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I recently had a chance to conduct an olive oil tasting with Carapelli Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Yes, you read that right, an olive oil tasting! I’ve done olive oil tastings before at a food blogger conference, but it was fun to do at home with a new (to me) olive oil.
Doing an olive oil tasting is very similar to tasting wine, beer, spirits or coffee. First, you pour a tablespoon or so of olive oil into a small glass (try a shot glass or small martini or port glass) and gently warm it by covering the glass with one hand and holding the bottom of the glass in the other.
Then you swirl, sniff, slurp and swallow. That’s where the four S’s come in.
Swirl – By swirling the olive oil in your glass, you release the oil’s esters, which are the molecules that contain the aroma.
Sniff – You sniff or inhale deeply. The aroma is the key to the fruitiness of the oil. Is it intense or is it more subtle?
Slurp – Sip the oil while taking in a bit of air into your mouth at the same time. This slurping action emulsifies the oil and helps spread it throughout your mouth. Take note of the various tastes and sensations. Is it fruity, peppery, smooth?
Swallow – Once you swallow the oil, it should leave your mouth with no aftertaste. Again, take note of any peppery or stinging sensation in your throat.
If you’re doing this with several olive oils at one time, make sure to have water and bread to cleanse your palette. Afterwards make sure you have something solid to eat (pasta, bananas, rice, etc.) as consuming a large amount of olive oil at one time may have a laxative effect.
Also, you may want to take note of the color of the olive oil. Many olive oils bright gold or slightly greenish, but I’ve seen some that are almost emerald colored.
Taste Test Results: I found that Carapelli Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a medium intense aroma and a taste that reminds me of tomatoes picked fresh from the garden with a smidge of lemon. The olive oil has a light, greenish gold color and left a stinging sensation in the back of my throat. (So weird!) However, it left no aftertaste.
Since this is a first cold pressing extra virgin olive oil, it has the strongest taste and aroma. It also has an oleic acidity rate of less than 1% - the lower the acidity, the better the quality of the oil. Good stuff!
I also tried the Carapelli Olive Oil with some seasoned rice vinegar on heirloom tomatoes. It was delicious!
Carapelli is headquartered in Florence, Italy and has been making olive oil since 1893. As a leader in olive oil, Carapelli was the first producer to promote bottled extra virgin olive oil in Italy.
The company also instituted a quality certification program that meets and exceeds the extensive, strict quality specifications required in Europe and the United States, that it adheres to today. Carapelli’s Master Tasters craft the exclusive blends of the best oils from the finest Mediterranean olive groves. Today’s distinctive line of Carapelli Extra Virgin Olive Oils includes three varieties:
Premium 100% Italian – made solely from the first cold pressing of the finest 100% Italian olives with an intense, robust flavor and aroma
Il Numerato – a supremely smooth and low acidity oil that is a result of a delicate cold pressing of olives
Organic – Obtained only from organically grown olives and produced according to organic farming standards; certified USDA organic
To learn more about Carapelli, check out their website at carapelliusa.com . While you’re there, print out a for their new line of olive oils.