How to Taste Extra Virgin Olive Oil

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We’ve all heard the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, and for olive oils, this is definitely true when it comes to their green hues. Depending on the type of olive, how they were harvested, where they were grown, and many other factors, olives can produce oils in a variety of light-green shades. But don’t let the colors of olive oil steer you away!

Extra Virgin Olive Oils should be tasted to assess whether it’s a good quality oil or not, and discern which oils pair best with which foods. Here are some examples of the different “notes” (tastes) of EVOO: peppery, buttery, fruity, and nutty. At Colavita, we’re sharing methods on how to taste Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Try it out!

  1. Prior to tasting, make sure you have a fresh palate. Wait for about an hour (at least) after eating or drinking, especially if you have consumed anything pungent.
  2. Pour a tablespoon of the oil into a clean and small, stemless wine glass or a short plastic tumbler.
  3. Place one hand underneath the bottom of the glass and the other over the top. Gently swirl the cup to allow the aroma of the oil to fill the glass.
  4. Remove your hand from the top of the glass and bring the rim of the glass towards your nose. Hold the glass so the rim is under your nose.
  5. Take short, deep sniffs to inhale the aroma. Think about what you smell – is it mild or very aromatic? At this point, you may begin to associate the scent of the oil with freshly cut grass, flowers, nuts, or olives.
  6. Taste the oil by slurping. Do not swallow the oil! Slurping will allow you to pull both oil and air into your mouth to enhance your ability to detect different flavor notes. Allow the oil to touch all areas of your mouth in order to note the different aromas and flavors. Then spit it out.
  7. Remember: Drink a glass of water between each tasting in order to cleanse the palate!

Put your taste buds to the test with our World Collection Extra Virgin Olive Oils including Spanish EVOO, Greek EVOO, Argentinian EVOO, and more! Try to identify the different notes and soon enough, you’ll find yourself to be an olive oil connoisseur.

Let us know which notes you taste in our Extra Virgin Olive Oils and which of our oils you like to pair with your favorite recipes!