Olive oil is one of the most essential cooking ingredients. It’s used in tons of recipes (toss together olive oil and balsamic vinegar and you have a tasty marinade or salad dressing), and it can also be used to keep essential kitchen tools in tip-top condition (rub some on a cast-iron fajita pan to prevent sticking and preserve the quality of the skillet).
While there are tons of uses for olive oil – and just as many brands – using a sub-par product can impact the taste of your food and possibly damage cookware. With that said, here’s a look at 5 high-quality olive oils that will make your food mouth-watering and make your cooking utensils even easier to use.
Olive Oil Review Center 2020
|#1 - Ellora Farms Single Estate Traceable Extra Virgin Olive Oil||99%|
|#2 - Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil||95%|
|#3 - Papa Vince Olive Oil Extra Virgin||91%|
|#4 - AmazonFresh Mediterranean Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil||88%|
|#5 - Pompeian Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil||85%|
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#1 – Ellora Farms Single Estates Traceable Extra Virgin Olive Oil
At the top of our list of the best olive oils is Ellora Farms Single Estates Traceable Extra Virgin Olive Oil. When it comes to olive oil, it simply doesn’t get more pure than this. It’s made and bottled at Olive Estates, an olive grove that’s situates right in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea in the Kolymvari region on Greece’s Island of Crete. Here, olive oil is a staple of Greek culture and cuisine.
This olive oil has a tantalizing fruity aroma and a uniquely peppery flavor that is absolutely to die for. Beyond it’s amazing flavor, Ellora Farms olive oil is also one of the healthiest oils on the market. It’s packed with antioxidants and minerals that have been found to offer a wealth of health benefits.
As if all of this weren’t enough, Ellora Farms is also one of the first fully traceable olive oils in the world. Unlike a lot of other olive oils that claim they are authentic and come from a specific region but are actually made of chemicals in some factory, you can actually trace the origin and lifecycle of Ellora Farms olive oil, so you know you’re getting an authentic, high-quality product. Plus, it’s certified by the European Union and meets a list of stringent requirements.
What We Like About It
We love this Ellora Farms olive oil, not only because of its flavor, authenticity, and certification; but also because of the environmentally friendly techniques that are used to make it. Add a little to an air fryer to make perfectly crisped French fries or chicken wings, coat a griddle with it to prevent sticking and add flavor to your dishes, or add it to any other recipe and you’ll immediately notice a distinct difference in the quality of your food.
#2 – Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Next on our list of the best olive oil brands is Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Colavita has long been hailed as one of the best extra virgin olive oil brands by world-renowned chefs and people who simply enjoy cooking – and for good reason! It’s made in Italy, where olive oil is a way of life, and is harvested from some of the best olive groves in Europe. And since its cold pressed, the fruity aroma and spicy flavor of the olives are kept completely in-tact. Plus, since its extra virgin, this olive oil is completely unrefined, has low levels of oleic acid, and packs a powerful punch of essential vitamins and minerals. It’s also completely free of carbohydrates and cholesterol and is a certified OU Kosher product.
This cold pressed extra virgin olive oil from Colavita is backed by The North American Olive Oil Association and meets the stringent standards set forth by the International Olive Oil Council. In fact, it’s such a high quality olive oil that it’s been named the winner of the “Best Everyday Cooking Oil” by Men’s Health Magazine’s Annual Nutrition Awards two times! This high-quality olive oil will taste great in any dish you prepare, whether it’s a recipe that’s been passed down in your family or one from a Bread Lover’s Cookbook.
What We Like About It
Given the incredible aroma and taste, the authenticity, and the high nutritional content, it’s easy to see why Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil is one of the best store bought olive oils you can find. It’s flavorful, packed with essential nutrients, and free of cholesterol and carbohydrates, so you can rest assured your food will be as healthy as it is tasty.
#3 – Papa Vince Olive Oil Extra Virgin
Papa Vince is another one of the best olive oil brands. It’s a family-made olive oil that comes from Santa Ninfa orchards in Sicily, Italy. This very fact alone sets Papa Vince Extra Virgin Olive Oil apart from the crowd and makes it one of the best virgin olive oils you can find, as many olive oils – even the highest quality olive oils – aren’t family-made.
The flavor of Papa Vince’s olive oil is quite unique. The olives are cold pressed directly into the bottles that they are distributed in, which keeps the taste of the olives on the family orchard in-tact. And, the flavor of the oil changes from year-to-year. The family harvests their olives from November to the first week of January each year, so there’s always an exciting new flavor to experience. The olives that were harvested in 2017, for example, have a definite olive taste and are mixed with undertones of pepper, tomatoes, and artichokes. It will be interesting to see what their next batch of oil tastes like!
