There’s a recent trend of drizzling extra virgin olive oil on pretty much every dish. So what’s the hype all about? After all, it’s just oil! The reason that everyone from professional chefs to your next-door neighbor is obsessed with olive oil is that it gives that extra oomph to dishes and boosts their taste immediately.
Olive oil has a rich, earthy flavor that enhances the taste and aroma of food, as well as giving it an appetizing golden gleam. It adds body and depth to dishes and changes their look to match the food served at top-notch restaurants.
Need more convincing? Let’s explore the benefits of olive oil in detail. We’ve broken down the top reasons why chefs drizzle olive oil on food for you below.
Why Do People Drizzle Olive Oil on Food?
1. Enhances the flavor
This one’s a no-brainer. Olive oil is great to top any kind of dish because of its fresh, peppery, and slightly bitter taste that goes well with almost everything. It balances out acidity and saltiness in food and adds an extra depth of flavor that takes the dish to another level.
Is there a difference between food that is cooked in olive oil and raw olive oil drizzled on top of dishes? Yes! First of all, the olive oil used to cook is usually not as high quality as the one used to top off dishes.
Secondly, when olive oil is used in cooking or frying it loses some of its flavors due to the high temperature. Olive oil that hasn’t been subjected to any heat has its own distinctive flavor that is markedly different.
2. Makes the dish look better
Not only does a drizzle of olive oil taste good, but it’s a feast for the eyes too. Adding olive oil on top of your dish provides moisture and a luxurious shine to dry dishes such as salads and ensures that they go down easily. Drizzling olive oil on top of your dish will add a beautiful golden gloss and make it stand out!
3. Smells great
Olive oil smells deliciously fruity and earthy, which goes great with sweet and savory foods alike. Drizzling olive oil onto your dish ensures that the light and refreshing scent is going to be one of the first aromas you get a whiff of as you take that first bite.
What Foods Can You Drizzle Olive Oil On?
It’s no secret that olive oil pairs perfectly with almost all dishes you can think of. Olive oil aficionados have tried drizzling it on everything from fish to vegetables to vanilla ice cream and every combo has its respective fanbase. Here are some foods you should try drizzling olive oil on:
- Scrambled eggs
All of these go well with olive oil. You will mostly find olive oil drizzled over salads and savory dishes in recipes, but it is also an excellent addition to some desserts. If you’re feeling a bit daring, try it on top of desserts such as chocolate mousse or ice cream to get an extra kick of flavor.
However, remember that not all olive oil is made the same. The one used to top dishes off is usually the most expensive and high-quality one available on the market. If you’re interested in getting a bottle just to finish your dishes off, invest in some good quality extra virgin olive oil. It will add that final touch that makes your dish perfect.
Should You Drizzle Olive Oil on Pasta?
Yes! Olive oil on pasta adds body and richness to the dish. In fact, olive oil is a staple in Italian cuisine and is used in pretty much all of their pasta dishes.
Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is a famous pasta dish that stars just two main ingredients alongside spaghetti—olive oil and garlic! This dish is great to try out if you love pasta and want to make an authentic recipe that makes olive oil shine.
You can use olive oil for sauteing the meat and vegetables used in your pasta or adding it to the sauce. Oil is also added to boiling water to prevent the pasta from sticking together. Pasta dishes are usually dressed with a drizzle of olive oil as well.
However, too much of a good thing can be a problem as well so make sure to exercise moderation and not drench everything in olive oil. If you use raw extra virgin olive oil in excess the taste can be overpowering and prevent the more delicate flavors in the dish from coming through.
Is It Healthy to Put Olive Oil on Your Food?
Olive oil has been proven to have considerable health benefits. It contains a high amount of antioxidants and monounsaturated fatty acids that help lower cholesterol levels in the body and protect against the risk of heart disease and stroke.
It is not associated with weight gain and incorporating olive oil in your diet may actually help you lose weight and potentially prevent type 2 diabetes. Olive oil has also been shown to have positive effects on brain health and could help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
However, it is important to use olive oil in your diet in moderation, and more importantly, to use the right kind of olive oil. Most of the benefits associated with olive oil are from the extra virgin variety. Make sure to invest in authentic and good-quality olive oil if you want to reap all of its benefits.
Olive oil has been used in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine for centuries, but it recently became popular all over the world due to its fresh, earthy flavor and numerous health benefits.
Adding a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to any dish can enhance its flavor and add depth and richness. Furthermore, it will give a bit of extra moisture and shine to your food and make it smell delicious. Drizzle some olive oil on top of your next dish to make it Gordon Ramsay worthy!
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