Olive oil – if you’re like me you use it every day, but how much do you know about it? We use different oils in our house for different things. Some are better for cooking, and some are better for dipping. This handy list will help you figure out which oil to grab when!
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There are three things that influence the taste of your olive oil the most. First, there is the type of olive tree, or cultivar. Over thousands of years, European farmers have evolved and optimized hundreds of trees for different conditions. They do this to produce the most delicious yields for their climate and terrain. The region also impacts the taste, as well as the time of harvest. Olives that are harvested early in the season are under-ripe and produce an oil that is greener, more bitter, and pungent. Olives that are harvested late in the season tend to taste mild and buttery.
Spanish Olive Oil: Most are golden yellow with a fruity, nutty flavor. Try it with fish and vegetable dishes – the mild flavor doesn’t tend to overwhelm the dish.
Italian Olive Oil: The most well-known olive oil, they are usually dark green with a grassy flavor and herbal aroma. They make great oils for salad dressings and bread dipping.
Greek Olive Oil: This is a greener olive oil with a strong flavor and aroma.
French Olive Oil: Typically pale and mild, it is great for sautéing and adding to salads, sauces, dips, and marinades.
Olive oil has a high smoke point, which makes is suitable even for frying! You can also bake with olive oil – something I do often. When you aren’t using your olive oil, store it somewhere dark and cool to maximize its life. You can learn more about European Extra Virgin Olive Oil at Flavor Your Life.
I was sent Zucchi Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Italy to try. It was a great addition to this whipped feta dip posted below! I love that there is a QR code on each bottle that allows you to learn more about their oil and where it comes from!
- 1/2 cup feta
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup Italian EVOO
- 1/4 cup greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon Mediterranean seasoning
- Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth.
- Add salt and pepper to taste if desired.
- Serve with grilled or roasted veggies.