Olive oil tasting

Despite the fact that the use of olive oil is a millenary tradition in Mediterranean cooking, only recently it has been considered a gourmet product, so with this classification, just as with wine, a new experience emerges: the olive oil tasting.  Your senses will experience the qualities of this precious nectar, evaluating the flaws and relishing in its virtues.

Below we describe the process for a correct olive oil tasting.  Will you join us on this journey of the senses?

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What types of olive oils exist?

Under the generic designation of “olive oil” there is a varied range of classifications based on geographical, botanical or quality criteria; in this last criterion, there are three main varieties:  

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: This Mediterranean gastronomic gem is 100% juice from the olive, obtained directly from this fruit by mechanical process, it should not have flaws, its acidity should be less than 0,8 degrees and comply with strict chemical specifications.

Virgin Olive Oil: just like the previous category is 100% juice from the olive, however, the acidity could range from 0,8 to 2 degrees. Olive Oil:  This is the lowest quality olive oil; it comes from a mixture of 80-90% refined oil and 10-20% extra virgin olive oil; refining is applied to an olive oil that has not obtained the classifications mentioned previously, and aims to eliminate its undesired organoleptic attributes.

Preparing the olive oil tasting

To correctly prepare an olive oil tasting we do not need complicated instruments, however, it is important to have some indispensible items:

  • An oil cup
  • Crystal cover or napkin, to cover the glass
  • An apple, water and some bread, to easily change the flavor between tastings
  • A form to write down the sensations perceived when tasting each variety of oil

How do you perform an olive oil tasting?

The olive oil tasting is a complex process in which four senses are involved:  

Sight

Olive oils have an extensive chromatic palette, going from greenish yellow to straw-colored.

Smell

The master taster will discover the varied range of smells of this liquid gold; hints of tomato, herbs, hazelnuts or wood can be present in this delicacy.

Taste

The taster will assess the gustatory nuances of olive oil; as in wine, the olive oil tasting has a rich vocabulary for the sensations that could be positive (fruity, bitter or pungent) or negative (metallic, stale, sour).  The persistence of flavor and its duration will also be evaluated.

Touch

Touch is perceived through the tongue and soft palate.  The goal is to determine the structure of the oil by choosing between four textures:  watery, fluid, smooth, and pasty.

The last phase of the tasting is an assessment of the oil, determination of its qualities and assignment of a grade.

Montilla

We are sure that after looking over our notes you are left with the desire to participate in an olive oil tasting or visit an olive oil mill, right? Don´t wait any longer! Let us prepare for you a great olive oil tasting session so you can enjoy this wonderful delicacy!

Córdoba (Andalucia), the Priorat (Cataluña) and many more places that will impress you and where you can learn as much as possible about the fascinating world of olive oil.

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