Don’t Sleep On This Game-Changing Ingredient

When it comes to olive oil, the younger, the better. Vibrant, flavorful

THE HYPED RELEASE of Beaujolais Nouveau is one of the great marketing triumphs (read: scams) of the 20th century. Created by wine merchant Georges Duboeuf, the campaign and its slogan—“Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!”—aimed to get money quickly into the pockets of regional vintners, even if the barely fermented wine they were hawking was, and is, at best rough around the edges.

So it’s natural to be skeptical of olio nuovo, or “new oil,” the first pressed olive oil of the season. And that would be a mistake. If a well-made wine is George Clooney—only improving with age—olive oil is more the ingénue, a bright star that quickly fades. “The first olive oil has that incredible spark, what I call fireworks in the mouth,” said Rolando Beramendi, of Manicaretti Italian Food Importers, who began selling olio nuovo to California chefs in the 1990s. “It feels like you are inhaling green solar energy.”

Unlike wine, which is fermented, olive oil is fresh-pressed juice. It contains high levels of antioxidants, which break down with exposure to air and as time passes. Olive oil’s flavors also are at their most vibrant immediately after being pressed, whether it’s a peppery Tuscan, a buttery Ligurian or a fruity oil from Sicily or California.

香蕉视频苹果下载Traditionally, olio nuovo has come to market unfiltered. But these days the term applies to the entire new season’s harvest, including filtered oils. Olio nuovo from California began hitting the market in early November; Italian oils are rolling in now. These new oils do cost a bit more, but they’re worth the splurge if you make them the star of a dish: drizzled over soft cheeses like ricotta or mozzarella, or over a bowl of creamy cannellini beans. In fact, there’s only one rule for olio nuovo: Use it with abandon. It will never taste as good again.

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