Olive oil has long been known for its array of health benefits, from keeping our appetites satisfied to helping us live longer lives. But choosing the right version of this Mediterranean diet staple is a whole different story; a simple stroll through the grocery store reveals a dizzying array of options. Complicating this simple task is the fact that a stunning percentage of brands were discovered to be "watered down" with cheaper vegetable oils, but one chef has nailed down the best-tasting olive oil that money can buy—and it's surprisingly easy on your wallet.
In her new book, Salt Fat Acid Heat, chef and author Samin Nosrat reveals that her favorite oil is Kirkland Signature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil ($21), which comes in a two-liter bottle at Costco, reveals the Huffington Post. The cookbook author notes that Costco's olive oil "regularly scores well on independent administered quality analyses," but if you don't have a membership to the warehouse club, Nosrat says other worthy options include California Olive Ranch, Katz, and Seka Hills.
Nosrat also shares with HuffPo her top tips on finding a quality olive oil. Whether you prefer pungent, fruity, bright, or spicy oils, she recommends using your taste buds as your guide, and steer clear of any oils that taste bitter or rancid.
When it comes to examining the labels, keep an eye out for oil that contains 100% California or Italian olives and has the most recent production dates, as the product begins to go bad about 12 to 14 months after being pressed, Nosrat says. It's also worth noting that bottles that claim to be "packed in Italy" or "made in Italy" aren't always guaranteed to be the real deal unless the source of the olives is specifically noted.
Head over to the Huffington Post for Nosrat's tips on storing olive oil properly, and let us know in the comments if you have a favorite.