31 Oct Extra virgin olive oil, instructions for its use: pairing rules
Olive oils are not all the same: just like wine, we should always choose the best EVO oil for the dishes we serve at our table
Learning to pair the right extra virgin oil with the dishes we prepare and eat is important, if not essential. It is a true art. Just like wine, every EVO oil has a bouquet of scents and aromas that can set off, but in some cases even ruin, the flavour of a dish.
So, what are the major classes of extra virgin olive oils? And what are the main pairing rules?
Firstly, it is worth remembering that EVO oils are ranked according to the intensity of their bouquet, i.e. the aromas perceived through smell and taste; oils are thus classified as light fruity, fruity and intensely fruity.
Light fruity EVO oils
These oils have a sweet, soft flavour and a delicate scent, with a very slight pungency. Light fruity oils are best paired with delicate dishes such as white meats, poached lobster, salmon, simple salads and believe it or not, desserts… have you ever tried ice cream with a little olive oil?
Fruity EVO oils
More full-bodied than those mentioned previously, these oils are tasty, fragrant, harmonious and well balanced. They are perfect when drizzled over pulse and vegetable soups, flavourful cuts of white meats, grilled oily fish and rich, tasty salads.
Intensely fruity EVO oils
A pungent oil that stings the throat, thanks to its bouquet of bitter, pungent notes. Perfect on all robust dishes with a strong flavour: grilled steaks, braised meat, game, but also salads made up of bitter vegetables and flavourful vegetable soups.
And last but not least, there is one golden rule we should always remember: local cuisine dishes should always feature the oil made from the olive cultivar typical of that region.