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Report: Hurricanes cost commercial fishing and seafood sectors $580 million Experts Call This Easy-To-Follow Eating Style The Best Healthy Diet Plan In 2022 The Woodland Resort’s Back Table Kitchen & Bar Welcomes Chef De Cuisine, Debuts Seasonally-inspired Dinner Offerings And Launches Weekend Brunch GSMC analysts pick top 2022 trends El Anzuelo Fino | Queens Gazette New foundation aims to curb pervasive marketing fraud in caviar trade Cooking With Rania: Seafood Pasta Report: Hurricanes cost commercial fishing and seafood sectors $1.36 billion Development of fatty liver disease under a healthy diet New restaurant Detention gearing up for launch

Pairing Extra Virgin Olive Oils with Fish and Meat Dishes

Not all extra vir­gin olive oils (EVOOs) are cre­ated equal. An extra vir­gin olive oil’s fla­vor and healthy attrib­utes depend on a num­ber of fac­tors.

The olive vari­ety, where and how it is grown, and pro­cess­ing meth­ods all come into play when deter­min­ing olive oil qual­ity.

The deci­sions made at these stages cre­ate an entire world of oppor­tu­ni­ties for those who cook with extra vir­gin olive oils and are always seek­ing the per­fect match for their dishes.

Fish and the ele­gance of extra vir­gin

If we talk about Mediterranean cui­sine, extra vir­gin olive oil is an absolutely essen­tial ingre­di­ent, an active part of it,” Luca Collami, a chef at the Michelin-starred Grand Hotel di Arenzano, in Italy’s north-west­ern Liguria region, told Olive Oil Times.

That means that if you are cook­ing meat or cook­ing fish, you are very prob­a­bly using sig­nif­i­cantly dif­fer­ent EVOOs,” he added.

In Liguria, fish plays a cen­tral role in tra­di­tional cui­sine, and chefs often look for lighter notes and sub­tle fla­vors when prepar­ing local dishes.

If we were in Tuscany, we would have robust extra vir­gin olive oils, but that is a dif­fer­ent cui­sine,” Collami said. ​Here, I mostly use Olio Polla, a light, del­i­cate Taggiasca extra vir­gin olive oil, which brings deli­cious scents of herbs and arti­choke. When you pre­pare a fish serv­ing or cook fish, you want to use it for its ele­gant fla­vor.”

Home-made fla­vored EVOOs

Collami, who is the first Michelin-star holder in Genoa, also infuses his extra vir­gin olive oils with a vari­ety of herbs and spices to enhance his fish-based dishes.

When you have a high-qual­ity EVOO, such as ours, and, for instance, you want to have at your dis­po­si­tion an olive oil with a very notice­able note of basil, you can pre­pare it your­self and obtain the best results,” he said.

See Also: Cooking with Olive Oil

Collami dresses cod, sea bass, hake, porcini mush­rooms, fish stews, fish ravi­oli, soups and raw sal­ads with his oil infu­sions.

Ligurian olive oil is per­fect for fish because it gives it a bou­quet; it gives value to the ele­gance of a fish serv­ing with salt,” Collami said.

Meat demands stronger fla­vors

The only fat I use in the kitchen is local EVOO,” Collami explained. ​It may be that I use some but­ter, with meat, or even half of this and half of that.”

But some­times, when I need spe­cial fla­vors for serv­ings, and at home also, I use an organic Sicilian high-qual­ity EVOO,” he added.

basics-pairing-extra-virgin-olive-oils-with-fish-and-meat-dishes-olive-oil-times

He often reaches for a Nocellara del Belice mono­va­ri­etal, with an intense fla­vor, bit­ter and spicy.

This type of EVOO is on the oppo­site side of the spec­trum com­pared to Taggiasca oils. Chefs tend to pre­fer extra vir­gin olive oils with a more robust pro­file and dis­tinc­tive notes when cook­ing meat.

Exceptions abound, of course, such as for light, lean meat dishes like tartare where the chef might select a medium-inten­sity extra virgin with some lemon salt, pep­per and onion to fin­ish.

See Also: Olive Oil Basics

Grilled meat can also call for a less intense EVOO to enhance the orig­i­nal taste with­out smoth­er­ing it.

In our tra­di­tion, we do not need any­thing else, a grilled cut is per­fectly dressed by a high-qual­ity olive oil,” Antonella Scatigna, chef at the Taverna del Duca, a well-known restau­rant in Locorotondo, not far from Bari in Puglia, told Olive Oil Times.

More than just meat

Scatigna is used to choos­ing robust EVOOs for many of her more unusual spe­cial­ties as well.

We work with poor meat cuts, shanks, stewed lamb, don­key fil­let, sheep and give them value thanks to spe­cial cook­ing tech­niques,” she said. ​For instance, we have a calf cheek which cooks for at least 13 hours dipped in Primitivo wine at low tem­per­a­tures.”

Then we brown it in EVOO and sea­son it with car­rots, cel­ery and onions,” she added. ​Such a meat cut, which is so tough at the begin­ning, later becomes soft as but­ter, but it is our EVOO that gives it the final touch.”

Most of the Taverna menu focuses on meat and veg­eta­bles, for which Scatigna mostly uses high-qual­ity Leccino extra vir­gin olive oil.

See Also: Olive Brine, a Secret Kitchen Ingredient

Peppery, assertive, and some­times blended with a Coratina EVOO, Scatigna works with Leccino’s robust fla­vor.

While tra­di­tional meat cuts require more robust EVOO, qual­ity remains para­mount.

If you have an extra vir­gin olive oil which was not cor­rectly [made] nor high qual­ity as you expected, then it will ruin all your dishes,” Scatigna said. ​And vice versa, a high-qual­ity EVOO can lit­er­ally give a new dimen­sion to a sim­ple spaghetti serv­ing.”

You use it to cook some gar­lic, then a lit­tle chili pep­per and pour on it some raw EVOO and there you go with a great spaghetti serv­ing,” she added. ​We use it for legumes as well, for soups and it is also the only fat we use for our desserts.”

How to find the best EVOO

The food pair­ing app on the Official Index of the World’s Best Olive Oils makes it easy to iden­tify the best match for your culi­nary cre­ation among this year’s award-win­ning oils.

Producers can often offer the best guid­ance when decid­ing which extra vir­gin olive oil to pair with cer­tain dishes.

You can­not really tell con­sumers which olive oil they should buy. There are so many dif­fer­ent prod­ucts, both in qual­ity and fla­vor,” Collami con­cluded. ​What you should do is meet local pro­duc­ers, taste their EVOOs, trust their sug­ges­tions and the tra­di­tion.”