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Olives, Olive Oils, Balsamic Vinegars: Mix your own dipping sauces! EASY!

Updated on July 23, 2013

For Love of Olive Oils

The flavors of the olive determine the flavors of the olive oils.
The flavors of the olive determine the flavors of the olive oils. | Source

For Love of Olive Oil

Olives are a staple from the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. The joy of knowing the different flavors and tastes of both olives and the subsequent olive oils is relatively new to the USA.

In the past we knew about EVOO, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, thanks to Rachel Ray and her first shows on the Food Network. We also knew that a lower grade I.e. second press olive oil is fine for many cooking applications. We also learned that the better quality olive oils most often came from overseas and most definitely did not come from a regular grocery store where the olive oil literally had a layer of dust on the bottle as it was on the shelf for a loooong time.

But that is all changing rapidly. We are learning the healthfulness and delicious taste of dipping bread in an olive oil and vinegar base. Try serving a dipping arrangement at your home. Olive oil is very healthy and heart smart.

Here is a bit of information on how to choose dipping oils.

Grocery Aisle for Oils

Having this many olive and other specialty oils to select from is relatively new!
Having this many olive and other specialty oils to select from is relatively new! | Source

The Varied Tastes of Olive Oils

The first pressing of olives makes the most flavorful tasting olive oils. Olive oils are tasted and judged much like wine is tasted, judged, and graded.

Here are a few ways to comment about the taste of olive oils: grassy, fruity, clean, peppery, robust, buttery, with a kick, bite, mild, herbaceous, slightly lemon, zesty, and waxy. All of these tastes are found in the extra virgin olive oil. The first pressing is the best.

How do we find the best flavored oils? After all, olive oils are not inexpensive. Here is a bit on the taste of several olive oils. Also, you can make your own olive oil dipping sauce with just a few herbs.


WOW!

It kinda surprised me at how many oils I already have and I did not put the veg. cooking oil in here either!
It kinda surprised me at how many oils I already have and I did not put the veg. cooking oil in here either! | Source

Who Knew?

Here is a nice selection of olive oils and balsamic vinegar.

The Sicilian Olive Oil (third from the left) is a bit on the fruity side with only a mild tangy flavor. In general the hint of a fruit finish in a milder oil makes a better dipping oil. It goes excellently with a pasta marinara dish. It is very light and may be overpowered with a strong flavored meat pasta dish. This is a favorite of our household.


The next three olive oils are flavor infused clear oils. Each bottle has a flavor: red pepper, basil, and garlic. While it is easy to infuse oils in your own kitchen, it is often expedient to have some infused oils on hand to grab for cooking, dressing making, dripping on finished pasta, or preparing a fast dipping oil.

There are many types of varietal flavors that are worthwhile purchasing, please see below for some ideas!

The final bottle is a cooking oil. This may be used as a dressing oil and does make a dipping oil that will hold up flavor wise to a stronger meal. I.e. Even pizza crust is delicious dipped in an olive oil and balsamic vinegar mixture as made with this olive oil.

So, here is what to buy for your first foray into dipping olive oils: A nice Sicilian oil, a nice Spanish olive oil, a varietal infused clear selection of olive oils.

Varietal Oils

What a wonderful selection from a regular grocery store!
What a wonderful selection from a regular grocery store! | Source

Make Your Own Dipping oils

The following are ideas for your very own dipping oil mixtures. Tailor the flavors to the types of meal you are serving the dish with.

Dipping oil mixtures that you make to compliment your dishes can add a great flavor perk for very little work! Do try them!

Each mixture is described below the picture.


Spice Ideas for YOUR Signature Dipping Oil

Here is a basic group of herbs that include traditional Italian pasta herbs.  The Rosemary adds a nice touch.
Here is a basic group of herbs that include traditional Italian pasta herbs. The Rosemary adds a nice touch. | Source

Garlic and Red Peppers

Not hot but packed with flavor!  Often we use this with a pasta marinara.  This is a red pepper oil with standard herbs such as basil and rosemary.
Not hot but packed with flavor! Often we use this with a pasta marinara. This is a red pepper oil with standard herbs such as basil and rosemary. | Source

Chile Style Dipping Oil

Southwestern USA style.  Unabashed use of cumin and red pepper flakes.  A taste match with Fideo, perhaps?  Oh, with EVERYTHING!
Southwestern USA style. Unabashed use of cumin and red pepper flakes. A taste match with Fideo, perhaps? Oh, with EVERYTHING! | Source

Taste Busting Good

Artesian bread with hand mixed olive oils, balsamic vinegar and Dukkah dip.  What a flavor!
Artesian bread with hand mixed olive oils, balsamic vinegar and Dukkah dip. What a flavor! | Source

Dukkah Dips

Add this little known gem to your dipping plate!

Dukkah is a mixture that may include: almonds, sesame seeds, fennel seeds, coriander, anise seeds, mint, and various salt types. There are many combinations that make up Dukkah.

Spoon a bit on the plate and once you press your bread in the olive oil/balsamic mixture then press the bread in the Dukkah. What a flavor! You will never want to be without this Mediterranean specialty again!

Dukkah is also wonderful to season chicken, fish, or vegetables.

Dukkah is a low calorie flavor packed addition to your cooking!




Comments

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    • NMLady profile image
      Author

      NMLady 4 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

      vespawolf....I too would love to taste some of that oil! Thanks for the comments and visit.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      Yum! I love olive oil and enjoyed reading about how each varies in flavor and how to make dipping oils, too. We haven't had dipping oils for a while...your nice photos inspired me to give it a try soon! When we lived in Southern Peru, we bought olive oil fresh from the factories and we noticed each variety of olive oil had its own flavor palette. What I wouldn't do to get my hands on some of that oil now! Voted up and shared.

    • NMLady profile image
      Author

      NMLady 4 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

      Thanks! Have a good day Eiddwen!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Interesting, useful and thank you for sharing.

      Eddy.

    • NMLady profile image
      Author

      NMLady 4 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

      Thank you ChitrangadaSharan. Do let me know if you try them!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Nice hub with very useful information for food lovers. Innovative options for making dipping sauces along with olive oil, all worth trying. I would definitely try all of them.

      Voted up!

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