8:08 PM EDT, August 10, 2012
Sales of olive oil have risen substantially over the last five years - thanks to its heart-healthy benefits. You can pay just a few dollars for a bottle to more than a hundred!
Consumer Reports just tested nearly two dozen extra-virgin olive oils to see if they make the grade.
A good olive oil is a real treat, whether you're dipping a piece of crusty bread into it adding it to a bean salad or drizzling it onto a tomato, mozzarella, and basil appetizer.
Consumer Reports just tested 23 extra-virgin olive oils from
countries including Italy and Spain, as well as the state of California. Expert consultants assess freshness and olive fruit flavors and determine if there are any defects, like oxidation. Extra-virgin olive oils are supposed to be top quality.
But testers found only nine of the 23 oils truly tasted like extra-virgin olive oil.
And several big name oils, including ones labeled extra-virgin
from Bertolli and Goya, rated only fair. But Consumer Reports did find two excellent olive oils. Both hail from California.
The McEvoy Ranch olive oil has an intense aroma with a distinct, balanced olive fruit flavor. But it's pricey at $22 a bottle.
Far less expensive is Trader Joe's California Estate olive oil at $6 a bottle. It has very complex and balanced flavors, with a strong aroma. Either would be a welcome addition to any dish that calls for drizzled olive oil.
Two other less-expensive olive oils rated very good in Consumer Reports' tests.
Be aware, when it comes to cooking, there's no need to use a pricey olive oil. That's because high heat can destroy the subtle flavors.
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