Pugliese oils get little credit on the international oil scene. The region's reputation is that of a producer of affordable bulk oils. But hidden in the shadows of the huge industrial producers are artisans like the Pellegrino family. I visited their farm a couple of years ago, and I keep coming back to their full-flavored extra virgin olive oil again and again. There's a nose tingling grassiness that adds a depth of flavor to food. It's especially good in spicy pasta dishes or any place you want a really robust olive flavor.
The fall 2012 harvest smells like cooked greens and dried herbs. It has a nice creamy texture and a flavor that reminds me of grilled asparagus or eggplant, both of which would probably benefit from being finished with a glug of this oil.