Oils are acquiring the cachet of wine. Many Italian wineries also put their name to an olive oil and you may choose extra virgin, first cold pressing, filtered or unfiltered according to how you intend using it. The era of cabbage-lettuce and salad cream has given way to a rainbow of crisp leaves dressed in very specific oils and perhaps a balsamic vinegar 10 or 20 years old from Modena.
Walnut and sesame oils are travelling the same road, and sesame oil now comes either light so that you may fry with it or dark, from roast seeds, and intensely flavoured for dressings.
Just to complicate the issue I use a 50/50 combination of the two as I find the dark oil a shade too powerful.
© 1990 Shaun Hill. All rights reserved.