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Olive Oil: Ratings of Sources

Total of 23 Sources
1. Bon Appetit
April 21, 2011
Supermarket Standoff: Olive Oil
by Julia Bainbridge
Our AssessmentEquipped with cubes of ciabatta bread and scorecards, the editors at Bon Appetit dip and appraise their way through inexpensive supermarket olive-oil brands, with the criteria that the best should serve two purposes by being good enough to drizzle yet cheap enough for cooking. The overwhelming favorite in the blind taste test is Trader Joe's Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which tasters say is "mild and a little spicy," adding that "you can actually taste the olives." However, the editors hasten to add that Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil actually wins for flavor but is above the price range they set for their rating criteria.
2. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
July 1, 2008
Tasting Lab: Regular Olive Oil
by Editors of Cook's Illustrated
Our AssessmentIn their 2008 (and most recent) assessment of readily available brands of extra-virgin olive oil, the experts at Cook's Illustrated taste a wide range of extra-virgin olive oil, ranging from expensive imported brands to ultra-cheap supermarket bottles, from a variety of countries. In tests that judge color as well as flavor (the more olive-y, the better), tasters express a preference for a Spanish brand, with runners-up from Italy.
3. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
Sept. 1, 2009
California Olive Oils
by Editors of Cook's Illustrated
Our AssessmentCook's Illustrated comes through for us once again, this time posing the question, "Is it time to stop importing olive oils?" While the editors admit a slight preference for their imported favorites, they nevertheless give high praise to four California picks.
4. SeriousEats.com
Sept. 30, 2009
Taste Test: Cheap But Good Olive Oils
by Erin Zimmer
Our AssessmentPrompted by an email from a college student foodie looking for a good-quality, budget-priced olive oil, writer Erin Zimmer conducts a taste test of nine popular supermarket brands, all priced at around $10 a liter. Zimmer makes the well-reasoned point that it's still a matter of individual taste; some taste buds prefer a buttery, blander oil, while others crave the sharp, peppery bitterness that seems to be the accepted criteria of a good olive oil. Using the dipped bread/dipped spoon method, Zimmer and her colleagues choose Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value Extra Virgin Olive Oil as the best all-around olive oil, claiming that it has a "nice sharpness with hints of bell pepper." Goya gets high marks for having the most dramatic flavor, and Trader Joe's Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil is chosen as "best bang for your buck." Colavita, on the other hand, is dismissed as "just so-so" and Berio and Bertolli are both deemed bland.
5. TheNibble.com
Nov. 2005
The Great Extra Virgin Olive Oil Project, Part II
by Stephanie Zonis
Our AssessmentWriter Stephanie Zonis gets our vote for dedication to the subject, tasting her way through more than 90 brands of extra-virgin olive oil. While she doesn't name a best or worst, she gives a good, no-nonsense description of a large number of olive oils from a variety of different countries, judging each on its own merits. Some of the oils listed here don't appear on supermarket shelves, but a few brands that perform well in other reviews also appear in her list. Colavita is judged "grassy and leafy with a lingering aftertaste," while she deems Whole Foods 365 an acceptable "workhorse" olive oil with a "modestly olive-y aroma." Ravida, Apollo Mistral, Nunez de Prado, Global Gardens, Olivas de Oro and Figueroa Farms, mentioned favorably in other reviews, all come in for praise here as well. Columela, on the other hand, is judged to have a "strong but flat" olive taste.
6. Good Housekeeping
March 2007
Taste Test: Extra Virgin Olive Oil
by The Good Housekeeping Research Institute
Our AssessmentWe like Good Housekeeping's methodology of assembling a panel of nine experts to run a blind taste test on 12 oils, dipping into them with spoons and bread crusts. While the test came out in 2007, the favorite, Monini, is an olive oil that still pops up with favorable results on several sites. Good Housekeeping tasters find Monini to be the perfect all-in-one oil, light but rich-tasting, with a peppery kick. Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value Extra Virgin Olive Oil is praised for its low price and robust olive taste, while Carapelli gets kudos for being delicate and fruity.
7. ConsumerReports.org
Sept. 1, 2004
