You don’t need to be an olive oil expert to enjoy all its benefits and similarly you don’t have to know all its organoleptic properties by heart to hold an olive oil tasting session. How about getting some friends round for an evening with a difference? You can try a range of different olive oils and see what you all make of them. Here’s how:
First of all, you need a selection of different varieties: from single varieties to blends, ecological varieties and ones with different degrees of acidity. The more varieties you try, the more sensations you’ll discover.
You should put together a varied panel of intrepid tasters eager to share their impressions with the rest of the group: you’ll soon see how the same olive oil can reveal different attributes on different palates.
At a professional tasting, the olive oil is served in small blue glasses to ensure the colour of the olive oil doesn’t influence the judges. At home, though, you can serve it in small clear glasses, covered with a saucer. Assessing the colour can be part of the learning experience: although colour doesn’t affect the quality of olive oil, it’s interesting to compare differences in appearance.
After noting the visual appearance, move on to the nose. Hold the glass in your hand to warm the olive oil slightly and help it release its aroma. Raise the glass to your nose and breathe in.
When it comes to actually tasting the olive oil, try to discover how bitter or tart it is and identify the flavours, texture and sensations in the mouth. And seeing as how you’re at home, why not have some pieces of bread on hand? Dip the bread in a little olive oil and you’ll discover new taste sensations.
You should number each glass and pour a different olive oil into each. After you’ve completed the tasting, match them up with their bottles and compare the way they’re presented, their design, name, and so on.
The interesting part is discussing what sensations you’ve each experienced, sharing opinions and noting any differences. All in all, it’s an original way of appreciating the rich world that lies behind this “liquid gold”.