Extra Virgin Olive Oil Tasting
EVOOs from different cultivars and regions can have very different characteristics and therefor be paired with very different dishes in the kitchen.
Understanding how to appreciate the complex and varied value of Extra Virgin Olive Oil helps the taster to choose the best products for his/her personal preferences.
EVOO tasting evaluates the organoleptic characteristics of the oil through the use of the following senses: smell, taste and touch (in the mouth).
In the first phase of the tasting we use the sense of smell via the external apparatus, the nose, in order to identify the mixture of different odors (aromas) that determines the identity of the product.
- pour 2 teaspoons of oil into the tasting glass;
- heat the glass with the palm of your hand and swirl the contents (the ideal temperature achieved is about 80°F);
- next, cover the top of the glass with the other palm in order to trap the aromas inside for about 30 seconds;
- once you uncover the glass, inhale the contents slowly and deeply to individuate the olfactory components of the EVOO;
- to best evaluate the intensity of the bouquet, position the glass at differing distances from the nose (2, 4, 6 inches, etc.) and determine at which distance you are no longer able to smell the aromas: the greater the distance between nose and glass while still detecting the aroma, the greater the intensity of the aroma.
- introduce a teaspoon of oil into the mouth;
- close the mouth by touching the top and bottom teeth together and making sure that the tongue presses on the back of the top teeth and the roof of the mouth;
- take 2 or 3 short decisive breaths in order to render volatile the aromatic compounds present in the oil;
- taste the oil for at least 20-30 seconds before swallowing. In this way the oil mixed with the saliva, comes into contact with the taste buds and, at the same time, via the retro-nasal canal, the olfactory perception opens up.