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 newest harvest, from fall 2015, smells like sun-dried tomato and roasted vegetables. It has a complex flavor, that starts like roasted tomato, then picks up a dried grass note, then a sharp bitterness, and then a punch of pepper in the finish.