What makes olive oils taste different from each other? Like is the Italian oil so different from the Greek? And why?
pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.
Olives, as the French would say are "terroir"; as in where did they grow? what variety? etc. But good olive oils are often a blend of different olives, some are blended to be light, others to be fruity, others to be sharp. Large producers want consistancy from year to year, whereas with small producers it can vary wildly.
As pierino explains, oils from small producers can have distinct personalities. You might want to use one of the national brands' blends for use in cooking, but when the oil needs to stand alone, such as for dipping, choose one that has a rich and memorable flavor. I think Spain is actually the biggest producer of olive oil.
If you are going for the oil with the best quality, always get cold pressed extra virgin in a small dark container (no more than what you could use in a month or two). Opaque glass jars or metal containers are best. Heat, oxygen, and light will make your oil lose it's flavor over time. This is true with spices also.
Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.
Pierino hit the nail on the terroir.
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