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Unless otherwise stated, most oil used in Italian cooking is olio di oliva, or olive oil. Italy is the world's second largest producer, including 41 areas with DOP status. The only region in Italy that doesn't produce any at all is the Valle d'Aosta. By far the biggest producers are Puglia and Calabria. Sicily, Campania, Lazio, Tuscany and Umbria make a lot, too; see oliva for more details.

Main types of other oils:

arachidi: peanut oil

colza: rapeseed/canola oil

fegato di merluzzo: codfish oil

girasole: sunflower oil

mandorle: almond oil, used in desserts

noci: walnut oil

palma: palm oil

sesamo: sesame oil

DOP (PDO) products and acronyms


Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Image by stevepb