Here are some of my favorite regional olive oils.
Every region of Italy produces olive oil, vinegar and wines. There are hundreds of different varieties of the olive species. Olive oil from Lombardy is very gentle and has a mild herbal aroma with a nutty finish. It is best used as a condiment for steamed vegetables, or for dressing salads. Ligurian olive oil is gentle but herbaceous and aromatic, with a mild sweetness. It’s a natural fit for making pesto, and great for fish and salads. Tuscan olive oil is hearty and packed with flavor, and has a peppery finish. It’s excellent with beans, thick soup, roasts and grilled bread. Umbrian olive oil is very herbal, with a buttery, nutty finish. It’s perfect for risotto and braised meats. Olive oil from Puglia is intense in its flavor, since the olives there ripen in the intense summer sun. I use it for basic cooking, such as braising, preparing vegetables and soups. Sicilian olive oil is similar to the oil from Puglia. It is great for Sicilian dishes rich with seafood and vegetables.