Last weekend, I headed over to Rolling Greens Nursery in Los Angeles for an olive oil event with Lucini Italia. Who knew there was so much to learn about olive oil and that there was such a thing as olive oil tasting. Well there is and it was absolutely mind blowing to how much there is to know about Olive Oil and what it should taste like.
Here are the proper steps to olive oil tasting:
- Swirl: Cover the top of the tasting cup and swirl the olive oil around gently
- Sniff: Uncover the top of the cup and inhale slowly. What do you smell? Is it fruity? Spicy? Nutty? It can be fun to take notes to compare the smell to the taste
- Swish/Slurp: Take a small sip with some air to help emulsify the oil with air. You now slurp (awkward yet fun if everyone is doing it) the olive oil from behind your teeth to get your whole palette to experience the taste
- Swallow: Now swallow your olive oil. This step can either be easy or hard depending on the quality of olive oil you are tasting. The one that was high quality I was able to swallow without leaving an “oily” taste in my mouth although there is a slight stinging in the back of your throat from the polyphenols/antioxidants that were released. It may also make you cough. A lower quality olive oil will leave a oily/thick feeling in your mouth and throat and does not sit well in your stomach.
I will say that when olive oil tasting Lucini products, it was smooth and light in my stomach. It went down my throat without it feeling like it was coated. Lucini products are all single origin and are also small batches to produce quality tasting food. All natural ingredients.
So how do you know when your olive oil has gone bad:
- Has a rancid taste
- It is past its best by date
- The olive oil bottle was left next to your stove and has been cooking every time you turn your stove top on. Properly store your olive oil away from the stove and away from the light. Time, heat and light are enemies of olive oil
Some quick tips to determine if you bought a good quality oil are the following:
- Single country origin
- The acidity listed on the bottle should be as low as possible, at least .5%. The best way to identify a good bottle of oil is to taste it. Does it taste fresh and remind you of nature? Yes? Then it is what you want on your food.
- Always buy a bottle of olive oil you will use in a month
I cannot wait to go olive oil tasting again…I am thinking of heading out to olive oil taste in Sonoma or Ojai soon!