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Olive Oils are a unique food. Learn to appreciate them and let yourself be transported to the heart of the Mediterranean, a world of sensations!
Extra Virgin Olive Oil tasting is becoming increasingly widespread among those passionate about food culture as a fun and enjoyable way to explore the various nuances of this product’s aroma and flavor.
In Spain, where the range of oils is particularly wide (over 200 varieties), tasting can be quite an experience, as each variety of olive produces Extra Virgin Olive Oil with unique aromas and flavors. Furthermore, oils of the same variety produced in different geographical areas may have different nuances of aroma and flavor, and even the ripeness of the fruit at harvest time, or the climatic conditions can influence the end result.
The character and personality of each Extra Virgin Olive Oil can be discovered through the tasting process.
An Olive Oil’s aromas can be appreciated by slightly heating the glass with your hand and breathing in its effluvia several times to compare it with vegetable scents: freshly cut grass, apple, green almonds, tomato, etc. As for taste, a small amount distributed throughout the mouth reveals the nuances of an Extra Virgin Olive Oil: the fruity, bitter or peppery tastes, as well as other sensory attributes.
How do you do it? Well, you usually taste the oil on the tip of the tongue and then, after small successive inhalations, you slip it over the entire palate and then down into the throat. Finally, a piece of bread or green apple is used between tasting two oils to cleanse the mouth and clear the senses.
It is important to note that the color is not indicative of the quality of the product. For this reason, professionals use dark blue glasses so that they are not influenced by the color of the oil in their assessment.
The terms used in the tasting of virgin olive oils are similar in some ways to wine: a good oil should be balanced and harmonious. General terms such as “fruity” (green or ripe), “peppery”, “bitter”, and “sweet” are used alongside more specific terms such as “grass”, “green leaves” or other references to vegetables (“artichokes”, “tomatoes”, etc.) and fruits (“almonds”, “apple” or “banana”).
What better way to find out about olive oils than to taste them?