Oil, considered a primary ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine and a well-known and highly regarded condiment worldwide, is an excellent source of certain irreplaceable nutrients; for example:
- PHENOLS are, in according to large ammounts of scientific literature, anti-oxidant and anti-ageing. Their presence prevents the oxidation of cells (slowing down the process of ageing, for example), and oxidative stress.
- TOCOPHEROLS: their principle element is Vitamin E and the tocopherols, giving an elevated nutritional value to the product, because an elevated nutrition value to the product, because of this anti-oxidant action.
In addition to having great nutrional value, oil is an excellent and tasty food.
Maybe the best way to savour good olive oil is to eat in on toasted bread that has been brushed with oil and garlic and seasoned with salt and pepper. In Tuscany it is called "fettunta" or "pan con l'olio", and in Lazio and Abruzzi "bruschetta".
All regions of Central and Southern Italy abound in dishes in which olive oil is prominently used in delicious combinations: "orecchiette pasta with broccoli" from Puglia, "spaghetti with garlic and oil" from Naples, "Roman style artichokes" and from Sicily "pasta with sardines".