A Cheap Bottle Beats a Pricier Lineup
by Editors of ConsumerReports.org
Our AssessmentConsumerReports.org brings in two experts trained in the standards set by the International Olive Oil Council to perform a taste test of 18 brands of extra-virgin olive oil, from inexpensive supermarket brands to pricier, small-production, boutique oils. The experts agree that you can get a good-quality oil at a reasonable price, and several of the least expensive oils get the highest marks for quality and taste as well as affordability. This article also includes some valuable information about what to look for in a good-quality olive oil, and how to read those often-confusing olive-oil labels.
8. Bon Appetit
April 28, 2010
Our Favorite Olive Oils
by Amy Albert
Our AssessmentAccording to food writer Amy Albert, olive oil is currently being imported from as many as 30 countries, so her assessment includes some valuable information about the differences between various nationalities. Albert and her colleagues slurp their way through dozens of premium varieties before coming up with five picks from around the globe. Favorites include Gianfranco Becchina Olio Verde from Italy, Yellingbo Gold Limited Release from Australia, La Maison de l'Huile d'Olive from Corsica, Olave Organic from Chile and Ta-Ze Erkence from Turkey.
9. Bon Appetit
Feb. 2009
California Organic Olive Oil
by Amy Albert
Our AssessmentIn this paragraph, Albert gives a nod to her favorite California olive oils. While no testing methods are described, she gives luscious descriptions of her picks, including " lush and fruity" Olivas de Oro, "assertive, peppery" Figueroa Farms Estate Blend, "buttery, floral" Global Gardens, "herbal, rich" Elixir Grazia, "well-balanced" Apollo Mistral and "grassy-sweet" Katz Rock Hill Ranch.
10. The Observer
Aug. 19, 2007
Pass the Oil, Darling
by Jeremy Lee
Our AssessmentIn this review for London newspaper The Observer, food writer Jeremy Lee assesses the merits of specialty mustards, vinegars and olive oils. While it's frustrating not to be able to pull all of his top picks off the shelves of U.S. supermarkets, they can be ordered (except for the Sainsbury's brand) online. Lee's amusing descriptions make this review worth reading. His picks for inexpensive olive oils include the "bloody brilliant" Sololivo D.O.P. from Italy, the "trustworthy" Cosecha from Spain, and a U.K. supermarket brand, Sainsbury's, which comes in as "a bit butch, but not bad." Best olive oils at a more expensive price include Nunez de Prado ("utterly divine…I could drink this," Lee says) and Ravida.
11. The Washington Post
Jan. 26, 2005
Putting Olive Oils to the Taste Test
by Editors of the Washington Post
Our AssessmentIn this taste test, The Washington Post asks three chefs to sample nine brands of olive oil. The top finishers are Vallee des Baux de Provence, Olio Beato and Pornanino Farm, followed by the inexpensive Goya (praised by several other sites as well), while Filippo Berio is dismissed as rancid-tasting.
12. Choice magazine
June 22, 2010
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2010 Review
by Rachel Clemons
Our AssessmentThis Australian consumer website gathers a group of expert tasters, all of whom are members of the International Olive Oil Council's accredited sensory panel, to conduct tests for quality and taste on 28 imported olive oils. Because of the recent reports in the news of some companies diluting their extra-virgin olive oil with inferior oils in order to save costs, Choice pays particular attention to lab tests for purity. Australian olive oils get particularly high marks in this test, while some popular Italian oils don't fare so well.
13. The Independent
May 21, 2009
The Ten Best Olive Oils
by Emile Mehmet
Our AssessmentFor American consumers, reading reviews from an overseas website can be frustrating because so many of the products aren't available in the U.S. However, thanks to Internet shopping, some of these brands are available online. Included in the list are Luigi's, Puglia Single Estate and a surprise -- an ultra-cheap, chili-infused olive oil from Tesco, a U.K. supermarket chain. That oil claims the No. 10 spot.
14. Food & Wine Magazine
April 2003
Taste Test -- Supermarket Olive Oils
by Monica F. Forrestall
Our AssessmentThe editors at Food and Wine taste test 12 brands available in New York city supermarkets and come up with four favorites -- Lucini, Monini, Bertolli and local restaurant brand Patsy's (which can be ordered online).
15. The Times (U.K.)
May 5, 2007
Taste Test: Extra Virgin Olive Oil
by Ben Machell
