Food - Drink
The Major Differences Between Spanish And Italian Olive Oil
When it comes to olive oil, a bottle's country of origin is one factor that can help you make the best choice, but in reality, selecting great olive oil is a bit more nuanced. Here's what to look for, regardless of where your oil comes from, and the differences between olive oil from two of the industry's most respected sources: Spain and Italy.
Use premium extra virgin olive oil as a condiment and extra virgin for everything else; these are minimally processed and additive-free. Phrases like "Product of Italy" on the bottle could mean the oil was merely bottled in Italy and the olives come from elsewhere; instead, look for a country's initials on the back of the bottle, such as ES for Spain or IT for Italy.
Generally speaking, Spanish oil has a nuttier, fruitier taste and is yellow-gold in color; it's also more widely available. Italian olive oil is typically a darker green, with a grassier taste and herbal smell, and authentic bottles are harder to find. Regional differences still abound in both of these countries, so taste around to see which bottle you like best.