The fact that Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) has multiple and strong nutritional properties is already beyond doubt. The Mediterranean diet, based on vegetables, fruits, salads, fish and olive oil, is key to lowering mortality rate for heart disease in countries such as Spain, according to prestigious media sources such as The Guardian.
EVOO acquires more value according to the importance that healthy cooking is having for the great chefs, who have the responsibility of settling up the most innovative recipes at the same time of making them healthy. The properties of ‘liquid gold’ make it a necessary ingredient in your healthier creations.
It is the flavor enhancer par excellence versus other unhealthy alternatives such as monosodium glutamate. Extra virgin olive oil naturally strengthens flavor, even in some desserts, against substances, sometimes addictive, that invite us to eat more than necessary.
But, what type of oil is most appropriate in each case? There are wide varieties of EVOO as shown by the diversity in olive groves from all over the world.
While it is true that every day we find ourselves more often with coupage EVOO, that is to say, those that are the result of mixing different varieties, we must make clear that single varietals possess greater strength and intensity and remain faithful to its aromas.
Which dishes can best match different types of olive oil according to their variety? Here are some keys to some of the most common varieties of EVOO:
Arbequina: It has subtle delicate aroma. It pairs well with products such as fish or seafood (cooked or grilled), and with the fruit salads. In addition, it is ideal for desserts that include olive oil among its ingredients.
Cornicabra: its aroma of fresh herbs and its light spice enhances the flavor of roasted lamb, suckling pork and turkey, or even for preparing desserts and chocolates.
Hojiblanca: its richness of aromas helps to enhance the taste of blue fish such as salmon or tuna. In addition, it is perfect for meat or fish carpaccios.
Picual: It contains a great intensity, enhancing the flavor of hams, sausages and cheeses.