A DIY EVOO TASTING
This will be your guide to a fun journey of discovery to assess quality, flavour, aroma and other sensory attributes of fresh extra virgin olive oil. It's often done by professionals in the olive oil industry such as experienced tasters, like ourselves, as well as growers, producers and judges. If you've never tasted a fresh EVOO before, one that has been newly harvested and recently shipped, you'll be in for a few surprises. Especially, when you'll experience the peppery aftertaste of the more robust oils.
Here's how to go about having your own DIY extra virgin olive oil tasting:
SETTING: In a quiet, well-lit room, pour samples of each EVOO, careful to place the sample next to the name of the variety. Make sure the oils are at or above room temperature. Have some bread on hand to cleanse the palate between each tasting.
APPEARANCE: Look at the colour and clarity and see how different they are from each other. They can vary in colour from golden to green.
AROMA: Inhale the aroma of each oil and think about whether you can detect notes of grass, fruit, nuts or herbs.
TASTE: Take a small sip of each oil, individually and let it coat your palate. Then consider as- pects of pungency, bitterness, and fruity notes. Pungency can be felt in the throat, similar to the spicy kick that chilis create when you eat them. That pungent, sharp feeling is actually caused by the antioxidant-rich polyphenols found in high-quality olive oils. In certain olive oils, the pungency can actually be strong enough to trigger the coughing reflex. You may also notice some bitterness, which is a common note in authentic extra virgin olive oils, especially those made from younger, greener olives. Finally, look out for fruity notes, which include ve- getable and herb tastes. The intersection of these three elements — pungency, bitterness and fruitiness – is what gives each olive oil its distinctive taste.
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