Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is not only a staple in Mediterranean cuisine but also plays a significant role in the culinary traditions of various cultures around the world. Learn more about how extra virgin olive oil is used in diverse cultures.
- Mediterranean Cuisine:
The Mediterranean region is synonymous with olive oil. In Spain, EVOO is a star ingredient in paella, gazpacho, and traditional tapas. In Greece, EVOO is used in dishes like Greek salads, moussaka, and spanakopita. Italy celebrates EVOO in classic dishes like bruschetta, pasta sauces, and drizzling it over fresh mozzarella and tomatoes in caprese salad.
- Middle Eastern and North African Cuisine:
In Middle Eastern and North African cuisines, extra virgin olive oil is a fundamental ingredient in dishes like hummus, falafel, and tabbouleh. In Moroccan cuisine, EVOO is used in tagines, couscous, and hearty stews. Olive oil is also enjoyed as a dipping sauce for bread or drizzled over traditional dishes like baba ganoush and shawarma.
- French Cuisine:
French cuisine embraces the elegance of extra virgin olive oil in both traditional and modern dishes. In Provençal cooking, EVOO is used in ratatouille, aioli, and the iconic Niçoise salad. French vinaigrettes often feature olive oil as a key component, lending a smooth and fruity flavor to salads and grilled vegetables. In bouillabaisse, a generous drizzle of olive oil completes the seafood soup.
- South Asian Cuisine:
Although traditionally associated with other cooking oils, South Asian cuisine has embraced extra virgin olive oil in various modern dishes. In Indian cuisine, EVOO can be used in sautéing spices for curries, creating marinades for tandoori-style dishes, and adding a touch of richness to chutneys and pickles. In Mediterranean-inspired fusion recipes, EVOO is substituted for traditional oils to add a new dimension of flavor.
- Latin American Cuisine:
While commonly associated with other cooking fats like lard or vegetable oil, extra virgin olive oil has found its place in Latin American cuisine. In Mediterranean-inspired Latin American dishes, EVOO is used in empanadas, chimichurri sauce, and to drizzle over grilled meats.
As you explore cuisines from different cultures, you'll discover the ways extra virgin olive oil is embraced, enhancing dishes and connecting people through the love of good food. For a taste of the Mediterranean try our Joy and Vitality extra virgin olive oils!