A fundamental ingredient of Mediterranean cuisine, Italian olive oil is a cornerstone of the kitchen pantry. Made from the oil of pressed olives that are cultivated in Tuscany and Southern Italy, the best Italian olive oils add depth and flavor to many dishes, and there are thousands of olive oil varieties to choose from. olive oil brings a plethora of health benefits to the table, including omega-3 fatty acids. According to the American Heart Association, extra virgin olive oil lowers the risk of heart disease by reducing cholesterol. Italian extra virgin olive oil also has a higher smoke point because it is minimally processed, making it ideal for frying, baking, and grilling.
Balsamic Vinegar and More Italian Vinegars
Add Italian vinegar to the mix and you’ve got the building blocks for a long list of salad dressings, marinades, and sauces. Balsamic vinegar is made from the juice of Lambrusco or Trebbiano grapes and aged in wooden barrels for a minimum of 12 years. A reliable table companion of EVOO, balsamic vinegar can be traced back to the Middle Ages and is known for its sweetness. There is also red wine vinegar, which has a more acidic taste, and is useful for pickling vegetables and creating zesty marinades. In addition to savory vinegars, at Supermarket Italy you will also find uniquely flavored fruit vinegars such as vincotto, cooked wine vinegar made from grape must and figs.
What dishes are these Italian condiments used for?
It’s not just the health benefits that make Italian olive oil a must-have for every kitchen. In fact, it’s the cooking oil of choice for chefs because of its ability to resist high heats. Italian EVOO has a higher smoke point because it is minimally processed, making it ideal for frying, baking, and grilling. The high smoke point also affects the taste. Because the oil is unrefined and pressed from the olives without using heat or chemicals, it has a more robust flavor and deeper color than other types of cooking oil.
Beyond baking, sautéing, and grilling, olive oil is also a key ingredient in classic Italian cake. Made with traditional cake batter ingredients like butter, flour, baking powder and sugar, this popular Italian dessert is light and elegant, especially when you use Paesano Organic Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a rare variety that exhibits a more delicate and nuanced flavor profile than other Italian oils.
Where to buy Italian olive oil and vinegar online
Italian olive oil is a must-have for every kitchen. In fact, it’s the cooking oil of choice for chefs because of its ability to resist high heats. With a robust flavor and deeper color than other types of cooking oil, olive oil will bring out delicious flavor in meats, fish, cheeses and vegetables. Serve on a charcuterie board with rustic bread for dipping, or add olive oil and vinegar to greens as a classic Italian salad dressing. Beyond sautéing and grilling, olive oil is also a key ingredient in classic Italian olive oil cake. Pair sweet balsamic vinegar with chocolate, fruits, and cheeses for a dessert to remember.