We go through a lot of olive oil around here. It is the main oil we use for cooking. The only thing I don’t use it for is cooking eggs because I don’t like the way it tastes with them for some reason.
Olive Oil is characterized as a “healthy” oil (everything in moderation) because it has the types of fats in it that don’t clog arteries or contribute to disease, in fact, it is said to provide health benefits. According to the FDA, olive oil may possibly reduce the risk of heart disease, helps lower bad cholesterol, and contains antioxidants that may lower the risks of cancer and reduce the effects of aging.
I have learned over the last few years of cooking with olive oil that not all olive oil is created equal, and like wine, you can conduct olive oil tastings to experience the complexity and uniqueness of each oil.
When it comes to olive oil, the first thing that comes to mind for me is Italy, and in Italy, the no 1 brand of extra virgin olive oil is Carapelli.
In 1893, a man named Constantino Carapelli turned the fruit of the olive tree into a “family business that became an Italian tradition.”
In order to help me experience Carapelli and conduct my own “tasting” I received a kit with everything I needed to experience Carapelli Extra Virgin Olive oil.
I received a bottle of each of Carapelli’s three varieties of oil, 3 dipping bowls and a blue glass for tasting. The blue glass prevents you from seeing the color of the oil when you taste test it, because the color does matter.
Carapelli Extra Virgin Olive Oil varieties:
Premium 100% Italian – made solely from the first cold pressing of the finest 100% Italian olives with an intense, robust flavor and aroma Il Numerato – a supremely smooth and low acidity oil that is a result of a delicate cold pressing of olives Organic – Obtained only from organically grown olives and produced according to organic farming standards; certified USDA organic
Olive oil tasting is very similar to wine tasting. There is a set list of steps you take to fully experience the flavor of the oil.
Olive Oil Tasting – The Four S’s
Similar to tasting wine, there are a few quick steps to having the true olive oil tasting experience. Pour about a tablespoon of olive oil into your blue glass and gently warm it by covering the glass with one hand and holding the bowl of the glass in the other. Here’s where the four S’s come in – Swirl, Sniff, Slurp and Swallow
- Swirl – By swirling the olive oil in your glass, you release the oil’s esters, which are the molecules that contain the aroma.
- Sniff – Now inhale deeply. The aroma is the key to the fruitiness of the oil. Is it intense or is it more subtle?
- Slurp – Sip the oil while “sipping” in a bit of air. This slurping action emulsifies the oil and helps spread it throughout your mouth. Take note of the various tastes and sensations. Is it fruity, peppery, smooth?
- Swallow – Once you swallow the oil, it should leave your mouth with no aftertaste. Again, take note of any peppery or stinging sensation in your throat.
The video below demonstrates the 4 S’s, with a willing
victim participant. He is a friend of ours and comes from a very Italian family. We thought he’d make the perfect taste tester. He was a good sport!
We all did taste all 3 oils and it was really interesting that you could taste the differences in between them. I preferred the Carapelli Organic, when our friend and my husband preferred the Il Numerato. I thought the Organic had less of a peppery taste and was smoother. I thought the Il Numerato and the Premium 100% Italian had a more fruity feel. The Il Numerato had somewhat of an aftertaste.
Overall, I was surprised that tasting the olive oil in that way was actually good. Generally we use olive oil IN things, not by itself. I expected it to be rather unpleasant but it was interesting to experience the subtleties of each oil in that way.
I could see us setting out Carapelli Extra Virgin Olive Oil by itself as a dip for breads at parties. It was THAT good.As a thank you for appearing in my video, I wanted to share our friend’s contact information. He is a computer guru and if you are looking for computer or networking assitance in Illinois or Indiana, give him a call: John J. Spotora (708) 372-4376. He does: PC repair, PC security, virus & malware fixes, wireless networking, home entertainment tech, small business/soho tech, bleeding edge gaming rigs and more!