Ciao Amici! (Hello Friends!)
I leave Friday afternoon for Italy and the packing process has just started! …I am not the quickest packer…and I certainly am not the lightest packer …. but I will be prepared for anything that may come my way! Haha
Before I leave I want to share some tips with you on how to conduct a “proper olive oil tasting” as this seems like it would be a fun activity to do at a summer dinner party or cookout …. with some good Italian vino of course!
I read in one of my many olive oil books that it is best to taste olive oil in the morning …. but I really do not see this as a fun activity to do first thing in the morning. Whichever time of day or night you decide to have your “olive oil tasting party” keep in mind that it is similar to a wine tasting and you begin by pouring about 2 inches of olive oil into a clear glass.
You and your guests should observe the color – hold the glass near a light to see it more vibrantly - it should be noted that the color does not indicate the quality of oil.
Next stick your nose in the glass to take in the wonderful aroma – and if it is not wonderful it is rancid (well maybe LOL) – but if it does not smell of fresh grass, fruit or nuts and truly has a bad smell then throw it out!
Then take a sip of the oil (I know it doesn't sound that appealing to drink oil BUT you are taking a small sip not a gulp). You want to have just enough to cover your tongue –like wine you can take in some air as you hold it in your mouth or not (it is really up to you). Take note of the consistency and texture– is it heavy or light? What do you taste? Is the fruit taste more intense or is it earthy?
Finally, you do want to swallow the olive oil (you could even spit it out and just taste what is left in your mouth) – the pepperiness and bitterness qualities of the olive oil will come out once you swallow it. Does the taste linger or is the after taste weak? -- if you taste many olive oils make sure you cleanse your pallet with sliced apples in between each type. If you and your friends are interested in this, then you can make a “tasting map” separated into 4 sections: color, smell, taste and texture - where you can keep track of the many differences/similarities between each oil.
One more thing before I wrap up for the night …. I would really be interested to know what brand of olive oil you have in your cabinets? Feel free to post it as a comment or email me directly if you prefer email@example.com .
….back to packing ….more to come when I arrive!
Baci e Abbracci! (hugs and kisses)