The notion of food pairing is based on combining different foods with Extra Virgin Olive Oil in order to achieve a particular result. In other words, for me it would be the intelligent use of EVOO in the kitchen, with the intention of making the most of it. Since we have fruity, bitter and spicy oils the result we get when combined with certain foods should therefore be different. In some cases almost perfect marriages are created!
Regarding this, there are already some studies such as the one made by Bernard Lahousse, a Belgian scientist who has applied his expertise to the oil Castillo de Canena in their picual, arbequina and royal varieties, with spectacular results.
There are also many chefs who have joined this culinary trend as M. Jose San Roman (rte. Monastrell) or Daniel Garcia Peinado (Rte Alamar) whose food i would love to taste!
I do not want to be left behind, so when I organise an Olive Oil tasting session I always like to introduce the concept of food pairing. Sometimes attendees are those who ask me the best use for each oil given that they detect clear differences between the oils tasted. So I didn’t hesitate one second to accept the kind invitation from Joanna Pope at «Perfect Tree» to participate in a dinner hosted by «Last Word Supper» last October in Tunbridge Wells.
At our dinner 12 people enjoyed three oils from Dehesa La Sabina (obtained from olives at different stages of maturation and therefore with different organoleptic profiles) and Venta del Baron which was the oil I provided. The menu was a success, starting with a cocktail, followed by «ajo blanco»(almond soup), ceviche, meat and salad, and ending with a dessert of chocolate, a luxury for the lucky attendees. All dishes paired with our oils.
At home I always have open at least three bottles of oil with different profiles in term of intense fruity, bitter and pungent (peppery sensation) which I combine in different ways. My advice would be that if you can afford it, enjoy cooking with at least two completely different oils and experience with them as if you were a professional cook. In Spain alone there are more than 260 varieties of olives, why settle for using one oil for everything? Join me for a tasting session if you fancy to learn more about food pairing with Olive Oil.