What Oil goes with What food?

Ah!! this is a good Question

I am going to be general in this section to help you understand the basic categories of Mild, Medium and Robust and how to typically pair with some of your favorite dishes.

I will also guide you under each specific oil to link you to a more detailed match for that oil and I will lead you to my cooking blog for some specific examples of things I have cooked with this particular oil.


Lets start in general terms:

Mild extra virgin olive oils tend to be lighter in terms of flavour most are from olives that tend to picked when they are more ripe with gives the oil a milder taste with less of the strong "olive" taste and typically these oils have little or very low levels of bitterness and/or pungency however, most are buttery and fruity with beautiful undertones of banana, apple and other fruit flavours. These oils in general are best for white/mild fish dishes, delicate soups and sauces, great as a substitute for butter in recipes and perfect in baking or desserts. I always use these oils when a recipe calls for a melted butter or vegetable oil. I have never had anyone say "this tastes like olives why didn't you use the normal vegetable oil?" So why wouldn't I feed my friends and family with the best oil I have in my cooking.These oils are easy for anyone to enjoy.

Medium extra virgin olive oils - Ah this is where it gets interesting! These oils are like a rainbow of flavours and come in all over the place in terms or fruitiness and what some of their undertones are. They can have underlying tones of tastes like artichokes or fresh herbs, apples or tomatoes and a range of bitterness and pungency levels. These oils are complex and masters have created oils that are blends of many varieties or a single cutivar of olives. I think these oils are the ones most people want to try and discover because there is a wide variety and ranges for people to really discover they can taste differences in oils! I think these oils go well with dishes you want the oil to stand out as a delicious condiment. These are the oils people taste and think "this is very nice oil!" perfect on toasted bread, or fresh caprese salads or drizzled as a finishing touch to a wonderful pasta. 

Robust extra virgin olive oils are the ones some people are afraid of trying and those who get hooked on olive oil are addicted to! Just like when you first started trying hot chilies in foods at first you were afraid then you totally went out of your way to "feel the burn" In olive oils there is a "cough factor" that most people like to laugh about. If it makes you cough or sits at the back of your mouth for a long finish you think "whoa, that's a strong oil, I like it!" These are the oils with high levels of anti-oxidant polyphenols. They taste like green olives and grass and herbaceous notes with fruity undertones. They are amazing on hearty dishes like bean soups, roasted meats, tomatoes, rich pasta dishes and roasted vegetables...these are the show offs!! Big, Bold, Brassy and utterly divine.

I think you need a few great oils to use for different things and I encourage you to try, try, try new ones all the time. The world is full of glorious oils produced by brilliant people and they come from all over. I know it's easy to say I like that one best and I have my favorites too but...it's like when you were 21 and you drank Blue Nun, or Black Tower wine or whatever, $10 bottle of wine was the one you started with but, then you tried something new and then you set the bar a little higher and then you didn't think you could go back to the stuff you drank before. Taste is developed and you can always try something different. You will find some you like and others that you wouldn't choose again...just like a bottle of wine! The point is don't stop trying.