While wine tasting is a common activity, you might not know that a similar process is done with EVOO! Extravirgin olive oil tasting is an unique experience because it allows you to learn more about the aromas, the colors and the characteristics of a territory. With these handy guide you will be able to taste EVOO like a pro!
How to taste olive oil: tasting glass
The official olive oil tasting glass has a particular tulip shape that facilitates the sensory analysis of the oil. Every detail is specified by the International Olive Oil Council (COI). It has to be made of resistant glass and it must have a flat base to help with handling and prevent overturning. The narrow mouth guides the aromas and facilitates the sensory analysis of the aromas and their indetification. It should be dark blue so that the color of the liquid can’t be influence the opinion of the taster, as the color is not a relevant criteria for evaluation. Finally, each tasting glass should be equipped with a watch-glass that prevents the loss of the aromas and the introduction of dust. The Assaggiaolio® tasting glass created by FARA Vetrerie e Cristallerie in collaboration with AIRO – International Association Olive Oil Restaurants perfectly matches the COI standards. It is made with hand-blown glass and it is available in both transparent and blue cobalt.
How to taste olive oil step by step
It’s actually easier than you think. As Filippo Falugiani, President of AIRO, explains in the video above:
- Pour a small amount of olive oil into the glass. The recommended amount is 15 ml (just count to five!) and cover it with the watch-glass.
- Cup the glass in one hand and cover it with the other to bring the temperature of the oil to 28 Celsius degress (82F). When we don’t feel a difference in temperature between the glass and the hand, it means that we’ve reached the right temperature.
- Remove the glass cover, swirl the glass in order to activate and mix up the chemical make-up of the oil.
- Stick your nose into the glass and take a whiff of the aroma of the olive oil. Each inhale should not exceed thirty seconds, otherwise our body is no longer capable to perceive the aromas properly
- Put a small amount of oil in your mouth and let it slide along your palate.
- Now, grit your teeth and breath in. This technique, called “strippaggio”, oxygenates the oil and allows you to taste all the aromas and fruity components.
- Try to identify all the aromas, fruits and flavours.
How to taste olive oil: parameters
There are different types of EVOOs. Here are the main parameters to distinguish them:
- Fruitness: all the flavours that an olive oil has, which are typical of Southern Italy.
- Bitterness : it has to be in balance with the spiciness.
- Spiciness: the oil must never irritate the throat. At the end of the tasting the mouth must remain clean.
- Body: the consistency of the olive oil in the mouth. A good EVOO must leave pleasant sensations on the palate.
Food & EVOO pairing
Just like wine, extra virgin olive oil should be paired with your food. A robust olive oil pairs with red meat, braised meat and beef stew, while medium or spicy olive oil are great with bruschettas, soups, legumes. Finally, delicate olive oil gives extra flavour to seafood, shellfish, pasta but also desserts such as apple strudel.
Now that you know all the secrets, it’s time to taste as much olive oil as possible!
Video Credits: www.studiolayout.it
Riprese e musica: Lorenzo Petrognani