(: DELIAH'S DELI IS CLOSED FOR THE SEASON... :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

THE GIFTS OF THE OLIVE TREE



















Surah Al Nur ( 24:35) (The Light)


"Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The Parable of His Light is as if there were a Niche and within it a Lamp: the Lamp enclosed in Glass: the glass as it were a brilliant star: Lit from a blessed Tree, an Olive, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil is well-nigh luminous, though fire scarce touched it: Light upon Light! Allah does guide whom He will to His Light: Allah does set forth Parables for men: and Allah does know all things."


Not all oils are created equal, and the ancient Egyptians, the Persians, the Romans, the Greek and the Italians understand best the different strengths, flavors and aromas that distinguish one oil from the other. Olive oil is pricier than their comparative others, and in Malaysia it has not yet found a place in common kitchen language and cooking terms. A good olive oil is something to be savored, which is why it is always served at the table as an essential condiment. Today, Italy and Iran probably has the greatest diversity of olives everywhere in the world thanks to the variety of their terrain and climate.

Choosing an olive oil is very much down right to personal taste. The right selection would successfully capture the diversity of flavors that makes cooking with olive oil so delectable and enjoyable. It is an art form, so enjoy each cooking when you do with olive oil. I am not an expert at olive oil, but my father who hails from a Middle Eastern origin has taught us some basic tips on olive oil and even some more on its cooking. As for me, I would alternate between my cooking with olive oil and our natural Malaysian palm oil which is cholesterol free and rich in Vitamin E. To me, both of them are healthy. But if you want that extra taste, try olive for a change. But do take note, some traditional Malay dishes such as Rendang, kuih-muih and Serunding would definitely go better with our local palm oil. Don’t try it any other way :)

Well, anyhow here is a list of some simple table guide at selecting olive oil to enliven your cooking concept in Ramadan. It would give some of your cooking an unmistakable Mediterranean flavor.

Delicato:
This is a somewhat mild olive oil with broad flavor suitable for most dishes. As it remains stable at very high temperature of up to 250C, it is also ideal for baking, BBQ or frying dishes.

Extra Vergine:
This is made from the first harvesting and the first pressing of olives. It is packed with superb fruity flavors and has a very soothing fragrant aroma. This is also suitable in the preparations of salads and especially superb to go with the Iranian dish Sabzi Khordan. It could also just be eaten fresh with bread! This is table olive oil.

Gentile:
This is mellow oil, with a sweet, fruity flavor which won’t overpower the taste of delicate dishes such as fish, prawns, crab, or chicken set for slight frying or roasting.

Robusto:
This is the full flavored, peppery olive oil that’s delicious with antipasti, red meats and hearty pastas and even the risotto. Robusto would stand high heat almost similar to Delicato, and I would use this kind of oil in making meatballs or roasted lamb.

Tradizionale:
This is the unfiltered variant and the one that would sometimes requires “acquired taste” to its liking. It’s very peppery and raw in taste and texture. It would stand high temperature of up to 220C. It is suitable for roasting and BBQ of lamb.

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2 comments:

Uncle Lee said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply]Best Blogger Templates

Hello Deliah, wow! Today I learned many things, ha ha.
Tau makan sahajah....
I eat to live, not live to eat....but will take note your mention here.
Have a nice day, Lee.

Deliah's Deli said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply]Best Blogger Templates

Uncle Lee, always glad to hear from THE uncle:) thanks for coming by. Bright blessings to you and family. Take care and have a nice day too. TQ.