After looking at all of the beneficial properties that extra virgin olive oil has for our health, it seems evident that virgin olive oil is the most necessary condiment to establish a cholesterol correcting diet rich in vitamins E and A. It is not surprising that the International Cardiology Society has strongly recommended the use of virgin olive oil as the essential element for the treatment and prevention of chest angina and myocardial infarct. It is also a fundamental part of the so-called Mediterranean diet.
The cuisine of the Roman period was certainly very different to ours today. Some of their gastronomic practices seem completely inadequate for our taste. One only has to think of 'garum', a sauce made of marinated fish entrails, commonly used to dip food in. Despite these differences, olive oil and olives nevertheless had an important role.
Apicius' famous book bears witness to this, as it tells us about the gastronomy of Classical Rome. The text, De re coquinaria is the result of the first edition in the 1 st century AD, and then extended later in the 4 th century AD. Apicius' text talks in detail about olive oil, distinguishing between Italian and Spanish oil, the "good" and the "green". Olives were also eaten in brine or in aromatized preserve ('samsa'). Also, the waste paste from broken olives was used, for example, for heating.
In the Catholic Kings' period, 'gazpacho' with oil and vinegar already constituted a fundamental part of the diet in Extremadura and Andalusia .
Nowadays, in modern cuisine, it is impossible to go without olive oil, which is gradually replacing all other fats, whether animal or vegetable, used for the preparation of food throughout the world.
For the preparation of typical Andalusia dishes, such as 'salmorejo' and 'gazpacho' and their variations, olive oil is the fundamental element. Combined with other ingredients such as garlic, parsley, vinegar, coriander, and other spices, it is the base for legume and vegetable stews and sauces so commonly prepared in our homes. It is likewise a fundamental element for the preparation of fried fish and of course for 'paellas' and rice in general.
Hardly do we need to mention its enormous usefulness and the magnificent flavour it gives to all kinds of roast meats and fish. It brings out their taste without damaging their texture or losing their natural juiciness. In fact, the best chefs not only in our country but all over Europe have no doubts in using it; moreover, they demand higher and higher quality to prepare those exquisite and sophisticated recipes of today's modern cuisine.
Furthermore, even the preserves industry has decided to improve the quality of its products. When the aim is to present a product of the highest quality, not only with fish and sea food preserves but also with vegetable and legume preserves, the only fat used is olive oil.