In addition to being completely natural and offering a completely unique flavor, Papa Vince’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil is one of the healthiest olive oils you can find. It has the lowest acidity level possible and a high concentration of antioxidants and various essential vitamins and minerals. And, since there are never any insecticides, pesticides, or herbicides used to grow the olives, you can have confidence knowing that you are eating a completely natural product.
What We Like About It
Papa Vince’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil can be used for just about anything. Mix it into any recipe that calls for oil, use it in your electric wok, or add it to a gift basket and give it as a present to someone who loves to cook. The natural processes used to make this olive oil, the unique and ever-changing flavor, and the high nutritional content of Papa Vince’s product definitely make it a best quality olive oil.
#4 – Amazon Fresh Mediterranean Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil
If you’re looking for a top quality olive oil for everyday cooking and you don’t want to spend a ton of money (or want to wade through the lines at the grocery store), you should definitely consider Amazon Fresh Mediterranean Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Offered by Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, purchasing this product is an absolute breeze; simply log into your Amazon account, add it to your cart, and you’ll have this affordable, high-quality olive oil in a matter of days.
Of course, ease of shopping isn’t exactly what makes a high quality olive oil (though it certainly makes buying it a whole lot easier); the ingredients and process used to make the oil, the aroma and flavors, and the nutrients are the elements that make for a great tasting, best rated olive oil. Amazon Fresh Mediterranean Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil ticks off all of these boxes.
This product is made from olives that are sourced from orchards throughout Europe’s Mediterranean region, including Italy, Spain, and Greece. The oil is also bottled in Italy and abides by stringent quality control standards.
The flavor of this olive oil is pleasantly buttery and quite mild so it won’t affect the flavor of your recipes. In other words, it’s truly versatile and is an excellent everyday olive oil that can be used to prepare everything from elaborate recipes in your favorite Italian cookbook to standard breakfast dishes whipped up in an omelette pan. This olive oil will truly bring out the flavor of your foods and improve their nutritional value, to boot!
What We Like About It
In addition to being made of high quality olives that are sourced from some of the best orchards in the Mediterranean region of Europe, there are several other reasons why we’ve picked Amazon Fresh Mediterranean Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil as a top olive oil. Since it is extra virgin, it contains a high level of essential vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy oil. It’s also one affordable high quality olive oil, and you can purchase it right online from one of the most reputable marketplaces in the world. All of these factors combined make the Mediterranean Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Amazon Fresh a must have cooking ingredient.
#5 – Pompeian Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Last – but certainly not least – on our list of the best olive oil brands is Pompeian Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil. As the first every olive oil to attain the USDA Quality Monitored Seal, this product meets all of the stringent purity, traceability, and quality standards that are set forth by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which is a very big deal.
Not only is this Pompeian Extra Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil quality assured, but it also has an excellent flavor – which, of course, is one of the most important elements of an excellent olive oil. It’s made of some of the finest, hand-selected olives in the world, which are cold pressed and has a very low level of acidity, so the flavor, aroma, and nutritional content of the oils are preserved.
Pompeian makes four different types of olive oils, all of which offer unique characteristics. Their Robust variety has a full-bodied flavor, which makes it very versatile. You can use it for everything from frying to baking and roasting to sautéing. You can even use it to make incredible marinades for steaks, chops, or poultry. Whether you’re making a recipe from your favorite grilling cookbook or you’re baking bread in loaf pans, this olive oil will surely be a staple in all of your cooking endeavors.
What We Like About It
In addition to being quality assured by the USDA and having a full-bodied flavor that will add incredible taste to any dish isn’t the only reason why we picked Pompeian Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil as a best olive oil; it’s also one of the oldest olive oils on the market. For more than 100 years, Pompeian has been producing some of the finest olive oils in the world. Great flavor: check. Outstanding quality: check. Healthy: check. Versatile: check. It’s safe to say that this product checks off all the boxes of a high-quality olive oil.
How We Choice the Top Olive Oils In Our List
Olive oil is one of the most widely used cooking ingredients. From marinades to salad dressings (check out our salad dressing shaker post to find out how you can make flavorful dressings in a flash), and from traditional American cuisine to ethic dishes (find great international recipes in our Spanish cookbook, Russian cookbook, Mexican cookbook, and Irish cookbook posts), no matter what type of food you are preparing, olive oil is an essential ingredient and should always be on-hand in your kitchen.
While there are tons of olive oils on the market, they aren’t all created equally. Many olive oils are made from sub-par olives, excessively heated, and have compounds added to them that detract from their taste and their nutritional content. With that said, if you want to really bring out the flavor of your food and preserve its nutritional quality (or improve it), you are definitely going to want to shy away from low-grade olive oils and choose one that has excellent ratings.
