Choosing your Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is a key ingredient in dressings, marinades and even baking but we know very little about what variety complements what dish.
Choosing which extra virgin olive oil to accompany your meal is key to a delicious meal. Despite the fact that all extra virgin olive oils are made from 100% olive juice, each variety will have its own characteristics based on growing region, ground and weather conditions, ripeness of olives harvesting methods and composition.
With over 260 olive varieties in Spain alone there is a range of flavours to experiment with. To help us make the right choice experts from The Interprofessional Olive Oil from Spain, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Environment and the European Commission have made a few recommendations for every type of dish.
For an intense and slightly spicy flavour try Cornicabra, Hojiblanca, Picual and Picudo. These varieties are known for their intense aroma and flavour as well as their slightly bitter, spicy notes. In addition these extra virgin olive oils have high natural antioxidant substances called poli fennels.
When enjoying a soft or sweet dish choose Arbequina, Empeltre, Manzilla and Morsica. Their fruity aromas are ideal for light recipes such as meringues and sponges.
If you want to add a really fruity flavour to your dishes make sure you have LechÃn, Verdial, Blanqueta, Royal Pico LimÃ³n or Changlot Real in your kitchen. These varieties create a nutty aroma which works perfectly with salads.
Extra virgin olive oil helps to emphasize the flavours in your meal, so next time you are adding a drop of Europeâ€™s liquid gold to your meal and find your preference.