The Art of Olive Oil Tasting

Wine and food tasting is one of the many pleasures of the life of a travel writer. Olive oil tasting is an art similar to wine tasting in terms of complexity. The Hill Team has been learning about olive oil tasting in Spain, Florida, and in California’s Temecula Valley wine country.

Sampling delicious oils is enjoyable way to appreciate the pleasures of this healthful product. Olive oil tasting is also a unique party idea. Food network’s Cat Cora, presents these easy tasting tips at her olive oil tasting seminar.

  • Cat points out that EVOO, extra virgin olive oil, is superior in terms of quality.
  • The Cat Cora kitchen uses her own award winning D.O.P. Kalamata EVOO from Greece.
She suggests that we look for these qualities when judging a good oil:
  • Fruitiness is a sensation of freshly cut olive fruits and leaves when smelling olive oil.
  • Spiciness is a peppery quality at the back of the throat when olive oil tasting.
  • A pleasant hit of bitterness is often felt on our tongue when tasting.
Tasting Method:
  • Place about a half ounce of evoo in a small cup or wine glass.
  • Slightly heat the glass with your hands, then smell to detect the fruitiness or “freshly mown grass” qualities.
  • For tasting, dip plain bread in the oil. Try to detect the spiciness in your mouth.
  • As in wine tasting, other flavors may appear such as almond, artichoke, asparagus or avocado. We sometimes taste hints of green apple or green tomatoes.
  • Cat points out an easy test that is new to us, called the hot potato test. Simply boil or bake a potato and pour evoo on top. A good quality oil will have the pleasant aromas of fresh olive leaves and grass.
  • You can use the oil scented potato for a tasty and healthy potato salad. Cat adds chives, parsley, white pepper and sea salt.

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Brenda C. Hill

Freelance writer food judge International Food & Wine Travel Writer's Association. Author, Random House, NYC. author, book editor: Boy's Life Magazine contributor, Where Magazine columnist: Big Blend Magazine columnist, Where and What in the World co-author, Success, Your Path to a Successful Book (INDIE Finalist), Cooking Secrets, The Why and How co-author, Our Love Affairs with Food & Travel bo...(Read More)

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