Updated: Feb 10, 2020
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a unique product. Learning to appreciate it can travel you to the heart of the Mediterranean way of life, to a world full of flavors and aromas that will elevate your senses.
Olive Oil tasting is becoming increasingly widespread among those passionate about gastronomy as a fun and enjoyable way to explore the various nuances of its aroma and flavor and the countless ways to pair it correctly with the food in order to create memorable dishes.
In Greece, where the range of oils is particularly wide (over 160 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 ripening stage of the fruit at harvest time, the climatic conditions, and the milling processes can influence the end result.
The character and personality of each Extra Virgin Olive Oil can only be discovered through the tasting process.
The aromas of an olive oil can be appreciated by slightly heating the glass with your hand and breathing in it several times to compare it with vegetable or fruit scents: freshly cut grass, artichoke, apple, green almonds, tomato, pear, etc. As for the taste, a small amount distributed throughout the mouth reveals the characteristics of an Extra Virgin Olive Oil: the fruity, bitter or peppery tastes, as well as other sensory attributes.
How do you do it?
You 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 green apple is used between tasting two or more 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, professional tasters use dark blue or red tasting glasses (with specifications according to the International Olive Council) so that they are not influenced by the color of the oil in their organoleptic analysis. However in more amateur tastings it is acceptable to use transparent glasses.
The terms used in the tasting of virgin olive oils are similar in some ways to wine. A good olive oil should be balanced, harmonious and complexed. General terms such as ''fruit'' (green or ripe), ''bitter'' , ''spicy'', 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, banana or citrus).
The only way to find out more about olive oil is to learn how to taste it.
By joining one of our workshops you will discover the unique aromas & flavors of different varieties of extra virgin olive oils from every corner of Greece, learn pairing these varieties with your food, test how well your senses are working and enjoy an unforgettable experience!