16 Mar

High-end olive oil for connoisseurs in Boston

By Elisabeth Townsend

Anne Torda of Stow fills a bottle with olive oil at Debra's Natural Gourmet in West Concord.The top shelves are filled with fetching boutique olive oils that cost a pretty penny. The bottom are chockablock with the generic-looking oils in big metal cans. Given the recent scandals about adulterated olive oil, especially in Italy, a shopper can’t be completely sure of what’s in the container.

And how can you know which one you like when they’re sealed in those bottles or cans? The characteristic bitter, fruity, and peppery elements can vary widely, depending on the olive variety, ripeness, and harvest.

The answer is as simple as turning on a spigot. Three stores in Concord let customers fill their own bottles with extra virgin olive oil.

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