There are many things to take advantage of
while spending time in Italy, the change in culture and cuisine allow for you
to experience something different and authentic and the richest way. The
restaurants and street shops here will have your mouth watering with all their
local taste assortments. However, if you want something really fresh, the true
Italian flavour comes from the homegrown ingredients that make up these dishes,
the source material for every good pizza base is the tomatoes picked and the
best pasta here will always drizzled in the tastiest of oils. If you are self
catering in your stay here or even if you aren’t, you must visit the local
markets to sample the ripest, and best sourced foods from aro
und the country, each with their own unique varieties and complex flavours.
One of Italy’s most sought after components and foodstuffs is of course olive oil. This versatile cooking fuel, ingredient and dressing is famously made from the fruits of the olive trees on Italian soil. But there is a lot more to olive oil than many believe, its not just a simple one type fits all product, despite how it may seem. Only the Italians can really appreciate what good olive oil is and what makes it. For those who simply grab the same loyal brand of supermarket olive oil off the shelves, it may be shocking to know that Italy has over three hundred and fifty different varieties of the stuff. This means that not only have you been thinking about olive oil all wrong, but you also haven’t even scratched the surface when it comes to trying the different kinds.
The only variation many people are aware of is extra virgin, which is good because this means that nothing has been added to the oil. Other oils will add chemicals and use a process that simply dilutes the good stuff with the cheap nasty variety. Extra virgin oil is cold pressed, which simple means the olives are painstakingly squeezed here in Italy until every last drop comes forth. This not only allows the flavour of the olives to carry over into the oil but it means that the end product is entirely natural.
Most of the olive oil is produced in the southern parts of Italy, so if you are visiting these regions you are in luck. The Ballaro market in Sicily is going to be your best bet at acquiring some of the best olive oil around as the selection, quality and freshness is going to be at its greatest. The market works its way down the tight streets off the Piazza Carmine and meanders down the back roads. Getting your hands on some fine olive oil will require some footwork and some time but the merchants here are happy to help and are proud of their products, especially since its likely that the oil is made by their close relatives. Grab a few different types so you can see just how dramatically different they can be. Spicy, creamy, nutty flavours and more all arise from these local treats, which will have you thinking differently about oil forever.