THE TASTING OF OLIVE OIL
Tasting olive oil is to be performed at a temperature around 28 ° C, as it is this temperature that allows the volatile aromatic compounds in a dense, oily liquid.
The variety of olive tree, the soil composition in which the olive tree grows, the climatic circumstances in which the olives grow, the care that has been taken in their collection and the time elapsed up until its maturation, all of these factors influence the organoleptic characteristics of extra virgin olive oil.
In the tasting of olive oil the same analytical steps are held as in the taste of other fluids, such as wine. Since the samples are placed in opaque cups, usually blue, covered, smelled and tasted. Between tasting each olive oil, to remove the taste of the previous sample, you eat a piece apple and take a sip of water. The tasting includes the following phases:
- Balance and harmony
Within the VISUAL ANALYSIS of the olive oil tasting, we focus on two factors:
-Aspect: they can be valued as good or normal olive oils if they have a clean filtered appearance, free from residue, blurriness and opalescence. They are considered to be defective oils if they look cloudy, dirty or dark.
-Colour: is not considered a decisive factor for the tasting, which is why amber or blue glasses are used.
The normal range of colors that an olive oil can take covers shades of greenish yellow, right up to an intense green. Oils are considered defective those which have atypical and unusual colors such as red, white, brown and dark.
Olive oil with hints of dark green color is characteristic of fruity and bitter oils, made from olives that have not yet completed their period of maturation.
Olive oils with golden-yellow flashes correspond to sweet olive oils obtained from olives harvested later on when they are more mature.
In the olive oil tasting, the glasses that are used are translucent as the color is not considered an important element.
In the SMELL ANALYSIS of the olive oil we focus on the aroma and the sensations arising from it. Thus these aromatic sensations are valued as they can be pleasant or unpleasant. Aromatic sensations considered to be pleasant are the aromas of ripe fruit, the olive fruit, apple, leaves and grass. Aromatic sensations considered to be unpleasant are a vinegary aroma, winey, tart, alpechín (the water from the olives, from which the oil is separated), moisture, metallic and rancid.
In the TASTE ANALYSIS of the olive oil we must focus on the taste and palate. The sensations of the oil in the mouth are valued according to the intensity, flavor and quality of the oil. Tastes considered to be good are fruity oil, clean, fresh, fruit, bitter (just a little), wholesome, sweet, fresh almonds, pine nuts and vegetable. The olive oil is considered defective it tastes intensely bitter, intensely of dry leaves, pungent, winey, tart / vinegar acidity , reheated, frozen olives, metallic, moldy, mildew or moist wood, worm, rotten or rancid.
The smell coming from olive oil is a very important element to consider in a tasting.
In the TOUCH ANALYSIS we focus on the evaluation of how it feel in the mouth and on the palate. To do this we will look at the physical consistency of olive oil it is considered of good quality if you have a pasty consistency, smooth, fluid and watery. Olive oils are considered defective if they have an atypical consistency or tactile sensation not in line with its usual characteristics.
Olive oil is very good moisturizer for the skin, thanks to its texture.
In the BALANCE AND HARMONY ANALYSIS of the olive oil, we focus on the trial or definition, this is the function of the balance between the aromas and flavors, described as:
- fruity oils: Those that have the characteristics closer to the class / type of olives from which they came.
- harmonic or balanced oils: Those with better balance between aromas and flavors.
- unbalanced or irregular oils: Those oils in which a there is a significantly protruding aroma, flavor or defect.