I go through a LOT of olive oil in this house. I use it in pasta dishes, for sauteing vegetables, and I’ve even used it in some cake recipes. I do use canola oil for stir frying, deep frying or for other dishes that require an oil with a higher smoke point, otherwise my preference is olive oil. I’ve used Carapelli olive oil for many years, so when they asked me to do a taste test I was all over it.
First of all let me tell you that I don’t drink wine, I’m a beer girl. I also steer away from the hard well drinks, so bourbon tasting is not something I’ve ever done. I’ve never visited a vineyard and wine tasting is foreign to me. So a taste test of any sort was new to this down home midwestern girl. But I was willing to give it a try!
I’ve seen some documentaries on how olives are harvested and the subsequent oil is made. It’s quite an interesting process, and when you think of the location, Italy instantly comes to mind. Carapelli’s headquarters are right outside the beautiful city of Florence, Italy. They has been making olive oil since 1893 and now proudly hold the title of Italy’s No. 1 Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Now I’ve never performed an olive oil taste test before, so I followed along with The Four S’s suggested by Carapelli. They say that “similar to tasting wine, there are a few quick steps to having the true olive oil tasting experience.” I mentioned before that I’ve never participated in a wine tasting either, so I followed these instructions:
First off, Carapelli sent me a wonderful box of their 3 different olive oils, a blue glass for the tasting, and three little dishes perfect for dipping bread in. Mmmm!
So to begin, I poured about a tablespoon of olive oil into the blue glass and gently warmed 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.
After performing the tests I have to say that while they each had a similar aroma, each one did taste a bit different from the other. I found that the organic seemed to taste the smoothest, while the Premium 100% Italian was smooth to the taste but peppery in my throat (in a good way!). The Il Numerato oil had a slightly peppery taste in my mouth and in my throat. I was also surprised that none of them left an after taste.
Carapelli’s Master Tasters craft the exclusive blends of the best oils from the finest Mediterranean olive groves. Their line of Extra Virgin Olive Oils includes three 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
I’m glad that Carapelli asked me to do this taste test. I really had no idea how different each one would taste and look forward to cooking with all of them! Hopefully you can too, so they are offering a $1.00 off coupon to you. You can grab it here — $1.00 OFF coupon at www.CarapelliUSA.com