Prepare for your mind to be blown by the flavor combination you never knew you needed: olive oil and ice cream.
You may be thinking, "olive oil... on ice cream? Have you gone crazy!" And to that we say, don't knock it till you've tried it! If you're ready to embark on a flavor adventure that will tantalize your taste buds, look no further.
Olive Oil on Ice Cream - Pairing with Texas EVOO
The Versatility of Olive Oil
Olive oil's versatility extends beyond the savory world. Top Italian chefs have long recognized its potential in both sweet and savory dishes, and it's about time we all embrace it too. From dressing salads to olive oil cake, this oil is a culinary powerhouse that deserves a spot in every kitchen.
Olive Oil on Ice Cream: A "History"
The history of drizzling olive oil onto ice cream is a testament to culinary creativity. While the origins of this practice may not be known, this unconventional pairing has roots in the rich traditions of Mediterranean cuisine.
Olive oil, a staple of the region, has been cherished for centuries for its versatility and health benefits. In recent times, top chefs and food enthusiasts alike have harnessed the potential of combining the luxurious textures of ice cream with the complexity of high-quality olive oil.
How Does Olive Oil on Ice Cream Taste Good?
You might wonder how the seemingly unusual combination of olive oil and ice cream can taste so good. Well, the secret lies in the delicate balance of flavors and textures.
When you drizzle high-quality extra virgin olive oil over your scoop of ice cream and add a sprinkle of sea salt, magic happens. The richness of the olive oil adds a buttery texture to the ice cream, while its grassy flavor introduces a sophisticated twist. The sprinkle of sea salt enhances the overall taste profile, creating a delightful contrast between creamy and crunchy, sweet and savory.
It's a dessert that's all about balance, and the type of olive oil you choose is essential.
A Guide to Pairing Olive Oil and Ice Cream
The classic pairing for olive oil on ice cream is an Extra Virgin Olive Oil, vanilla ice cream, and a topping of flaky sea salt. But that doesn't mean you're limited to that pairing (although store-bought vanilla ice cream truly goes with any high-quality olive oil).
Now, let's start off by stating that the quality olive oil you choose is key. Although choosing Extra Virgin Olive Oil may seem simple with how many options you see at the store, it's easier said than done.
Not all Extra Virgin Olive Oils are created equal, and some companies even call their product Extra Virgin, when it doesn't actually qualify (learn what to look for)!
Our Texas Hill Country Olive Co. Extra Virgin Olive Oils meet all the criteria and contain so many health benefits, besides being incredibly delicious. We even create delicious infused oils with our EVOO base* that are also delicious over ice cream - and the best quality!
But how do you choose which Texas Olive Oil to pair with your ice cream? And which flavor of ice cream should you choose? Let's go through our perfect pairing suggestions!
*once infused with flavor, olive oils can no longer be classified as extra virgin.
Pairing EVOO and Ice Cream: Delicate, Medium, Robust
Just like olive oil comes in a variety of flavors, ranging from delicate to robust, so too does its potential for enhancing your ice cream experience. Let's break it down:
Delicate EVOO: Picture a light and mild olive oil. Its subtle notes won't overpower, making it a fantastic partner for ice cream flavors like vanilla, coconut, and pistachio. Delicate EVOO's gentle character lets the ice cream shine while adding a touch of sophistication. Try these pairings:
- Sola Stella Extra Virgin Olive Oil -> Coconut, Vanilla
- The Spaniard Extra Virgin Olive Oil -> Pistachio, Honey
Medium EVOO: This type of olive oil boasts a well-rounded flavor profile that's slightly bolder than delicate, and pairs beautifully with fruit-based ice creams. The fruity and green undertones and grassy notes of our medium EVOOs elevate the natural sweetness of the ice cream, resulting in a balanced and refreshing treat.
