When tasting olive oil, much of the oil’s characteristics are perceived through the sense of smell.
Though most people enjoy to taste olive oil on a slice of Tuscan bread eventually brushed with garlic (“bruschetta”), the following steps allow us to focus on the olive oil’s flavor&taste the way professionals do:
1) Pour a few drops of oil into a small dark-coloured glass (you can also use small “espresso” plastic cups).
2) Hold the glass in one hand (your body temperature will warm up the glass and the oil in it) and use your other hand to cover the glass while swirling the oil to release its aroma.
3) Uncover the glass and inhale deeply from the top of the glass. Think about whether the aroma is mild, medium or strong (Colleverde’s oil is medium fruity).
You may want to go more deeply in identifying the type of fruitiness: our olive oils have a distinctive aroma of freshly cut grass, cypress leaves and artichokes.
4) Next you slurp the oil; this is done by sipping a small amount of oil into your mouth while “sipping” some air as well. Slurping emulsifies the oil with air that helps to spread it throughout your mouth – giving you the chance to savor every nuance of flavor with just a small sip of oil.
When the oil is in our mouths we further evaluate the aroma retro-nasally as well as determine amount of bitterness on our tongues.
5) Finish by swallowing the oil to determine the intensity of the oil’s pungency in our throats as we swallow it.
Perhaps you noticed that the oil’s color is not addressed during sensory tasting.
The reason is that contrary to the common belief that golden oil is mild and dark green oil is robust, color is NOT an indicator of either the oil’s flavor or quality.