Learn about olive oil by tasting it

Tuesday, October 26th, 2021

olive oil Paso Robles

Pasolivo Olive Oil Farm in Paso Robles

Olive oil tasting involves smelling the aroma of an oil, and then sipping it to taste its positive attributes. Official tasters drink the oil from dark blue glasses, to ensure they can’t see the color of the olive oil (and be influenced by an oil’s green or gold color).

Look for three qualities

Tasters should look for these three positive attributes:

  1. Fruitiness: Any positive organic smell or taste.
  2. Bitterness: A sign of freshness that is usually tasted on the sides of the tongue.
  3. Pungency: A peppery, burning sensation in the throat.

Not all olive oils have all three of the attributes, but some should be present. Try it for yourself!! Grab that bottle you’ve had in the pantry for ages, and taste it to see if it’s still good. Pour some into a wine glass about an inch or two high, cover the glass with one hand while warming the base of the glass with the other. Place your nose into the glass after a minute and breathe in. Does it smell fruity, like green apples or cut grass or tomato leaf? Great! Or does it smell unpleasant, like paint thinner or bacon or a musty cellar? In that case, it’s probably defective and should be thrown out.

Next, slurp in about a quarter of a teaspoon and let it sit on your tongue while you breathe in. Finally, swallow a bit and look for any signs of pepper in the throat. If an oil has a greasy feeling on your tongue, it’s probably past its prime.

Remember, olive oil is a fresh product, much like a fruit juice. It needs to be used within 24 months of when it’s made, and it needs to be used within a few months of opening the bottle.



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