- Terra Verde Extra Virgin Olive Oil -> Strawberry, Peach
- Hojiblanca Extra Virgin Olive Oil -> Cherry, Banana
Robust EVOO: For those who crave a more intense olive oil experience, robust EVOO is the way to go. Its robustness can stand up to rich flavors like caramel, coffee, and chocolate ice cream. The deep flavors of the EVOO intertwine with the ice cream's richness and are definitely for people that like a very decadent dessert.
- Texas Miller's Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil -> Chocolate, Coffee
- Super Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil -> Caramel, Butter Pecan
Pairing Citrus Infused Olive Oils
If you're seeking a burst of vibrant flavor, look no further than citrus-infused olive oils. These zesty options add a tangy twist to your ice cream indulgence:
Blood Orange Olive Oil: This citrus gem brings a slightly sweet and tangy note to the table. Drizzle it over dark chocolate or vanilla bean ice cream for an exciting contrast. The citrusy aroma of blood orange pairs beautifully with the creamy textures of the ice cream, creating an unforgettable fusion of flavors.
Lemon Olive Oil: The zingy and refreshing character of lemon-infused olive oil is a match made in heaven for light and fruity ice creams like lemon sorbet, mango, and pineapple. The lemon's bright acidity cuts through the sweetness, offering a delightful palate-cleansing experience.
Pairing Herbal Infused Olive Oils
Looking to infuse a touch of sophistication into your ice cream affair? Herbal olive oils bring a unique dimension to your dessert:
Basil Olive Oil: The aromatic and slightly peppery notes of basil olive oil can take your ice cream journey to new heights. Try it drizzled over strawberry or blackberry ice cream to create a harmonious blend of sweet and savory. The unexpected pairing might surprise you with its delectable complexity.
Rosemary Olive Oil: Rosemary's earthy and fragrant profile adds an intriguing twist to your ice cream adventure. Think about pairing it with honey or fig ice cream for an elegant dessert that's both refined and comforting. The herbal hints of rosemary EVOO create a wholly unique and delicious flavor experience.
Make Your Own Olive Oil Flavored Ice Cream!
Making homemade ice cream isn't as difficult as it sounds - and there are so many ice cream recipes out there for you to try. Of course, a drizzle of olive oil on top of your ice cream is delicious, but an olive oil-flavored ice cream is on a whole other level! Here is a simple recipe for olive oil ice cream:
Olive Oil Ice Cream Recipe
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- A pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup Texas Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 5 large egg yolks
- In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream, whole milk, granulated sugar, and a pinch of salt. Heat the mixture over medium heat until it's warm but not boiling. Remove from heat.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until they're slightly thickened.
- Slowly pour the warm cream mixture into the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from scrambling.
- Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. This will create the ice cream base.
- Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in the extra virgin olive oil. This is where the magic happens!
- Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. This step is crucial for letting the flavors meld together.
- Once the mixture is chilled, churn it in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. This is the best way to achieve that dreamy, creamy texture.
- When the ice cream is almost done churning, drizzle in a little bit more olive oil to enhance the flavor.
- Transfer ice cream to an airtight container from the ice cream machine, and drizzle a final touch of olive oil on top, and sprinkle a pinch of sea salt for that delightful flaky crunch of flavor.
- Freeze the ice cream for a few hours until it's fully set. Then, scoop and enjoy your homemade olive oil ice cream!
Bringing It All Together
When it comes to exploring the incredible synergy between olive oil and ice cream, the possibilities are endless. From delicate to robust EVOOs, citrus-infused options, and herbal infusions, each variation introduces a new layer of flavor and excitement to your favorite frozen treat.
Whether you're enjoying the grassy elegance of Texas EVOO or experimenting with citrus and herbal twists, one thing is certain: this duo is a testament to the deliciousness we can find when we think outside the box.
So, the next time you're craving a scoop of the best ice cream, consider elevating the experience with a drizzle of high-quality olive oil and a flaky crunch of sea salt. Your taste buds will thank you later!
Photos: Tomas Segura