Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The Extra Virgin Olive Oils at Salt & Olive are sourced from all over the world, from the highest quality farmers, harvesters and mills we can find.
Our partners are not industrial farms, but multi-generational orchards, both small and large. Our goal is to offer the finest, freshest and broadest selection of extra virgin olive oils that are both accessible and affordable.
EVOO Taste and Sensory Profiles
Extra Virgin – is defined as:
- Milled within 24 hours of olive harvest
- Free of sensory defects
- Free Fatty Acids of 0.8 or less
Polyphenols: are the antioxidants in EVOO. The higher the polyphenol count, the higher the health promoting antioxidants, and the more pungent & peppery the taste.
Fruitiness: Olive oil is a fruit juice. Each olive will present a type of fruit when tasting; traditional fruits are green banana, tomato, stone fruit, green apple.
Bitterness: Present in the middle of the tongue when tasting, this is traditionally a taste found in younger, greener oils.
Pungency: Increases in presence when antioxidants are high. Fresh EVOO should have a peppery/pungent taste profile – that signifies the health benefits of the antioxidants, and the freshness of the press.
How to Taste Olive Oils
Surprisingly the color of olive oil has little or nothing to do with its taste or quality. Most people assume that the "greener" the oil the better the taste and quality. In fact, color is not an indicator of either. Professional tasters actually use special blue glasses to mask the color of the oil so it will not bias their opinions.
Olive oil should be smooth with a pronounced body, or "mouth feel."
Taste is purely personal experience, and when tasting oils you combine smell, taste, and mouth-feel. If you can, try tasting with a clean palette - spicy foods, coffee or tea can mask the taste of the oils and tire out your tastebuds.
Take a drink of water before you taste your first oil. To get the best sense of oil, sip the oil by itself, without bread. For the full effect, follow these steps;
1. Smell - Cover the tasting cup with the palm of your hand, and swirl the oil. This both warms the oil, and releases the aroma. Take your hand away and smell the aroma. Aromas like "grassy" and "fruity" come to mind for many fresh oils. What you DON'T want to smell ... is "winey" or "vinegary." This could indicate that the oil was not harvested within 24 hours (as all EVOOS are) or was damaged in the milling process.
2. Sip - Completely coat your tongue. You can sense bitterness on the middle portion of your tongue, pungency in the back of your throat. If you can, take in a small amount of air after you sip - this will open up your taste buds fully.
3. Savor - Keep the oil in your mouth for a few seconds.
4. Breathe - With your mouth closed, breathe out of your nose. Sense of smell is 80% of taste, so use both your mouth and your nose for full aroma and taste.
Classic Taste Notes
Fruity - green grass, apples, fruits.
Bitterness - found in the middle of your tongue; shows antioxidants and freshness.
Pungency - a peppery feel and taste in the back of your throat, showing the level of antioxidants in the oil as well as indicating a green, early harvest.