Why should Americans buy premier Italian olive oil?

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Perhaps best of all, these inspirational essences are part of a bigger package called la cucina italiana, each an active ingredient in a range of local culinary specialties.

So Taggiasca oil from Liguria, where I live, is the heart and soul of pesto, just as a big-bodied Moraiolo from Umbria brings a zuppa frantoiana (harvest soup with black cabbage) to life, and a zippy Tuscan Leccino adds the perfect balance to branzino al sale (salted seabass). Many oils are delicious on farm-fresh vegetables (my favorites include -Grignano and Reccioppella), and some are even good on fruit – as I learned one hot summer midnight in Ragusa Ibla, a hilltop town in southeastern Sicily, where I first tried blood orange and peperoncino salad flooded with tonda iblea oil.

In fact, enjoying a range of Italian oils, each linked a memorable chunk of Italian territory, is a bit like a long trip through the Italian countryside.
Olive oils become distinct passages into Italy’s lovely labyrinth.

by Tom Mueller
Teatro Naturale International

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