So, how did we determine what makes the “best” olive oil and how did we wade through all the different products on the market and conclude which ones we should include on our list? First, we sifted through the countless olive oil reviews that are out there because, after all, the testimonials from real-life users says a lot about the quality of a product. Second, we consulted with world-renowned chefs and asked them to sample a wide selection of olive oils. The feedback we received from these chefs combined with the information we collected from customers helped us narrow down the choices and finalize a list of the top olive oil brands on the market.
Different Types of Olive Oils
If you’ve ever walked through the supermarket and wandered down the baking aisle (or whatever aisle houses oils in your supermarket of choice), you’ve surely noticed that there are several different types of olive oils to choose from. But what’s the difference between them, and are some better than others?
Here’s the lowdown on the different types of olive oils, and why some are just better than others.
- Extra virgin. If you’re looking for the healthiest olive oil, extra virgin is the way to go. This type of olive oil is derived from the initial pressing of the olives, so it offers powerful antioxidants that provide powerful antioxidant properties. Extra virgin olive oil is also made without any heat or chemicals, which further boosts its nutritional profile. The flavor and aroma is robust.
- Virgin. This type of olive oil is also derived from the initial pressing of the fruit, and as such, it also offers numerous nutritional benefits, including antioxidants. However, virgin olive oil is milder than extra virgin varieties. The acidity level is lower, too.
- Refined. Refined olive oil is virgin olive oil that has gone through additional refinement processes. While many assumed “refined” means better, in the case of olive oil, that is not the case. Refined olive oils have the lowest nutritional content, as their antioxidant profile is much lower than that of extra virgin and virgin varieties. The flavor is also extremely mild and virtually unnoticeable.
If you want the best flavor and nutritional value, extra virgin olive oil is the best option, followed by virgin.
Why You Need the Best Olive Oil In Your Kitchen
Olive oil is one of the most basic ingredients used in cooking. It’s used in everything from sautéing to roasting, and from grilling to frying. It’s even a basic ingredient used in various baked goods.
Not only is olive oil used as an ingredient in recipes, but it’s also used to prep cooking utensils. For example, you can add it to a tortilla maker to crisp your tortilla to perfection, use it in a popcorn popper to get movie-style popcorn, or coat a donut pan with it. In other words, olive oil can be used in so many different applications in your kitchen.
In addition to adding flavor to your food and improving your cooking results, high quality olive oils also offer several essential nutrients that have been proven to offer multiple health benefits. Some of the most notable health benefits olive oil offers include:
- It contains monounsaturated fats. Contrary to popular belief, not all fats are bad for you. Monounsaturated fats have been found to reduce inflammation and may even help to prevent the development of certain types of cancer.
- High amounts of antioxidants. Furthermore, olive oil is an antioxidant powerhouse that can help to combat inflammation, prevent cholesterol buildup, improve heart health, and fight off certain chronic diseases.
- Anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation, especially if it’s chronic, is believed to be a leading cause of many types of diseases, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, and even Alzheimer’s. Thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties found in olive oil, it’s believed that a diet that contains healthy amounts of this ingredient can help to reduce inflammation and therefore prevent the incidence of the above-mentioned conditions.
- It may combat obesity. Though many people are under the assumption that consuming oils can contribute to obesity, that’s not the case with the best olive oil brands. In fact, high quality olive oils may actually be able to prevent or combat obesity. That’s thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties that it contains.
- Reduce the symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis. An autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis is associated with deformed joints that can become incredibly painful. Though the exact cause of this condition is unknown, what is known is that the immune system mistakenly attacks normal cells. It’s believed that olive oil can help to improve inflammatory markers, as well as lower oxidative stress, that can contribute to rheumatoid arthritis or compound the symptoms.
- It contains powerful anti-bacterial properties. Lastly, another health benefit that olive oil provides is powerful anti-bacterial properties. The nutrients within the oil can actually prevent the growth of harmful bacteria or kill bad bacteria off. For instance, it can kill off bacteria that cause stomach ulcers and cancer of the stomach, a study proved.
Not only does the best quality olive oil add great flavor to your recipes, but it also – and even more importantly – improves the nutritional content of your food. Studies have found that consuming high quality extra virgin olive oil on a regular basis can help to improve your overall health. And, of course, by adding this ingredient to your food, you can certainly enjoy more flavorful, better quality dishes.
Given all of the benefits that olive oil provides, it’s easy to see why it is an absolute must in anyone’s kitchen – along with an olive oil dispenser. However, when you are shopping for olive oil, it is important to remember that not all varieties are the same. If you really want to get the most out of this ingredient, extra virgin is your best bet, followed by virgin. Refined olive oils are not recommended, as they do not add to the flavor of your food, but more importantly, they do not contain the same nutritional profile as extra virgin and virgin varieties.
If you are looking to boost your health while improving the quality of your food, you should definitely make sure that you have at least one of the five olive oils listed in this review in your kitchen at all times.
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