Planet Olive

Oil-tasting in ten steps

The basics of oil tasting. If you wish to assess an extra virgin olive oil with the aid of your sense organs, you must observe a few, essential rules. There is in fact a ten-step procedure that we should follow in order to discern the quality and peculiarities of oils made from olives

Maria Carla Squeo

Oil-tasting in ten steps

We should never neglect our sense organs. They not only keep us safe from danger and harm, but are also our source of pleasure. The best way to choose an extra virgin olive oil is by tasting it, assessing its goodness by means of our senses. We should always proceed as follows.

1. Pour just over a spoonful of oil in a glass.

2. Observe the colour tones and clearness of the oil.

3. Take a first sniff of the oil, trying to detect all its aromas.

4. Warm the oil by cupping the glass in one hand. If the glass has no lid, use the other hand to cover it and so trap all the aromas inside. It is important that the hands are free of all scents. Swirl the glass for a minute or two, uncover it and take another good sniff, so as to perceive all the aromas thus released.

5. Take a sip of the oil, while breathing in, at first slowly and delicately, and then more vigorously. This will cause the oil to vaporise in our mouth, bringing it in direct contact with the taste buds and subsequently, via the retronasal passage, with the olfactory bulb.

6. The oil should rest in the mouth for a few moments; rub the tongue against the palate to identify the tactile perceptions.

7. With the oil still in your mouth, inhale once again, lips slightly apart, and gently rub your tongue against your palate.

8. Repeat steps 4 to 7 various times, holding the oil in the mouth for no longer than 20 seconds.

9. Spit out the oil into another vessel lined with blotting paper.

10. Keep rubbing the tongue against the palate, trying to discern the last, retro-nasal perceptions, and jot down all your impressions in a specific notebook.

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