Tasting extra virgin olive oil is not difficult. If you have a good sense of smell and taste, you should be able to follow these 3 simple steps to easily identify the quality of your extra virgin olive oil.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil has over a hundred compounds that contribute to the distinctive organoleptic characteristic that make it so unique, and so delicious!
These organoleptic characteristics are directly connected to the quality of the extra virgin olive oil. The higher the quality, the wider the variety of aromas and notes associated with it. The greater the deliciousness.
3 steps to taste Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
- Clean your palate with a small piece of apple. This will serve as a baseline for your palate to taste more complex flavors in extra virgin olive oil. IMPORTANT: Coffee tends to numb your tastes buds. Wait an hour before doing any tasting.
- Take a deep sniff to identify aromas. High quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil smells like fresh cut grass with hints of fruits and herbs that our part of the local flora.
- Take a good sip. Slurp noisily to emulsify the oil. Suck air through the oil to coax more aromas out of it and then -- this is important -- close your mouth and breath out through the nose. This retronasal perception will give you a whole bunch of other flavor notes. Not sure how to do this, watch Cousin Vito in the video below.
Things to notice
- Good quality extra virgin olive oil is juice, the juice of the olive. Therefore, it will not leave a greasy film in your mouth.
- Fresh extra virgin olive oil is extremely fruity. Olives pick the flavors of the fruits, vegetables and herbs grown in the local area. For instance, Papa Vince's extra virgin olive oil has hints of tomatoes and artichokes. This is called fruitiness and it is an excellent attribute of fresh extra virgin olive oil.
- You should also be able to taste the fruit of the olive itself. Olives by nature are green and grassy, bitter and surprisingly spicy.
BE AWARE OF THE PEPPERY FINISH right in the back of your throat. Pungency is a positive characteristic of Extra Virgin Olive Oil that will cause a peppery sensation like the hotness of chilies in the back of your throat.
YOU MAY COUGH! Pungency can be very mild or it can be intense enough to make you cough. Extra Virgin Olive oil aficionados refer to a one, two, or, look out, a three cough oil.
- THE PEPPERY KICK IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT - it assures you that the Extra Virgin Olive Oil is fresh and full of antioxidants. The antioxidants in Extra Virgin Olive Oil are called polyphenols. Polyphenols can be easily spotted in Extra Virgin Olive Oil because they irritate your throat as they go down your digestive system creating that delightful hot peppery sensation right in the back of your throat.
Watch the Video
Cousin Vito is Papa Vince's grandson. He has spent his whole life in the olive orchards in Sicily. He oversees the entire process of making our Extra Virgin Olive Oil. He eats, sleeps, dreams & breathes olive oil and when he visited us in Gulf Shores, Alabama, he shared some simple tips on how to taste and recognize a good quality olive oil.
If you love our video & you want to find out more, come and join our olive harvest in Sicily. Our tour takes place every Fall & we'd love you to come and experience it with us! Cousin Vito & his family are waiting for you to come to Sicily!