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    Olive Oil Tasting 101

    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

    Olive Oil Tasting 101 - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats. Today, we are going to do an olive oil tasting, learn a little bit about what goes into an olive oil tasting, and then actually do it. So the first thing you want to think about is eating with your senses. You are going to use your eyes, you are going to use your mouth, and you are going to use your sense of smell when tasting olive oil. So the first thing you want to do is you want to look at the color. And the color of olive oils generally range from a dark green to a pale yellow, and that really is dependent upon what pressing of the olives you have. So once you have figured out the color and you have used your eyes, then you are going to begin to use your sense of smell. And you are gong to try to get the aroma of the olive oil. You put about a tablespoon of olive oil into a small cup. So I have got the olive oil in my glass here, and I am going to warm it up just by cupping my hand around the base of the glass, covering it so that the aroma can stay in the glass. Once I do that for about a minute, I am going to take a deep sniff of it, just like this. So I get the sense of is it fruity? Is it grassy? Does it smell like artichokes? And then once I have got that, my nose is activated. I am going to take a generous sip of this. And you will notice I breathed in, and then I breathed out my nose so that the flavor of the oil could go into my nose and I can activate all of my senses at the same time. And sometimes the olive oil will have a more pungent, more bitter flavor than other times. And what happen is when you swallow it, there is a chemical irritation in your throat that makes you cough. Aficionados of olive oil then, once they do a lot of olive oil tastings, will often refer to an olive oil as being a one-cough, a two-cough, or even a three-cough olive oil because of the sense of irritation in the throat. So once we have got that tasting part done, perhaps you want to have a dinner party and start out with an olive oil tasting. So what I would suggest is getting three different olive oils, maybe three different colors. Do them side-by-side: a mild olive oil, a medium-flavored olive oil, and one more robust, and do this tasting just like I did here with the glass. And the move on to pairing it with some other foods. You might try a slice of bread. You might try some mozzarella cheese. Some tomatoes, or even some warm beans with olive oil drizzled over it. A really bitter olive oil is really nice on some white beans that are warmed up. So you can try it with some food, and then if you need to cleanse your palate in-between, you can drink some water in between the mild and the medium and the robust. Or even use some slices of apple. That will also cleanse your palate so that you are ready to taste the next olive oil. And what I would suggest is experimenting with olive oils from all over the world. There is all kinds of wonderful olive oils out there. So go forth, sniff, taste, and enjoy.