Come join us for fun and information in an olive oil tasting class.
In this hour class we will provide information and answer a lot of questions.
We will teach you how to taste olive oil, what the components of the taste are and sample both award winning and good quality olive oils from Greece and Italy.
Dan’s Private Stock
What makes Olive Oil Unique?
Olives are fruit. Olive oil is made by mashing the olives, pits, skins and all, then pressing the oil out. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the result of the first, cold pressing of the mash. Vegetable Oils are all made by a chemical extraction method.
What makes Olive Oil Extra Virgin?
Extra virgin olive oil is mechanically cold pressed and has an Acidity less than .08%. any decent EVOO is less than 5%. anything else is considered “lampade” (lamp oil). Ideally the olives are harvested by a man on a ladder and immediately taken to be processed. Since heat, time, light and oxygen are enemies of olive oil, good oils are processed within 90 minutes of harvest then stored and shipped carefully.
Olive oil is from a fruit. Think of it as fruit juice, when you open a bottle, use it. Olive Oil doesn’t get better with age. If you have ‘special occasion’ olive oil, and you let it age, especially once it’s been open, it isn’t going to be ‘special’ for very long. Open it, use it and enjoy it!
Light, Heat, Oxygen and Time are the enemies of olive oil.
A word about tonight’s Tasting
Today, we will have 6 “flights” approximately 1 every 10 minutes.
You will want to neutralize your taste buds and smell buds a couple of minutes before the next flight. 2 ways to reset your palate are:
- Take a spoonful of plain yogurt and spread it around your tongue and palette.
- Smell your own skin, like on the back of your arm.
How to “taste” Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Hold the cup in one hand and cover the top with your other hand to seal the top.
- Rotate the cup in your hand to warm up the oil. when the cup no longer feels cool to your hand you have warmed up the oil.
- While keeping the top covered, lift the cup to your face.
- Exhale deeply.
- Uncover the cup
- Stick you nose in the cup and inhale deeply noting the aroma.
- Hold your breath for a moment. consider the aroma, and exhale. What do you smell?
- Now SLURP the oil into you mouth atomizing it over your teeth and making it spread across your tongue and throughout your mouth and swallow.
- Consider the body, is it light, medium or heavy?
- Consider the mouth, is it greasy? buttery? smooth?
- Cough. The purpose of olive oil is to make you cough.
- Consider the quality of the “pungency” how spicy is it? where is the sensation of spicy, how long is the follow through.
- Congratulations! You have successfully tasted olive oil like a professional!
Terra Medi is from Greece. It is made from Koroneiki olives from Greece’s Peloponnesian Peninsula. It’s imported by our next door neighbor, George, right here on 2nd street. I discovered it while searching for Bekos Cola – which I had while I was in Olympia Greece last year.
Flight #2 and #3
Lucini premium select is a brand of EVOO that is carried by Whole Foods. It’s one of my GO TO oils. Read the bottles carefully, they import from both Italy and Argentina, and have with and without Organic Certification. We’ll try both and discuss what “organic” certification means. Is it better?
Next is an EVOO by Franci called Fiore. Franci is one of my favorite producers and this oil won a perfect score in competition. I haven’t tried this oil yet, so we’ll all be trying it for the first time together. It is made from a cultivar (olive) named Frantoio. Produced in a high technology manner. Fear not, other GREAT oils to come!
Next is another “perfect” oil from Franci called Toscano. It one of my goto oils from their ‘standard’ line because it represents great value. It’s reasonably priced and has wonderful qualities and a great kick. I prefer it to their ‘super premium’ oils. Produced in a high technology manner.
Lungoratti is a DOP (protected name) oil from Umbria. This was the Olive Oil that prompted me to become a sommelier. It is a mixture of Frantoio, Leccino and Moraiolo cultivars. It is produced in a hi-technology manner.
Finally, a super premium oil From Franci called Grand-Cru. It is made with 100% Frantoio olives and consistently rated perfect in competition.
Choosing an olive oil is daunting!
Check the harvest and best by date.
If it is on a shelf exposed to direct sunlight or heat, leave it there.
Oldest Olive Tree in the world.
- Olives fall on a tarp on the ground.
- Olives are raked off the tree by a person on a ladder
- Olives trees are shaken by a machine and olives fall into a tarp to be gathered
filtered versus unfiltered.