We can definitely say that there is no such thing as the “best” olive oil. Instead, there’s an oil that will suit your tastes and go nicely with your favourite dishes. So if you want to find an oil to suit every recipe and your palate, just let yourself be guided by curiosity, and choose from among the many flavours that Italian olive growing has to offer us.
Although the genetic heritage of our country provides us with such a wide range of flavours and aromas, many consumers choose an oil without thinking how it would combine with food. So instead of selecting an oil that would bring out all the flavour in a recipe, they opt for a product with a bland and generic taste.
Only a few consumers are sufficiently aware and curious to try out different combinations in the kitchen. They look to artisanal products, preferring those oils whose organoleptic properties reflect the essence of their land of origin.
We need a radical change of perspective; we should learn to regard oil not just as an extra condiment on our plates, but as an integral part of our recipes. When you make it a proper ingredient in a dish, an oil can not only redefine its flavour, but also add different overtones according to the variety you’ve selected.
Choosing the most suitable oil for a recipe should become a regular habit for consumers, just like pairing the right wine with a delicious dish. Every attentive and interested consumer should therefore have more than one type of artisanal oil in their kitchen, so that they can enjoy the sensory characteristics of these oils by using them in various different combinations.
Precisely because of their special organoleptic properties, artisanal oils can be used in a wide range of recipes, providing some unique taste sensations. As a dressing for raw ingredients, for preparing sauces, and also in desserts. Different recipes and different combinations of ingredients require the use of particular oil varieties.
A food-lover’s kitchen should contain at least three types of oil with different degrees of fruitiness. This intensity enhances the different PDO and PGI oils with their typical fragrance, and the particular aromas that characterise the different areas of production.
You can use oils with different organoleptic properties to experiment with various combinations and enhance a dish according to taste. For example: oils from Liguria and Garda are generally delicate; oils from Tuscany and Umbria are herbaceous with aromatic notes, and oils from Apulia are more bitter and pungent.