You too can become an olive oil from Spain expert. Did you know that Spain produces an average of 1 million tons of olive oil annually, making it the #1 producer of olive oil in the world. Olive oil from Spain is produced from unique olive varietals grown only in Spain – Picual, Picudo, Cornicabra, Hojiblanca, and Arbequina, among others, making the flavor of the olive oil distinct from all others. If you want 100% olive juice you have to buy Extra Virgin - considered the finest of oils in terms of quality, with all the flavor and properties of olives (vitamins & antioxidants).
Now that you know a little about olive oil from Spain you can conduct your own olive oil tasting. The keys are to examine aroma and taste. Buy a couple of bottles of different varietals of extra virgin olive oil from Spain in your supermarket (for information visit www.oliveoilfromspain.com) and begin.
Before tasting, take a few sniffs of the oil to take in the fragrance. The best oils have a scent that’s fresh and somewhat fruity.
Pour about 1 teaspoonful of oil into a shallow tumbler. Next draw it quickly into the mouth, mixing it with air to register all the nuances of flavor. What should you taste for? Here is a short list of key tasting terms:
Peppery is the term used to describe a ‘bite’ in the back of the throat.
Bitter is similar to the taste of green olives. Considered a positive feature, it can be intense, or mellower.
Fruity is reminiscent of the odor of ripe, fresh fruit. These oils are best used uncooked.
Ripe also refers to a fruity taste from ripe olives; usually mild and sweet.
Sweet describes a pleasant, not sugary, taste; Almond flavor is associated with sweet oils these oils do well when paired with a dessert recipe.
With the best olive oils, you should be able to smell the fresh, fruity aroma of the olive and taste the subtle nuances of flavor.