Check out the supermarket aisle for olive oils, and you’ll be dazzled by dozens of drizzlers. So the Good Housekeeping Food Kitchen pros ran a blind taste test of 12 brands to find the best. The message: All extra virgin olive oils are not created equal.
“Recently, we tasted a lot of extra virgin olive oils available at the supermarket, and we found lots of variety within prices from $.22 an ounce to $1.47 an ounce,” says Susan Westmoreland, Food Director, Good Housekeeping. “And we also found a wide variety in flavor profile, from mild, something that could be used for all-purpose, to something that was strong and robust that might overpower milder foods, but would be great as a drizzle on a salad or for dipping.”
Monini came out on top for people who want one olive oil for everything. “I could see tossing it with salads and serving it with food, and I liked it very much when I tasted it on the bread,” says one tester.
“The best olive oil for you may depend on how you want to use it,” says Westmoreland. “If you want an all-purpose olive oil to do everything from sauteeing to drizzling, you might want the Monini, which is rich and buttery and has a little bite so it’s easy enough to sautee with but bright enough to drizzle on a dish afterwards.”
Whole Foods 365 tasted the most like real olives and was less expensive. “I really liked “K,” says another tester. “It had a great olive flavor, a little stronger olive flavor than some of the other ones. And it had a nice bite to it.”
“If you really want the taste of a fresh olive, the closest experience we got to that was with the Whole Foods 365 brand,” says Westmoreland. “And we loved this for taste and also because it came in at $.22 an ounce.”
Salad lovers might consider Carapelli. Good Housekeeping said it was fruity and mild enough for fish. “It had a really fresh, grassiness to it with a little bit of pepper, but it wasn’t bitter,” explains Westmoreland. “It was really delicious and full-flavored.”