Toma Nota

How to taste olive oil?

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It’s very common speaking about wine tasting, beer tasting or even chocolate tasting… because they’re products that we like to taste and we also like to eat them. But in Spanish gastronomy, one of the best products that we have is oil. It is also common to do oil tasting – in order to value it and better appreciate it. It can be difficult at first, but with practice, you will learn a lot about olive oil. Plus, with current regulations, we will know which type of oil we are consuming in every restaurant or bar. Do you dare to taste it?

– Colour: professional tasters ensure that you don’t have to care about the colour itself when tasting an olive oil because it is not related with the quality. Although you should know that the colour should be something in between greenish yellow and straw yellow.

– Smell: you would experiment smells like nuts, apple, freshly cut grass… Usually, experts cover up the glass – used for the tasting – during a few seconds and warm up the glass in order to feel better the flavours and smells. You should move slightly in order them to come out before you try it.

– Flavour: you can feel the flavour of olive oil like fruity, bitter or spicy. And intensity could be lightly, medium or intense. It also could be clean, sweet, fresh, acidulous, almondy… Don’t worry, you’ll be learning more with practice. But try to analyse what ideas or feelings come into your mind when you try and taste it. You just have to relax yourself and see what do you feel when trying it.

Sometimes, when olive oil is not at its best conditions, you could find nasty tastes like old, dirty, metallic, rancid, cucumber, burn,… If it’s not tasty for your mouth and you feel yourself like if you were drinking vinegar, oil would be probably faulty. Trust always in your instinct – the thing that actually works.