Best olive oils

(Photo: Iliada)Tasters swirled, sniffed, and sipped 22 EVOOs to find the best for dressings and more.

Iliada Olive Oil

Tasters' Pick: A big hit with tasters, the fresh, "grassy" aroma of Iliada's moderately priced Greek import ($11.99 for 16.09 oz., amazon.com) was echoed in its clean, green flavor. This "peppery" oil burns a little on the way down, making it hard to ignore those good-for-you polyphenols.




(Photo: Columela)Columela Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The Spanish splurge of Columela ($17.99 for 17 oz.) tasted exactly like cured olives, making it a shoe-in for drizzling over bread or pasta. Its well-balanced, but "robust" flavor had a "buttery" finish with only a mild kick at the end.








(Photo: California Olive Ranch)California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The "very mellow," "light" tasting California Olive Ranch ($10.50 for 16.9 oz., amazon.com) has an almost sweet "nuttiness" and a "fruity" scent reminiscent of green olives. With just a "little bite," this olive oil is a great option for those seeking a more mild, everyday oil.






Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pompeian olive oil ($7.99 for 24 oz., amazon.com) polarized reviewers with its taste and smell. Volunteers who enjoyed the oil described it as "fresh" and "herbaceous," but other tasters complained about a strong, "plastic-y" odor. Critics also criticized the oil's "waxy" flavor, with one reviewer declaring it was only fit to "send back to the store."





(Photo: Lucini)Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Most reviewers had positive remarks about the light "herbal" and "fruity" scent of Lucini olive oil ($16.99 for 16.9 oz., amazon.com), with one taster noting a "slight lemon" aroma. Volunteers enjoyed how it coated the tongue and savored its bitterness, calling it "zesty."





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