Is it time to think of olive oil differently?
The culture of extra virgin olive oil is habitual in Italy and surrounding Mediterranean countries, it’s something you grow up with and is integrated in to your diet from the very start. That said, there is still very much a regional loyalty to olive oil, almost as if it’s a regional identification. Undoubtedly, if you live in Greece, you would favour Greek olive oil, but it drills down to a micro level and as such, many Italians use their local olive oil for every purpose in the kitchen.
It’s not a matter of life or death of course and I’m not here to preach in any way, however it’s true that many palates would not favour banana on pizza (yep, it’s a reality) or a really robust red wine with very delicately flavoured food. And so the same can be said for great extra virgin olive oil – not all cultivars work with every other ingredient. It amazes me that many chefs are still tuning in to this, using the most peppery Tuscan oils to make pesto for example, when it totally overpowers the pinenuts and basil. A tasting of a few monocultivars really highlights the differences and that’s the route of everything at Frantoi – offering you the chance to taste different oils, all of which have a very similar philosophy and super high quality, but that really do work better with some ingredients than others.
So, we offer a selection of 3 or 6 bottles from different regions that work with different ingredients. It’s a totally new way to think about olive oil, we appreciate that. And although we’ve spent almost a decade building this dream, we have an absolute mountain still to climb.