My husband and I have a group of friends who are very into wine. So I’m aware of wine tasting techniques, but I never knew there was a technique to tasting olive oil. Did you?
Carapelli has been making olive oil since 1893, and has its headquarters just outside of Florence, Italy. I was recently sent a bottle of their Premium 100% Italian olive oil to taste test, which I did using the four S’s.
The Four S’s of Olive Oil Tasting
1. Swirl. Swirling the olive oil in a glass releases the oil’s esters which contain the aroma. Some people use a small blue glass which is held in the palm of the hand. This helps warm the oil and releases its aroma.
2. Sniff. Inhale deeply. The aroma is the key to the fruitiness of the oil.
3. Slurp. Sip the oil while breathing in a bit of air. The slurping action emulsifies the oil and helps spread it throughout your mouth. This is when you notice the various tastes of the oil.
4. Swallow. After swallowing the oil, there should be no aftertaste, but there might be a peppery or stinging sensation in your throat.
My Taste Test
My husband and I both did this taste test. Here is the outcome.
1. Swirl. We didn’t have a blue glass, but we did try to warm the glass with our hands. I don’t think it helped much. I did notice an increase in the aromas when I breathed into the glass to warm the oil, but that’s not officially part of olive oil tasting and may be considered bad form.
2. Sniff. My husband is great at this. I wish I had taken a picture. He closed his eyes and inhaled long and deep. I just inhaled somewhat deeply. Neither of us thought the aroma could be characterized as intense (maybe it wasn’t warm enough), but it wasn’t subtle either. It had a strong olive oil scent. My husband thought it smelled like fresh bread. It didn’t really, but it reminded him of dipping fresh bread in olive oil.
3. Slurp. While slurping olive oil seems a bit odd, it wasn’t hard to do. It definitely felt smooth. The first thing we tasted was the fruity olive flavor. Then came a peppery flavor that especially sticks at the back of your mouth and throat.
4. Swallow. We swallowed and did not notice any aftertaste. We did feel a peppery, stinging sensation in the throat.
It is a very nice olive oil, and one definitely worth buying. I used the olive oil to make seasoned, roasted, butternut squash, and the family really enjoyed it. It would also be great for drizzling over salad or dipping fresh bread.
There are three varieties of Carapelli extra virgin olive oil: Premium 100% Italian (intense, robust flavor & aroma), II Numerato (smooth & low acid), and Organic. If you are interested in buying Carapelli olive oil, you can print a $1.00 OFF coupon at www.CarapelliUSA.com. (Look for the yellow coupon button on the left.)