Like many foods, extra virgin olive oil can exhibit many different flavors depending on the items it is paired with on your plate. The key is to create a harmony between the dominant flavors in your ingredients and the olive oil you choose. This can be done by either creating mellowing or complementary relationships. We recommend preparing a simple meal of grilled meat, boiled potatoes, blanched vegetables, such as beets and greens, fresh bread, and a variety of hard and soft cheeses. Serve the meal along with a variety of olive oils ranging in flavor from ripe and fruity to pungent and grassy. This will allow you to experiment on your own and see how the flavors complement or detract from one another. This is also a great way to begin to recognize and explore the flavor attributes of an olive oil as they can be emphasized when combined with food.
Oils with high green fruit, bitterness, and pungency are best combined with foods that balance these strong flavors. We recommend pairing our stronger oils with fatty foods such as burrata or grilled meat, as they will enhance the green fruit flavors and create harmony with the pungency of the oil. Try drizzling McEvoy Olio Nuovo over freshly grilled steak for a traditional Tuscan meal. This will add new flavor dimensions and compliment the food’s richness. Adding an oil with high bitterness and pungency to already bitter foods like dandelion greens or chicories can cause imbalanced flavors, as it will further enhance this taste attribute. An oil with ripe fruit flavors can play well with the bitterness in greens enhancing this complex flavor.