Fact is, they all have different flavors, sometimes wildly so just like wines do. Finding the right olive oil for your recipes isn’t too difficult, however: keeping in mind that Italian cuisine is strictly regional, you just have to choose an oil coming from the same region where your dish comes from. And you’d better do that, as the use of olive oil is one of the little secrets that make traditional Italian cooking so tasty. In fact, up to the 1970s other cooking oils (with the exception of lard) were simply unheard of in Italy. What makes these oils so unique are, again, two reasons. First and foremost is their molecular composition: olive oil is extremely rich in monoinsature acid fats and antioxidants, meaning that it fries better and preserves better (‘conserve sott’olio’, or food preserved in oil, are an Italian classic). Of course it also has a better flavor than other oils, and it is actually much better for your health. This is why, before the globalization of food, senior Italians were generally older and healthier than other populations: the so-called Mediterranean diet does wonders for your body, even if it makes liberal use of (olive) oil. Of course you shouldn’t exceed, yet where else but Italy could you find highbrow “oil bars” where it is tasted like wine, or just the traditional bruschetta (a simple toasted bread rubbed with garlic and sprinkled with olive oil)?