HOW TO TASTE OLIVE OIL
Much in the same way you would taste wine, there is a specific way to taste olive oil if you really want experience all of its flavors, aromas and unique qualities. Professional tasters use specific gear, but you can recreate these kinds of tastings in your own home to give yourself the chance to really focus on the olive oil.
- Pour a small amount of oil into a stout glass. Place the glass in your cupped palm and cover the top of the glass with your other hand. This will help to warm the oil slightly and bring out its true characteristics.
- Once you have held the glass to warm it, bring your top hand away to uncover the glass. Bring your nose to the rim and take 3 deep breaths, inhaling the aroma of the olive oil. You might notice a bright, grassy smell and a fruity aroma – olives are fruit, after all!
- Now it is finally time to taste the olive oil. Start with only a very small sip, just enough to coat the inside of your mouth. You don’t want too much because the next step is to inhale through your partially opened lips while keeping the oil inside your mouth. The breath should be sharp and almost slurpy sounding. If you end up coughing – good! It is a great sign of l’olio pizzica in gola, the oil “hits” you in the back of the throat.
- The spicy (peppery) and sometimes pleasingly bitter qualities of real Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a sign of phenolic components and antioxidants. Allow the flavors to wash over you – is there any artichoke? Hints of other veggies and greenery? Congratulations – you have a great olive oil on your hands.
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