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Taste test: olive oil spreads

Taste Test | Olive oil spreads

Getting the taste of butter with less fat and calories is a dieter's dream. Adding a little olive oil in the mix almost makes it healthy. We tried six brands of buttery spreads with olive oil and were quite pleased with some of the results. We tested the spreadability of each brand as well, serving the creamy samples on plain water crackers.

Product

serving

Olivio

1 tablespoon

Smart Balance

1 tablespoon

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Mediterranean Blend

1 tablespoon

Calories

Fat/fiber/sodium

Olivio

80

8g / 0g / 100mg

Smart

50

5g / 0g / 70mg

I Can't Believe

70

8g / 0g / 90mg

Judges'

comments

Olivio

Smooth texture made this spread a top pick. "It's soft butter," said one panelist, describing how easy it was to spread. "It's very approachable and mouth friendly," he added. Other judges liked the balance between sweet butter and salty flavors.

Smart Balance

Smart Balance's spread was thicker than some of the others, and a bit less maneuverable. One judge called it "a yellow Rock of Gibraltar." The taste, however, was more pleasing with a strong flavor of olive oil. Judges suggested the spread would be good on a slice of toasted Italian bread.

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter

Salt was the dominant flavor in this sample. One judge suggested the name be changed to: "I Can't Believe I Don't Have Hypertension." Others said the salt made the spread their favorite. "It's yummy," said one. "Toast me a bagel, quick!" A pleasing pale color and smooth texture made this spread even more likable. "I will definitely purchase this," said one panelist.

Shopping

Olivio

$1.82 for a 15-ounce tub from Walmart.

Smart

$2.53 for 15 ounces from Walmart.

I Can't Believe

$1.98 for a 15-ounce tub from Walmart.

Also sampled: BestLife ($1.60 for a 15-ounce tub from Walmart); Fleischmann's ($1.93 for 12.3 ounces from Walmart); and Land O'Lakes ($1.89 for a 7-ounce tub from Publix).

Panelists: Nan Jensen, registered dietitian; Jim Yockey, aesthetician at Anu You Institute; Bob Devin Jones, artistic director of Studio@620; and Jeff Jensen, public information officer for the city of Treasure Island. All foods were tasted blind.

Getting the taste of butter with less fat and fewer calories is a dieter's dream. Adding a little olive oil in the mix almost makes it healthy. We tried six brands of buttery spreads with olive oil and were quite pleased with some of the results. We tested the spreadability of each brand as well, serving the creamy samples on plain water crackers.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product/serving Olivio

1 tablespoon

Smart Balance

1 tablespoon

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Mediterranean Blend

1 tablespoon

Calories Fat/fiber/sodium 80

8g / 0g / 100mg

50

5g / 0g / 70mg

70

8g / 0g / 90mg

Judges' comments Smooth texture made this spread a top pick. "It's soft butter," said one panelist, describing how easy it was to spread. "It's very approachable and mouth friendly," he added. Other judges liked the balance between sweet butter and salty flavors. Smart Balance's spread was thicker than some of the others, and a bit less maneuverable. One judge called it "a yellow Rock of Gibraltar." The taste, however, was more pleasing with a strong flavor of olive oil. Judges suggested the spread would be good on a slice of toasted Italian bread. Salt was the dominant flavor in this sample. One judge suggested the name be changed to: "I Can't Believe I Don't Have Hypertension." Others said the salt made the spread their favorite. "It's yummy," said one. "Toast me a bagel, quick!" A pleasing pale color and smooth texture made this spread even more likable. "I will definitely purchase this," said one panelist.
Shopping information $1.82 for a 15-ounce tub from Walmart. $2.53 for 15 ounces from Walmart. $1.98 for a 15-ounce tub from Walmart.
Product/serving Olivio

1 tablespoon

Smart Balance

1 tablespoon

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Mediterranean Blend

1 tablespoon

Calories Fat/fiber/sodium 80

8g / 0g / 100mg

50

5g / 0g / 70mg

70

8g / 0g / 90mg

Judges' comments Smooth texture made this spread a top pick. "It's soft butter," said one panelist, describing how easy it was to spread. "It's very approachable and mouth friendly," he added. Other judges liked the balance between sweet butter and salty flavors. Smart Balance's spread was thicker than some of the others, and a bit less maneuverable. One judge called it "a yellow Rock of Gibraltar." The taste, however, was more pleasing with a strong flavor of olive oil. Judges suggested the spread would be good on a slice of toasted Italian bread. Salt was the dominant flavor in this sample. One judge suggested the name be changed to: "I Can't Believe I Don't Have Hypertension." Others said the salt made the spread their favorite. "It's yummy," said one. "Toast me a bagel, quick!" A pleasing pale color and smooth texture made this spread even more likable. "I will definitely purchase this," said one panelist.
Shopping information $1.82 for a 15-ounce tub from Walmart. $2.53 for 15 ounces from Walmart. $1.98 for a 15-ounce tub from Walmart.

ALSO SAMPLED: BestLife ($1.60 for a 15-ounce tub from Walmart); Fleischmann's ($1.93 for 12.3 ounces from Walmart); and Land O'Lakes ($1.89 for a 7-ounce tub from Publix).

Panelists: Nan Jensen, registered dietitian; Jim Yockey, aesthetician at Anu You Institute; Bob Devin Jones, artistic director of Studio@620; and Jeff Jensen, public information officer for the city of Treasure Island. All foods were tasted blind.

Taste test: olive oil spreads 09/10/10 [Last modified: Friday, September 10, 2010 5:30am]
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