Brightland Vinegar Had a 1,000-Person Waitlist, So We *Had* to Try Their New Garlic-Infused Olive Oil
- Value: 18/20
- Functionality: 17/20
- Quality: 20/20
- Aesthetics: 20/20
- Taste: 20/20
Olive oil is an absolute must in the kitchen, whether it’s starring in your famous spaghetti aglio e olio or drizzled over your favorite artisanal bread. But not all olive oils are created equal, and Brightland’s new garlic-infused olive oil is most definitely at the top of the list. Hear us out.
All of Brightland’s olive oils are sourced from a family-run olive farm on the Central Coast of California, and they’re all 100 percent pure olive oil. But we have a major soft spot for the newly launched Rosette, an oil that’s made from organic heirloom California Frantoio olives and garlic. It’s got a zesty, rounded flavor that makes just about any dish, dressing or sauce taste Michelin-star-worthy.
Brightland suggests using Rosette on everything from pasta, pizza and eggs to roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and vegetables. We didn’t want to overpower the oil’s flavor on our first taste, so we just poured some into a dish to have with bread. The first thing we noticed was its ridiculously delicious scent—the garlic is ever-present but not overpowering, like when you first toss some sliced garlic cloves into a shimmery pan of hot oil. In taste, it’s smooth, garlicky (without being spicy or intense) and even a bit floral. Once we added a modest sprinkle of flaky salt and freshly cracked black pepper to it, the garlic notes seemed to shine even brighter. It would taste unreal drizzled over French fries, in salad dressing or in a simple marinade for chicken or fish.
Not only does Rosette taste amazing, but all Brightland olive oils are actually healthier for you than many of the big brands, too. They have a polyphenol count of 600mg/kg or more, compared to the average supermarket oil that clocks in at 100 mg/kg or less. A high polyphenol count shows that the oil is loaded with antioxidants and healthy fats.
Because it’s so uniquely delicious and sustainably made, we think Rosette is worth the $40. Our only reservation is that we’d have a hard time replacing our run-of-the-mill olive oil with it, since it’s so special and pricy. It feels like something we’d reserve for special occasions or dishes that would specifically put the oil in the spotlight, which might make using every drop within its four-month shelf life a bit of a challenge for some cooks (albeit one we’d happily accept).
And, since aesthetics is part of our scoring here, it’s worth noting how gorgeous (and therefore, giftable) the limited-edition bottle is. It was designed by Lilian Martinez, a multimedia artist known as bfgf. It’s Brightland’s first artist collab with a California-based woman of color. (Brightland was founded by Aishwarya Iyer—also a woman of color—after she realized rancid olive oil was making her and her husband sick, which is why the brand prioritizes sustainable sourcing, honest products and healthy harvesting practices.)
If Brightland sounds familiar, you may have heard of the brand from the cult-like following its vinegars have. (In their initial launch, Brightland sold out of its inventory in a week, then compiled a 1,000-person waitlist.) The vinegars are nutrient-dense, made from California grapes, oranges and blackberries., and they’re double fermented in stainless steel for zingy, bold flavor.
To try both the olive oil and vinegar, check out The Essential Capsule. You can also opt for The Duo, featuring Brightland’s signature AWAKE and ALIVE olive oils (the pairing sold out three days after its launch, BTW). If you’re most interested in the Rosette, aka our new boo, you have great taste…and luckily, we’re willing to share.
The PureWow100 is a scale our editors use to vet new products and services, so you know what's worth the spend—and what's total hype. Learn more about our process here.