Originally posted in Oct. 2011
I admit it, i have an addiction to foreign oil. Not the kind in the middle east that we use to fuel our cars though, a kind that comes from olives. Spanish olive oil to be exact.
I was first turned on to Spanish olive oil when I lived in Spain in 2003. It was different cooking with oil instead of
butter like I had been trained in the past. The wide variety of olives offer so many different flavors of oils.
The Arbequina olive has an exquisite flavor with traces of tomato and the aroma of fresh artichoke. It is also fruity with an exotic aroma. The scent of fresh apple accompanied by a mild sweetness identifies the oil that finishes with an aftertaste of green almonds.
The Cornicabra olive is fruity yet has a delicate balance between sweet & bitter. The bitterness is reminiscent of green leaves with a medium-intense peppery flavor. Its texture is smooth and velvety.
The Picual olive is a strong flavor of green olive & green peach (also a stone fruit). A slight bitterness, delayed & lingering pepper on the back best describes its flavor profile.
Whichever the type of oil you use, check out the flavor profile to pair well with what you are cooking. Picual pairs well with more robust products like gazpachos and grilled meats, or artichokes. Arbequina is more delicate and will work with fish and seafood, tomato salads even chocolate. With all these different kinds of olive oils, you can see how easy it is to get hooked.