Pairing Olive Oil As You Would With Wine Will Set Your Menu Apart

Much like wine, there is a method behind choosing the right olive oil for restaurant dishes. Using a specific olive oil can not only complement and reinforce flavors in a chef’s dish, but also highlight the unique taste the oil brings to it. This can help you set your menu apart from others, and elevate your guests’ dining experience.

When you are creating your restaurant’s menu, consider olive oils with these flavor categories in mind: delicate, medium or robust.

Delicate olive oils have a somewhat buttery or floral taste, with a light peppery finish. These oils pair best with menu items like raw and mild tasting foods, adding a more subtle flavor to your dish. Think fish, mild salad greens, mild cheeses, pesto, raw vegetables. Your guests will love this attention to detail in your restaurant menu.

Medium olive oils usually have a fruity taste, with a spicy or peppery finish. These are best paired with white meats, and carbohydrates or sweeter foods. For instance, the Mandrova Nocellara, is a medium-fruity varietal from Sicily, Italy. The olives are grown on the Mandrova farm and crushed right after harvesting to produce an oil with the fragrance of fresh cut grass, artichokes and tomatoes. The spicy flavor is balanced with the bitterness, yielding it as a continually recognized product garnering the 2018 NYIOOC Gold Medal.

Robust olive oils are more pungent and have an intense, bold flavor with a strong peppery finish. These oils pair best with richer, bitter, and/or complex menu items. Such as beef, lamb, marinades, stew, pasta sauce, and bold cheeses. Consider using the Guglielmi Intenso, made from one hundred percent crushed Coratina variety olives grown in the northern region of Puglia. Its intense and spicy notes pair great with bitter greens and/or a raw oily fish.

When unsure of what olive oil will work best with your dish, remember the saying: what grows together tastes good together. For more tips on flavor notes and pairing dishes, and Foodable’s select list of olive oils, watch the video above.

Staple Ingredient: Olive Oil Isn't Always What it Seems

Staple Ingredient: Olive Oil Isn't Always What it Seems

By Abby Langer, Foodable Contributor

I know, olive oil is so 1985, right? But you still use it, of course, and are you sure that what you’re using is actually what you think it is?

Olives and olive oil are produced in many countries around the world including the United States, but Italian olive oil is widely known to be the gold standard of olive oils. With 59% of the import market, Italy is also the largest supplier of olive oil to the USA. Annual production of olive oil in Italy is between 500,000 and 700,000 metric tons, which is a good thing, since 610,000 metric tons of olive oil were consumed in Italy alone in 2011 and 2012, according to the EU.

Right now happens to be olive picking season, which traditionally starts on November 1st each year.

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City Olive in Chicago Aims to Demystify Olive Oil with a Pure Approach

City Olive in Chicago Aims to Demystify Olive Oil with a Pure Approach

By Suzanne Deveney, Foodable Contributor

If you think you know what olive oil tastes like, you’ve never experienced the palate-tingling richness of an estate-bottled oil. You can forget the stuff you’ve been purchasing at the grocery store; this is the real deal. And City Olive is more than willing to give you a taste before you buy.

Tastings are done by pouring a small quantity onto a white spoon, so you not only see the color, you can really taste the oil. “Often, you’ll see tastings done with a piece of bread, which can really change or mask the flavor of the oil. We want you to experience everything about the oil in in purest form,” says City Olive Owner Karen Rose.

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Breaking Down Olive Oil: Here's What You Need to Know

Breaking Down Olive Oil: Here's What You Need to Know

By Jennifer Buggica, Foodable Contributor

Whether you sauté, drizzle, or bake, chances are you’ve used olive oil in your kitchen, and use it often. When preparing to make a dish, you may grab what’s on sale at the market or use what you currently have in your cabinet, but there are differences in virgin olive oils and others. Knowing what you can expect in terms of flavor and cooking can make all the difference in the kitchen.

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