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Taste Test: The Best Extra Virgin Olive Oils

Photo: Randy Mayor
We tested 14 well-priced EVOOs that pass the authenticity test of Tom Mueller, author of Extra Virginity, meaning they are not cut with cheaper oils.

EVERYDAY FAVE

California Olive Ranch Arbosana Extra Virgin Olive Oil $12 (16.9 fluid ounces)

This oil boasts a strong and slightly aggressive bite, but it's balanced beautifully with a deep, creamy richness. It's bright and buttery—like a firm avocado—and it ends with a faintly floral finish. It's a go-to oil for everything from salad dressings to soup drizzles, even dessert.

BEST OF THE BOLD 

Corto Olive Co. 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil $8 (17 fluid ounces)

This one has loads of character packed into the tiniest of pours. It starts bright, even green-grassy. A stout peppery punch shows up at the end. It was by far the most pungent oil we tasted—it begs to have crusty bread dipped in it—but is balanced enough for a simple pasta or seafood dish.