THE PLEASURE OF KNOWING HOW TO TASTE
Tasting is a very complex art, which requires years of practise. Not so much for the difficulty of the operation itself, as for the ability to understand all the details our senses tell us. The first few times, you will probably miss the organoleptic complexity of an olive oil but, if you follow these simple steps, you can improve your ability to judge the quality of a product and increase your sensory experience with new pleasures and sensations.
Even if this is not essential to judging an olive oil, a visual evaluation may reveal some important details. For instance, a cloudy appearance in unfiltered or new oils is synonym with genuineness. Conversely, a muddy appearance with amber-reddish nuances means that the olive oil is oxidising, probably because it has not been properly stored.
Pour a minimal amount of olive oil in a small glass, cover it with your hand for a few seconds, while warming it up with the palm of the other hand. Remove the hand that covers the glass, put the glass under your nose and inhale a few times. Try to grasp the sensations and avours, while judging their intensity and balance. With a little practice, you will find out how nuanced the bouquet of an olive oil can be.
Tasting consists in putting a teaspoonful of olive oil into your mouth at approximately 28°C, then repeatedly and vigorously inhaling air through your mouth. This operation, also known as stripping, oxygenates and distributes the olive oil all over the oral cavity, clearly revealing the product’s faults or distinctive traits. You will eventually learn to recognise the different scents, which will take you into a world of sensations and feelings you have never felt before.