Tasting Olive Oils

I don't know who they are, but despite appearances, they are probably having a good time.
Always taste on a clean palate, meaning try to do it before lunch, and definitely don’t do it after a spicy Thai curry. In fact, stay away from any strong spices, coffee, and/or cigarettes prior to your tasting. Line up a few certified EVOOs and pour a sip’s worth into small individual cups. Try to get a good mix of countries and harvest times (i.e. early, mid, late), and begin tasting, just as you would wine. I suggest at least one Greek, Spanish, Italian, French, and Californian, as these are the frontrunners in flavor (imho). Arrange them from earliest harvest time to latest, as the varation of flavors will probably follow accordingly (early=grassier, brighter, and/or more bitter; later=more buttery, mild, and fruity). 
Smell it, swirl it around a bit, smell it again, then taste it. Suck in some air through the sides of your mouth to let it emulsify, and think about it—here are some tasting terms to consider. Note the initial, middle, and finishing flavors. Maybe jot down some notes. Swallow, and feel the peppery burn that often accompanies a good oil when tasted solo. 

I like to take sips of room-temperature water or lightly-brewed green tea, and maybe a bit of Granny Smith apple between tastings to cleanse the palate. An advanced palate will be able to pick out flavors and terriors in a way that is very similar to a sommelier, so don't under estimate the process!

When you’re all done, pull out the supermarket EVOO in the clear plastic bottle and take a sip. 
Notice anything different?

1 comment:

  1. I am a big fan of olives. I think it's really a good representation of having a healthy lifestyle since it can be used as a topical moisturizer or it can be eaten as a very healthy vegetable.

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