Olive Oil : Tasting and Grading

Depending on their origin and variety of olives used, olive oil has a wide range of flavors and fragrances and the consumer to choose and purchase the type that best suits your particular taste and food to prepare. Extra virgin olive oil is like fine wine. Its flavor and aroma can be easily distinguished from the nose and palate, and then discussed and dissected. A number of requirements are stated on national standards and international trade rules to identify the olive oil. Quality is measured in two stages: assessment of the acidity and the taste test.

According to the International Olive Council (IOC), these are the categories:

1) virgin olive oil is the oil obtained from the fruit of the olive tree solely by mechanical or other conditions, particularly thermal, which do not lead to deterioration of the oil. It has not undergone any treatment other than washing, decantation, centrifugation and filtration. When olive oil is consumed in its natural state, is called by one of the following designations:

a - Extra Virgin Olive Oil with a maximum acidity of 1% and organoleptic characteristics stipulated in the rules for this category
b - virgin olive oil with a maximum of 2% acidity and organoleptic characteristics stipulated in the rules for this category
c - Ordinary virgin olive oil with a maximum acidity of 3% and organoleptic characteristics stipulated in the rules for this category
d - lampante Virgin Olive Oil has more than 3.3% acidity and organoleptic characteristics stipulated in the rules for this category. Not suitable for consumption in its original condition and must be refined before use as a food.

2) Refined olive oil obtained from virgin olive oils, usually lampante by refining methods which do not alter the initial glyceride structure of the oil.

3) THE OLIVE OIL foodstuff is a term specific to a mixture of refined olive oil and virgin olive oil fit for consumption as it is.

When you buy olive oil, consider how you will use, how it will improve your style of cooking. Dipping and drizzling or if you have a fantastic salad, pasta, red meat or some vegetables on the grill, oil will probably have a full body flavor and big and you can choose to have a touch of olive background with a tomato flavor (typical oils produced in Sicily) or artichoke (Tuscany and central regions of Italy).

Test the oil in different foods and determine if feeding improves or is too overwhelming in a delicate fish, for example. Another oil might be better if sprayed in great pasta or bread with a little hot ... choosing the right oil as you would choose the right wine! An additional staff tasting virgin olive oil is made after the chemical test to determine if the oil meets the standards. Assessors must follow the rules of conduct that have been established by the IOC. Our experience with food professionals are not taught us that anyone can learn to taste as well. You can replicate the same procedure professional olive oil tasters continue to try the olive oil.

To start your tasting experience, you only have a small plastic cup, a bottle of olive oil and a glass of water. You will have a better result if you do not drink coffee or smoke at least 30 minutes before the scheduled time for testing and if you do not use any perfume, cosmetic or soap whose persist during the test. In general, it is suggested to taste at least three or four different oils made from olives with different species to discover the different flavors and intensities. You'll find many different species of olives used in oils that we offer in our selection. Pour a small amount of olive oil in the cup (enough to cover the bottom), hold the top and bottom of the cup in his hands to warm up a bit and shake for at least one minute.

Remove your hand and smell of oil. Note that the extra virgin olive oil should smell and taste of the fruit of which is made ... olivey must fruity. You should smell somewhat like grass olive, chopped fresh herbs or fresh fruits, which are considered positive attributes. If not, you could have just a flat olive without taste or bad it might define stale, old, metallic, rust-wet, moldy or winey. If you recognize that you are smelling the second should not proceed to the tasting, because your palate will be affected by these defects (and you need a glass of water you have prepared earlier!). If the smell is good and you have found the positive attributes then take a small sip and let it work in your mouth. Remove everything and draw air to oxygenate the oil. The flavor is a bit more and then swallow. Take note of your feelings and impressions.

Remember that each extra-virgin olive oil works in the mouth in a different way and a time so different ... leave it! Do you like the taste? It is light or heavy? Does it increase the intensity of flavor as you keep in your language? It is spicy, bitter, spicy? Is grass, fruity, oil? Here are some important items you'll find in both cases:


Apple Almond: a taste reminiscent of an artichoke.

Astringent: A feeling of wrinkles in the mouth created by tannins


Bitter: Many new olive oil are surprised to discover that this is a preferred feature of olive oil, usually obtained from green olives or olives turning color.

Fresh: good aroma, fruity, not rust

Fruity: an oil is fruity when its flavor and aroma are similar to that of a ripe olive. If more olive grinder or the press, fruity is what you smell. Many oils initially seem fruity. This feature may disappear in a few months in some oils, a truly fruity oil maintains the aroma over time.

Green Grass: A young, fresh oil, fruity. Often mixed with bitter. spicy-bitter cough sensation at the back of the throat.

Green leaf: a feeling you get when in the press a small amount of fresh olive leaves are added. This is a trick that makes the approximation of the true flavor of green olives green

Smooth: all the qualities of the oil blend and work well with others

Herb: dried herb flavor

Musk melon, nut, wood, describes the features that are very nice when it is mastered.

A bite of hot pepper in the back of the throat that can force a cough

Spicy: A feeling rough, burning or biting into the throat - hot

Soave: ripe olives can produce this feature.

Rotunda: said of an oil with a pasty body that fills and satisfies without aromatic character - always from ripe olives.

Tomato flavor that reminds one of tomatoes.


Bitter: a good trait in moderation, but bad if it is overwhelming. Produced by green olives and little meat.

prolonged heating during the process: Burned

Dirty: oils which have absorbed the smells and flavors of vegetation water after pressing which they have kept in touch for a long time.

Earth: This term is used when the oil has acquired a musty damp smell, as it has been pressed from olives unwashed, muddy.

Parking: The oil that has lost its characteristic aroma and no taste.

Frozen: due to the olives that have been exposed to freezing temperatures. When cooked, this oil very unpleasant odor.

Earthy: due to fermentation of the olives during storage batteries waiting for pressing

Lubricant: a diesel, gasoline or flavor bearing grease

Worm: flavor imparted by larvae of the olive fly

Thermal: prolonged heating during processing, burnt flavor

Impersonal: a serious defect for virgin oil, because it means he has no character or personality. It is a common feature in all manipulated oils.

Lampantino oil, which must be sent to a refinery. Where there is no terrible organizational characteristics that may be edible.

musty flavor is kept too long before pressing: Heavy

Cash: oils processed or stored with prolonged contact with metal surfaces.

Mold: from unhealthy or fermented olives due to excessive storage in warehouses

Olearic Fly: oil from fruit affected by this insect: the taste is both rotten and putrid at the same time.

poor conservation: the oil absorbs the odors and flavors from all around him, even if not in direct contact. A very common defect.

Rancid: waste oils, which have started to rust due to exposure to light or air.

Winey: high sour taste

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