sold under a different name. Products don't disappear like that. Nothing else I've tasted tastes like an olive and I really want some.BADLY!!! Any news and advice will be greatly appreciated.

  • I know Uma, I know… it is disappointing that both Monte Pollino and First Lady Reserve are gone!

  • Sara Anne Corrigan

    I, too “was” a fan of First Lady unfiltered olive oil. I was at Trader Joe's in Nashville TN yesterday (a 2 and 1/2 hour drive for me!) and inquired about it… the young woman I spoke to went “in back” to inquire further and reported to me that TJ's quit carrying it “because no one was buying it.”

    I was getting case lots delivered to me by friends coming down to my SW Indiana home for visits!!!!!

    I did not notice any Monte Pellino either

    However … while in Nashville yesterday I also went to Whole Foods and found a lovely, cloudy 100 percent Sicilian grapes/Sicilian pressed/bottled extra virgin “cold extracted, mechanically pressed” oil called “Frantoia” which I have opened and which has a very interesting, almost grassy flavor. No peppery bite whatsoever.

    Bad new is the 33.8 ounce bottle coasts $30.

    Sara Anne Corrigan/Southwest Indiana

    Bad news is the

  • That is crazy that they said no one was buying it! Especially if you were buying case lots. I was buying it regularly as well. Yeah, Whole Foods has some nice olive oil it is just so much more expensive than Trader Joes. Thanks for the comment.

  • Uma Chernoff

    I’m back again hoping for positive chance. Can anybody direct me to where I can buy First Lady Reserve Unfiltered Olive Oil?They gave me the same old song and dance that nobody was buying it. Products like that don’t disappear because their contracted market discontinues. If there is contract on the name they change the name. It must be out there under a different name and brand.