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Episode 24 – In conversation with: Frantoio Pruneti about Extra Virgin Olive Oil

One of the ingredients that has always caused more questions and doubts during my cooking classes is olive oil. I’ve grown up worshipping olive oil as key ingredient in Tuscan cooking, it is still my favourite one. I’ve given for granted uses, good habits and qualities until more and more questions during cooking classes made me pause to reflect.

So this is why we decided to dedicate a whole episode to extra virgin olive oil, interviewing Paolo Pruneti from Frantoio Pruneti on the history and qualities of extra virgin olive oil.

We’ll answer the following questions:

  • Which is the difference between extra virgin olive oil, virgin olive oil and olive oil?
  • How do you produce extra virgin olive oil?
  • How can I choose a good extra virgin olive oil, if I don’t know the producer?
  • What is a DOP or IGP and how important is this for a customer?
  • Extra virgin olive oil and landscape. How many cultivars are in Italy and in Tuscany and what does it mean for the taste?
  • Extra virgin olive oil and cuisine. Is it safe to cook or fry with extra virgin olive oil?
  • Is the green extra virgin olive oil the best olive oil?
  • When do you pick olives?
  • How long can I use a bottle of extra virgin olive oil?
  • How many olive oils should I have in my pantry?

Remember, the love for extra virgin olive oil is contagious. Be the first one to spread the love of good and authentic extra virgin olive oil in your family and community.

Learn more about Pruneti on line:

You can purchase the Pruneti Extra Virgin olive oil online HERE.

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Word of the day

Learn the Italian language of food word after word. Every year more than 200 people join our cooking classes. Speaking with them, I made a small dictionary of important words and pronunciations that can help you navigate through the immense world of Italian food. So, if you love Italian language as much as you love Italian cooking, these are a few words that can be useful for you.

Today’s word is pinzimonio. P – I – N – Z – I – M – O – N – I – O

Such a cute, fun word, isn’t it? And it is related to extra virgin olive oil. Pinzimonio is one of my favourite appetisers, an extra virgin olive oil dip seasoned with salt and pepper for seasonal vegetables.

They can be carrots, served with some of their green leaves to show how fresh they are, the youngest artichokes of your vegetable garden, to be cleaned directly on the table, or radishes, sweet or spicy, it just depends on your fate… Other vegetables traditionally included in a pinzimonio may be celery, fresh and delicate spring onions, thin wedges of fennels, sticks of cucumbers and zucchini.

Once the vegetables are ready, prepare individual bowls with salt, freshly ground black pepper and a few tablespoons of good extra virgin olive oil. In Tuscany, we love our DOP olive oil, with its unmistakable bite.

If you want to offer something truly refined you can also add a drop of real balsamic vinegar, a drop, not more. But in my family, and in Tuscany, the pinzimonio is made just with salt, freshly ground black pepper and good olive oil.

Arrange the cleaned vegetables in a bowl with water and ice in summer or on a tray in winter, and bring them to the table. It will immediately add colour and cheerfulness, increasing the conviviality and chats while everyone will choose their favourite vegetable to be dipped into the small bowls with the good olive oil.

The recipes we mentioned in this episode:

Have you made one of our recipes?

If you make one of our recipes, Snap a pic and tag @julskitchen and hashtag it #myseasonaltable. We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter! Join the fun of our Facebook Group Cooking with Juls’ Kitchen, too.

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