Olive Oil

Olive oil is, in our view, one of the great miracles of food production. That a fruit which, in its uncured state, is practically inedible can, when pressed, produce a golden bounty which not only enhances many of the world's cuisines, but is also highly beneficial to our health, is an amazing thing.

We keep several kinds of olive oil in our house, as we use it for most cooking other than Asian. We have less expensive oil for basic cooking, and higher-quality oils for dressings and garnishes. There is a distinct difference in taste between the oils of various regions: the ripe, fruity oil of southern France, the delicate pale oil of Liguria, and the full, peppery oil of southern Italy are our favourites.

Despite what is sometimes recommended, even our basic cooking oil is the extra-virgin cold press variety. Lower quality, but still extra-virgin, oils are becoming readily available in more places, and we find that it does make a difference to the final result. And the much-touted health benefits of olive oil are only available from the cold pressed oils!

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