Don't judge olive oil simply by the price
Your kitchen is the perfect place to compare different olive oils! Choose three or four different olive oils and cover the labels (and the price tag) so that they don't impact your thinking. Prepare a piece of paper and a pen to write about impressions and flavor. Do not eat anything an hour before the evaluation and be aware that medicines, perfumes and scented cremes can affect your taste. After each tasting, eat a few pieces of apple.
Visual Examination of Olive Oil
Pour small amounts of olive oil into deep wine glasses. Lift the glass against the light so colors could be more clearly seen. Colors can vary from dark green with just small light infusions, over light green to gentle, almost transparent yellow.
Color and Quality of Olive Oil
Color is not the only indicator of oil quality. Some oils can have dark green color because olives were ripe at the time of gathering, but dark green color can also originate from added leaves, which gives oil a more bitter taste. These are not the ones you should be aiming towards, but they might be a little cheaper, so depending on your budget, you can even choose among them, but be aware that it is not the best quality, and that with a small budget restrictions to other groceries you could do better.
Flavor is the most important trait when it comes to olive oil. So, trust your scent. It is the best to have a cognac glass for this test. Pour a little oil in it, hold the glass, and circle it for 3-4 times so the oil will stir enough for you to inhale it and feel the scent. What are your first impressions?
After that, neutralize your senses by eating a big piece of apple. Then you will be ready for the next test.
The Taste of the Olive Oil
This moment might be the most important. Take a sip of olive oil but don’t swallow it. Let it circulate through your mouth, across the whole tongue and take air through teeth while oil slowly slips down your throat. Try to grade sourness and intensity: is it bitter, sweet or harsh? The back of the tongue feels bitter taste, the sides feel sourness and the tip of the tongue sweetness and intensity.
Not all olive oils have the same flavor! Every brand of olive oil tastes different, which makes olive oil unique among all known oils. An expert knows how to categorize oils the following ways: mild (delicate, similar to butter), half-fruity (with strong olive flavor) and fruity (with full olive flavor).
What Flavors Does the Olive Oil Have?
Obviously you know what tastes good and what doesn't but here are a few adjectives used to describe olive oil flavor to help you put words to the flavors.
Pleasant: apple, grass, almond, hay, fruit, lemon, sour, pepper and spicy.
Unpleasant: thick, earthy, maggoty, metal, moldy and brackish.
After examining several different oils you should be able to pick your favorite. Be careful though when you buy olive oil because the taste can change for the worse if it is left in the sunlight for too long.
Taste, choose, enjoy!