Olive Oil Pairing Choices
Selecting an olive oil to pair with food is similar to choosing a wine that will compliment your meal. You are aiming for flavors that will compliment one another, without overpowering the main flavors of the dish.
Sometimes a contrasting flavor is nice when tasting the ingredients separately, such when drizzling a robust oil over fresh mozzarella or creating a dipping sauce for sourdough bread.
The many tastes and aromas of olive oil makes it attractive to cooks who are looking for taste sensations to match each meal.
Olive Oils Have So Many Tastes
Olive oils come in a variety of tastes, colors, and different aromas. Tastes run from grassy and fruity, to peppery or nutty. We usually recommend tasting different olive oils to see what works best for your cooking and dipping needs. There basically two major ways to pair olive oil with different foods, the complimentary or contrasting method.
Blending two similar ingredients which don’t overpower the primary flavors of the dish:
- Delicate oils, that are mild will complement subtle flavors such as fish, mushrooms, seafood, pasta and baked goods.
- Robust oils will enrich and lend a heartier complement to more robust food like read meats and rich pastas.
Using contrasting flavors has you tasting each ingredient separately, which can add a complex interest like drizzling a robust olive oil over fresh mozzarella or a flavored olive oil over melon.
Choose Olive Oil for Your Cooking Needs
Some simple guidelines to follow in choosing olive oils for your kitchen:
- Approach olive oil tasting in the same way you would taste and choose wine.
- Make sure the olive oil you choose matches the type of food you are cooking.
- Do you want a complimentary or contrasting taste achieved with your olive oil selection?
Delicate, Medium or Robust Flavored Olive Oil
Delicate Olive Oils:
- Delicate olive oils have a smooth and mild nearly buttery taste, think grassy notes underscored with floral ripe notes and a slight peppery finish
- Delicate olive oils are best chosen for foods such as fish, pesto, eggs, salad greens, popcorn, mayomaise
- Delicate olive oils are also wonderful for cooking, baking and making ice cream
Medium Olive Oils:
- Medium olive oils have a slight bitterness and pungency, they tend to be fruity with a slight peppery finish, and have a slight nutty flavor
- Medium olive oils are best chosen for foods such as vegetables, fresh pasta, white meats, lamb, sautéed or slow-cooked roasted meat dishes
- Medium olive olis are also you go to choice for bread or vegetable dipping, drizzling over cooked veggies, meats or cheeses such as mozzarella
Robust Olive Oils:
- Robust olive olis tend to be bold in flavor, spicy, with a grassy taste
- Robust olive oils compliment bitter greens, spicy dishes, grilled meats and roasts, pasta sauces, stews, seafood paella, aged cheeses and red meat-bold meets bold in this case
- Think of dribbling a robust olive oil over breakfast potatoes or toasted sourdough bread, paired with spinach or a Greek salad, or for dinner as a great finish for soups, stews, pasta or casseroles
Tastealotta has an olive that will meet your cooking and tasting needs. Come in and taste all our wonderful olive oils and take home your favorites to inspire your cooking to new levels.