How do you recognize that you have purchased a good quality oil? Certainly the irrefutable proof is provided by physico-chemical analyzes conducted in accredited laboratories. However, professional olive oil tasters discriminate between oils relying solely on their senses, smell and taste.
Tasting requires a certain experience and knowledge, as well as constant training. With a few tips we can replicate it, in an amateur way, at home to understand if the oil purchased is of quality.
First of all, we will pour the oil into a small dark glass container, since the view should not affect us. In fact, the oil can be green or yellow, have shades, but still be of excellent quality. A different color indicates the stage of ripeness in which the olives were pressed. If we observe an orange color, it could be oxidized oil.
The container, just rubbed in your hands to warm the contents, will give off the scents of the oil. We will smell the oil deeply and several times. A good quality oil smells of “green”. Strange that a color can smell, right? And instead it is precisely what the green color evokes that concretizes, in our imagination, the scent of freshly cut grass, of tomato leaves. This is the unmistakable scent of an excellent quality extra virgin olive oil.
The smells of wine, mold, sludge, rancid that evoke vinegar, humidity, mud are synonyms of bad and poor oil to avoid.
The taste is perceived through the “stripping”. We will take a small amount of oil that we will vaporize in the mouth, passing it through the teeth. We will mainly taste the bitter and to a small extent the sweet which is actually defined as a “false sensation”. The oil, in fact, does not contain sugars, but it is sweet when it was obtained from ripe olives in which the bitterness is softened. Using raw oil, we will perceive, in different proportions, the spicy, very popular taste note because it denotes the presence of polyphenols.
The perception of the oil to taste is a very subjective factor. Not everyone has the same palate to perceive bitter and spicy as qualities of high quality and health. But with training we can benefit from the perception of these aspects.
Oils that are hot, metallic, rancid or inacetite are definitely to be avoided. Flavorless oils are certainly not extra virgin olive oils.
What is fruity?
Fruity is that precious characteristic of extra virgin olive oil perceived through the nose, thanks to the combination of olfactory and taste sensations. It reminds us of the smell and taste of healthy and fresh fruit, it can be more or less intense depending on the stage of ripeness of the olive.
The 2020/2021 campaign is coming to an end, unfortunately the scent of our oil will no longer pervade our environments every day. But this fabulous sensory experience that smells of authenticity and quality is repeated every time, when opening a bottle of Felice Bitetti extra virgin olive oil.