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I Made Spaghetti Aglio e Olio With the Olive Oil Used in “The Bear”

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If an olive oil is good enough for Carmy Berzatto, it’s probably good enough for me. I recently put that to the test when I got the chance to try Frankies 457, which appears in at least three episodes of “The Bear.” The olive oil is used by chefs on the show and loved by Matty Matheson, a real-life chef who portrays handyman Neil Fak on screen. Matheson actually advised production on the realistic details you might find in a professional kitchen, per Variety. And so, Frankies 457 was picked as the olive oil of choice for Berzatto and his ragtag kitchen crew.

I love to cook, and olive oil is a key part of my pantry, whether I’m making roasted veggies or pasta or even just dipping bread in it because I’m too hungry to wait for dinner to finish. I already buy higher-end grocery store olive oil, but after learning about the likelihood that it isn’t as high-quality as I thought, I was ready for an upgrade. Enter: Frankies 457. The olives are harvested, cold-pressed, and packaged all in Sicily.

I tested the Frankies 457 Organice Extra Virgin Olive Oil on its own with bread and as the base for spaghetti aglio e olio because I wanted to see how the flavor would come through in an olive-oil-forward pasta dish. In both cases, it didn’t disappoint, and I can’t wait to keep cooking with it.

What to Look For in a Good Olive Oil

Thankfully, when choosing a good olive oil, you’re allowed to judge a book by its cover. Without even tasting it or checking the label, you can tell if an olive oil is higher or lower quality by the packaging. For starters, anything packaged in plastic can be left right on the shelf. Plastic not only lets light through, but even air and humidity can penetrate the packaging, which damages the quality of the olive oil, according to a study from the University of Perugia. Clear glass, while better, also lets light pass through, which can affect the flavor and aroma. Olive oil that’s packaged in dark glass or — even better — opaque tin is the best choice for preserving flavor.

Once you’ve identified properly packaged olive oil, turn to the label. Always buy extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), which is the highest grade of olive oil. Brands without the extra virgin label are typically more refined, which makes them lose flavor. Lastly, check the use-by and harvested dates if the bottle has them: fresher olive oil is better as, unlike wine, it doesn’t get better with age.

What I Like About Frankies 457 Olive Oil

Frankies passes the packaging test, as it’s protected by an opaque tin — a stylish one at that. The cylindrical tin fits perfectly in your hand, making the container easy to pour with one hand, something I often find myself doing as a multitasker.

And speaking of the packaging, it’s gorgeous: the tin has a classic Italian design that you’ll definitely want to keep on display on your stove or countertop to show it off. (Again, just make sure it’s not in the path of direct sunlight.)

The lid pops off easily, and the spout is designed to be leakproof, which I really appreciate (I didn’t want to waste a drop of the oil). It comes out slowly, thanks to the thin spout, so you won’t be at risk of over-drizzling — although the flavor is so good, you’ll probably want to.

Now onto the flavor. As I suspected, this olive oil is delicious. The flavor is bright, fruity, and punchy. It has a rich depth that complemented everything I put it on. My aglio e olio pasta was absolutely mouthwatering: flavorful and rich without being too slick or oily. In fact, it was so good that I regretted adding parmesan, because it took away from the olive oil’s flavor.

When paired with bread, the olive oil’s flavor really shines through; I found myself trying to soak every little piece of bread with oil so I could get more of the flavor. I’ll have a hard time dipping bread in grocery store olive oil again.

What to Consider Before Trying Frankies 457 Olive Oil

If you frequently cook with a lot of olive oil, Frankies 457 may not be the best choice for you, as it’s a considerable price. (See below for a more in-depth discussion of the pricing and cost effectiveness.) Also, if you have a sunny kitchen, you’ll need to be careful about how you store it; despite the opaque tin packaging, sun damage can still occur.

Another thing: If you like things on the spicier side, Frankies 457 also makes a Calabrian chili oil, which is great for adding a little extra heat. (Plus, it looks even cuter on your kitchen counter, in my opinion.)

Who Frankies 457 Olive Oil Is Best For

This olive oil is top notch, but if you’re on a budget, it may not be the best choice for everyday usage. The Organic EVOO costs $35 for a 34-ounce bottle, and the Everyday Oil costs $18 for the same size, so it runs more expensive than most of the premium brands you can find at the grocery store. In comparison, you can buy Graza’s trendy Drizzle and Sizzle olive oil duo for $37. Frankies is, however, more bang for your buck than internet darling Brightland, which costs $37 for 13 ounces.

I have yet to try Brightland or Graza’s olive oils, but I will say that you get what you pay for with Frankies. As a grad student, it won’t be my everyday oil, but I will be saving it for special culinary occasions. It’s also great for recipes in which olive oil is the main flavor, like aglio e olio or olive oil cake. I also love that it’s packaged in more recycling-friendly tin, as opposed to Graza, which is packaged in plastic.

Frankies 457 is an excellent choice for home cooks and foodies who want to elevate their recipes. Its bright flavor complements bread, pasta, and just about everything you make it with, and upgrading your base oil is an easy way to add depth to dishes. It’s also a great option if you like to be mindful about your ingredients, since with Frankies, you know that you’re getting unrefined oil from high-quality olives.

So even for those on a tighter budget like myself, this olive oil is worth the occasional splurge.

Where Is Frankies 457 Olive Oil Available?

You can buy the Frankies 457 Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil ($35) I tested directly on the brand’s website. The Frankies 457 Everyday Oil ($28) is also available for purchase. (Note that signing up for a supscription package saves shoppers five percent.) For in-store purchases, Frankies 457 olive oil is sold at Whole Foods and specialty grocers.

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