OLIVE OILS range in flavor from very mild to clearly distinct, with mild dishes generally requiring a mild oil, and spicy dishes a more flavorful one. But experiment with different varieties and combinations to discover your own preferences.

In Italy, olive oils are graded according to their pressing and acidity level. The first pressing, if done without heat or any other treatment is classified as virgin. This is the highest grade. Within the virgin category the oil is also graded for acidity. Extra virgin olive oil, considered to be the finest of the virgins, contains the least amount of acid found naturally in the oil: 1% or less. In Greece 1% or less is sometimes referred to as extra, extra virgin.

Store olive oil at room temperature. Cooling the oil congeals it, so if you make a dressing that needs to be refrigerated, bring to room temperature to melt before using.