Our AssessmentWriter Ben Machell and the head chef of the Intercontinental Hotel in London sample six extra-virgin olive oils, choosing the supermarket brand Sainsbury's (only available in the U.K.) as the top finisher, while Italian brand Carapelli is called "old and fatty tasting."
16. The New York Times
Sept. 10, 1997
Pouring it On: Extra Virgin Oil as a Staple
by Florence Fabricant
Our AssessmentWhile this review was written more than a decade ago, many of the olive oils judged praiseworthy by food critic Florence Fabricant are still available. After sampling a dozen olive oils, Fabricant recommends oils from Athena, Fairway, Master Choice and Zoe. Bertolli and Colavita, however, are merely deemed acceptable.
17. Roadfood.com
As of Oct. 2008
Favorite Brands of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
by Contributors to RoadFood.com
Our AssessmentThis olive-oil message thread from foodie website RoadFood.com is full of information about user favorites. Goya emerges as a favorite with many posters, while Bariani also gets several recommendations.
18. Chowhound.com
As of May 2011
The "Best" Imported Olive Oil
by Contributors to Chowhound.com
Our AssessmentPosters on this foodie website tend to be passionate about and intensely loyal to their choices. While there's no winner in this thread, these user postings give good comparative information about some of the more exotic international brands and price points, with high marks going to Bariani and Columela.
19. Chowhound.com
As of May 2011
Inexpensive, But Good, Olive Oil?
by Contributors to Chowhound.com
Our AssessmentThis is an excellent message thread on the best inexpensive olive oils. No clear winner is chosen, but Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value, Costco's Kirkland Signature, Colavita, Goya, Ravida, Columela and Trader Joe's Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil all get high marks.
20. Chowhound.com
As of Dec. 2008
Best Olive Oil?
by Contributors to Chowhound.com
Our AssessmentThis is another good message thread on this foodie website, with well-reasoned comparisons between imported and California oils.
21. Amazon.com
As of May 2011
Olive Oils
by Contributors to Amazon.com
Our AssessmentWhen any food product on Amazon.com garners more than 30 customer reviews, as Bariani Extra Virgin Olive Oil does, it's time to take notice (most food items get no reviews at all). Most of the posters are downright ecstatic about this product from Italy. Fewer than 10 reviewers rate it poor or neutral, saying the oil is too bitter for their taste. Meanwhile, Columela EVOO garners 24 Amazon customer reviews, nearly all of them verging on the rhapsodic, with praise for its smooth, delicately floral flavor. Colavita and Zoe olive oils also receive higher than average numbers of reviews.
22. Laura's Cooking Journal
Jan. 4, 2009
Columela Artesano Extra Virgin Olive Oil
by "Laura"
Our AssessmentThis foodie-on-a-budget blogger tests the merits of Columela after reading several favorable reviews online -- and winds up singing its praises in this well-written review.
Trader Joe's Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil -- Food Review
by "Steveo"
Our AssessmentThe writer of this offbeat blog conducts his own low-tech, unscientific-albeit-convincing taste test by dunking one finger in Trader Joe's Spanish Olive Oil, then dunking another finger in Trader Joe's Italian President's Reserve Olive Oil and tasting the results. After repeating the process a number of times, he says that the Spanish version comes out ahead because it tastes more strongly of olives. In his final assessment, he reminds us of the grassroots basics of olive oil -- when everything's said and done, it's all about the olives.

Olive Oil Runners Up:

Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil *Est. $8.50 for 17 oz.

4 picks including: Cook's Illustrated Magazine, SeriousEats.com…

Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil 17 oz
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $12.79 $6.65   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil 17oz
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $29.99
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
Bariani Extra Virgin Olive Oil 16.9 Fl Oz
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
Average Customer Review:  
Ravida Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $23.39
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
Apollo Extra Virgin Organic Olive Oil - Mistral 2006
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
Average Customer Review:  
Il Monello Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 750 ml
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from Amazon.com
Average Customer Review:  
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