Learn about EVOO
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.
What is True Balsamic Vinegar Tradizionale?
Called the original condiment, only two areas produce true traditional balsamic vinegar; Modena and neighboring Reggio Emilia, in Italy. True balsamic vinegar is made from a reduction of pressed Trebbiano or Lambrusco grapes, and starts off with a cooked grape must: the skins, the pulp and the seeds all go into the crush, and are cooked together. This method yields an increased complexity as well as increased health benefits.
Balsamics made in Modena must use a minimum of three different kinds of wood barrels in the aging process. The resulting thick syrup, called mosto cotto in Italian, is aged for a minimum of 12 years in a battery of barrels of successively smaller sizes. True balsamic vinegar is rich, glossy, deep brown in color and has a complex flavor that balances the natural sweet and sour elements of the cooked grape juice with hints of wood from the casks.
All the Balsamic Vinegars at Salt & Olive are produced in, and imported from, Modena, Italy. The rich, aged vinegars are made from the white and sugary Trebbiano grapes that are grown on the hills around Modena. Custom demands that the grapes are harvested as late as possible to take advantage of the warmth that nature provides there.
The balsamic’s are aged using the Solera Barrel method, using 5 different wood barrels: ash, cherry, mulberry, juniper, and oak. Our Traditional Balsamic is aged 18 years, and our flavored balsamics naturally infuse fresh flavors that combine with the 18 year balsamic to give a unique and richly complex flavor profile to any dish.
At Salt & Olive, our product carries no dye; it deepens and darkens naturally due to the barrel aging and cooking.
- Our balsamics have 0% saturated or trans fats.
- They are 100% kosher.
- Our Traditional 18-year Balsamic Vinegar is certified Organic.