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TASTE TEST

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1

Best Green

Best Kalamata

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“Crisp” might seem like an odd description for an olive—and more appropriate to an apple. But olives are fruits, too, and these beauties are unmistakably fresh. Lemon zest, oregano, garlic and coriander lend a complex, addictive flavor. “I would devour these anytime, anywhere,” one taster declared. And she can: They come in small, resealable bags that are perfect for on-the-go snacking. ($3.09 for 2.3 oz.)

Who knew there were so many kalamata varieties on shelves? We sampled over 20 brands before picking our winner. These tender olives are the ultimate greek salad topper. You’ll have to pit them yourself, but they’re well worth the effort. One panelist announced: “My search for the perfect kalamata ends here!” ($4.29 for 12 oz.)

PIT BOSSES

Take your pizzas, tapenades and martinis to the next level with these outstanding olives. 1

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3 Best Oddball!

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Gotcha! These orbs might look like typical red-andgreen olives, but sun-dried tomato stuffing adds a sharp and delightful bite. “They’re two antipasti in one!” exclaimed one taster. Serve ’em at your next party— they’re elegant even on toothpicks. !($6.99 for 13.4 oz.)

5

Best Black !"##$#%&"'()"* +*",-%.*/01#%

Serve other party-worthy taste-test winners, like the best frozen apps and more. See what’s worth buying at rachaelraymag.com/december.

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DECEMBER 2011 RACHAELRAYMAG.COM

4

Best Pepper-Stuffed! <*$)/"8#%>")01#'%=1??1)%@'(AA14% <)113%.*/01#%

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Olives come stuffed with a variety of peppers, but we love the classic pimiento. With a mild filling and just-salty-enough brine, these olives would be at home garnishing a salami sandwich or bobbing in a cocktail. “They’re making me crave a martini!” admitted one taster, as she popped a smooth, glossy olive into her mouth.!($3.99 for 6 oz.)

FOOD STYLING BY LIZA JERNOW; PROP STYLING BY LISA LEE FOR HALLEY RESOURCES.

Open the jar and the first thing you’ll notice is a round, fruity aroma. Try one—watch out for the pit—and savor its buttery-rich flavor and silky texture. “They’re so fancy-looking, you’d think they came from a swanky bar,” raved one seduced panelist. Serve them with warm flatbread and crumbled feta cheese for an effortlessly impressive appetizer. ($4.99 for 12.91 oz.)

TEXT BY DINA CHENEY / PHOTOGRAPHY BY LEVI BROWN

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Taste Test: Olives